Emily Miller, the determined senior editor for opinions and editorials at the Washington Times who took readers through the confusing maze of District of Columbia gun laws, was honored Saturday by the Second Amendment Foundation during the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The SAF “Journalist of the Year” award was presented by SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb during the conference’s awards luncheon.
Miller’s series “Emily Gets Her Gun” drew a huge following in the newspaper and on-line for its revealing look at how the District of Columbia deliberately crafted gun regulations designed to discourage law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights inside the city. The District’s 30-year handgun ban was struck down in 2008 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Heller ruling.
However, the city government, according to Miller, looked at gun laws all over the country, and apparently adopted the most restrictive regulations it could to feign compliance with the high court ruling, while still keeping citizens disarmed. Miller’s series exposed the regulatory scheme, while telling her personal journey through the process of finally obtaining a handgun, to be kept in her home, for protection. Installments may be read here, here, here and here.
The city still has no mechanism for allowing legal concealed carry, and despite Miller’s often blistering, sometimes amusing series, gun regulations in the District can still be categorized as Draconian at best.
After the luncheon, Miller detailed her experiences in a presentation that brought an energetic applause from the pro-gun audience. She also later chatted with gun rights activists and noted that after having finally bought a handgun, she was thinking about also purchasing a shotgun, but will put that off for a while because of the regulatory red tape.
Miller has become a hero in the gun rights community for her gutsy head-on reporting. She has repeatedly confronted District politicians and bureaucrats about the gun regulations, challenging them to explain how they think restrictive gun laws address a citizen’s right to own firearms for personal protection, and the broader implications these regulations have in terms of public safety.
Standing 5-feet, 2-inches, the petite Miller matter-of-factly told her audience, “I don’t like being told ‘no’.” Her continuing exploration of gun laws and firearms ownership has captured the attention of readers all over the country, which was quickly evident as fans repeatedly congratulated and thanked her for essentially taking on city hall.
The Gun Rights Policy Conference, now in its 27th year, wraps up Sunday with panel discussions about the Supreme Court, expanding gun ownership, patient privacy from nosy anti-gun doctors, countering media bias and homeland security.
Saturday also saw the conference’s largest media coverage in its history as reporters gathered to hear from attorney Mark O’Mara, who represents George Zimmerman. O’Mara discussed self-defense and its parameters under Florida statute, but he deliberately avoided discussing his client’s case.
Zimmerman is accused of second-degree murder in the death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin earlier this year.
Next year’s conference will be held in Houston, Tex.