Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7 2502.02(a)(4), 22 4504(a), and 7 2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.br> Those “provisions” virtually ban handguns and require that long guns be stored in non-functioning states. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals answered that question with a resounding “yes it’s unconstitutional.”
If a reminder is needed, the amendment in question reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Second Amendment defenders should feel loosely optimistic right now. They’ve done a good job of presenting their arguments to the court. The four “usual suspect” conservative judges (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito) are almost certainly on their side, so these arguments only need to convince one more. However, they should know that even if they win, they’ve got a long battle ahead of them.
The individual-right view of the Second Amendment is, roughly, this: The law came from militia-related concerns, but it accomplished its goals by granting the American people, as individuals, a right to keep and bear arms.
This guaranteed an armed populace that could resist outside invaders — “the militia” comprised the fighting-age male population, and the Framers distrusted standing armies — and also one that could stand guard against government tyranny.
Of course, times have changed since then, but that doesn’t nullify a constitutional amendment.
BY CONTRAST, the District claims that the Second Amendment only protects arms-bearing when it relates to military service. A number of appeals courts have taken to this view, mainly by misreading the 1939 Supreme Court case U.S. v. Miller.
That case did uphold a federal sawed-off shotgun ban, but it did so because the law’s challengers failed to show such a gun has a militia use — not because the challengers themselves weren’t militia members. In his confirmation hearings, Chief Justice Roberts was right in saying the case “sidestepped” the issue.
Both sides and their supporters have filed countless briefs, and each can claim some of the brightest minds in law and history. There have been some blows to the individual-right side, including the Bush administration’s surprise betrayal. However, by and large, Heller’s supporters have put forth a compelling case that draws on history and precedent.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?