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Harley Dude
14,651 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the shooting wire:

Admiration for the Average
When it comes right down to it, the hero in virtually any great story isn’t a superman; he’s an everyman. Great writers love to tell the story of the common man who through bad luck or unusual circumstance finds himself in a situation where only heroic measures will get a job done.

Unfortunately, not all those stories have happy, heroic endings.

But the man who has either stood bloodied, unbowed and triumphant or lain down to breathe his last; knowing did all he could do is a heroic figure.

In my personal life, the heroes have always been average guys.

As a newsman, I’ve met many people who have done something heroic. To an individual, they have been average people who overcame extraordinary circumstances.

Today, I know at least one new heroic figure.

And as expected, he’s not the kind of guy you’d notice in a crowd. In fact, he looks average and appears downright uncomfortable in the public eye.

Dick Anthony Heller, a 66-year old security guard from Washington, D.C. may be the gun rights equivalent of Jack the giant-killer. Living in an apartment and working as a security officer, Heller has an un-extraordinary job protecting people and government property - with a firearm if necessary.

But it’s Heller’s actions off the job that may turn his name into a one-word term for something extraordinary.

When Heller tried to obtain a permit to carry his gun after work, it was denied. Living in the District of Columbia, he faces firearms prohibitions considered the most strict in America.

Dick Heller realized he was expected to use his firearm to protect government property at work, but precluded by law from defending his own life and property the same way. In other words, the District of Columbia didn’t consider Dick Anthony Heller – off the job – to be worth defending.

At that point, Dick Heller decided, as heroes do sometimes, to act. He, and a group of like-minded folks, filed suit against the District’s gun ban, alleging it was unconstitutional.

For five years, Heller, and Robert Levy, a quiet Libertarian who has never owned a gun, but does possess a rock-solid belief in individual rights, have moved the case through the justice system. It’s not been inexpensive in time, money or a personal toll on either.

Surprisingly, a Federal District Court agreed with Dick Heller; declaring the DC gun ban unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, but against the wishes of many anti-gun groups, the District appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, March 18, the Supreme Court heard Arguments from both sides in what will certainly be a landmark case in Constitutional law.

That, as they say, is history –or should be by June.

That’s when we should know if the Supreme Court agrees with the District Court, making Dick Heller the man who helped bring the right of firearm ownership back to the District of Columbia.

The legal precedent in such a finding would probably open the door to more lawsuits across the country. That would turn Dick Heller into “Heller” a legal decision of groundbreaking significance.

If that doesn’t happen, Heller may be regarded by many to be just another guy who fought the establishment – and lost.

Both Heller and Levy told me they wouldn’t have done anything differently, whatever the outcome.

“I’m an average guy,” Dick Heller told me, “I just saw something I knew was wrong and wanted to see it fixed.

When Heller said this, however, he wasn’t standing across a back yard fence sharing a cold drink with a neighbor. He was standing in front of the highest court in the United States as photographers hurried to frame photos of this gray-haired man in an off-white parka who just might have changed the future course of the nation. Despite that importance, Heller looked out of place among the perfectly coiffed and tailored lawyers and media members who clamored for his time.

“A basic issue of our constitutional rights to life and self-defense has been violated,” he said at an impromptu press conference on the steps of the United States Supreme Court.

“As a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government offices,” he said, “but my life isn’t worth protecting at home, in their eyes.”

“Their” refers to the District of Columbia’s government. By extension, “they” meant DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy Lanier, making their way across the Supreme Court steps inside a protection bubble formed of District police officers while Dick Heller talked.

As Heller ruefully observed, Fenty’s moving across the steps and plaza inside the cordon of police would seem to make the mayor’s assertion “DC, due to the gun ban and my anti-crime initiative, is safer than ever” ring pretty hollow.

Dick Anthony Heller believes Fenty’s apparent double-standard is wrong.

Co-counsel and financial resource Robert Levy agrees.

Together, they have taken that conviction to what should soon be its now-inevitable conclusion.

Sometime before the current Supreme Court session ends in June, we’ll find out how many of the Supreme Court Justices agree – and to what extent.

If the majority of the nine Justices agree the DC law is unconstitutional, the gun ban should be overturned.

Then, most pro-Second Amendment supporters will believe Heller is a hero.

Regardless of your position on the ban, it would be hard to argue that Heller would be another extraordinary man who helped change history. Levy will certainly be regarded as the man who used his resources to help that happen.

If the Justices disagree- in part or in whole – no matter how unlikely that may appear after listening to the Arguments, many people will dismiss Dick Anthony Heller as just another guy who fought the system and lost.

To me, Heller’s willingness to go toe-to-toe with the system, regardless of the outcome, is heroic. So too, is Robert Levy’s decision to accompany him and back that conviction with his own wallet.

Ordinary men.

Extraordinary actions.


Pro Gun Advocate
10,940 Posts
Not just heroes.

True partiots, and the very definition of 'Citizen.'
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