“An essential function of the federal government, delineated by the Constitution, is to “insure domestic Tranquility.””

December 24th, 2011

This does not authorize the government to act as a national police force, but it does require the federal government to protect us from international terrorists and criminals who transport illegal weapons across state lines…

This is not an issue of curbing gun rights. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the Second Amendment protects law-abiding gun owners, and for good reason. I know from firsthand experience the virtues of responsible gun ownership: I received my first rifle when I was 6, and my first pistol, a .22 Colt revolver, for my 16th birthday.

Nor is this a matter of ceding to the federal government law-enforcement functions properly left to the states and localities. When I was Manhattan district attorney, I was not afraid to challenge the local U.S attorney when that office brought a case that I believed exceeded the appropriate bounds of its jurisdiction. Local law enforcement must be entrusted to local prosecutors.

But that still leaves the federal government with an indispensable role in preventing firearms and explosives from crossing state lines and reaching the hands of criminals.

As long as federal authorities bring fewer gun prosecutions year after year—so long as the flood of illegal handguns into our communities continues unabated—calling on local families and law enforcement to eliminate gun violence is like telling them to make bricks without straw.

From Arthur Schiff–err Robert Morgenthau, longtime Manhattan District Attorney. I guess he just flipped open the Constitution and found the “domestic tranquility” clause, and said, why not?