19 March 2008

RKBA - a watershed moment

What would a Chief Justice say?
-- WASHINGTON -- In an unusually long oral argument session, several of the nine justices seemed to hint at their differing positions on the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which enshrines the right to bear arms.

“What is reasonable about a total ban on possession?”
It's a decision that is bound to resonate, one way or another, throughout the entire United States.
At stake are the gun laws in Washington, the country's most restrictive.

Dick Anthony Heller, 65, an armed security guard, sued the district after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection in the same Capitol Hill neighbourhood as the court.

For more than 30 years, handguns have been banned in Washington while rifles and shotguns must be locked up and disabled if kept in the home.

That hasn't stopped the densely populated federal district from having one of the country's worst rates of violent crime – often committed with outlawed guns – although rates have dropped sharply in recent years.
Land of the brave -- home of the free, er... we'll see.


MORE HERE: Gunbanners get a rough ride
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, whose vote may well be crucial to the outcome of the case, District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, disagreed.

The purpose of the first clause, with its militia reference, was simply to “reaffirm the right to have a militia,” he said, while the second made clear that individuals had the right to own guns.

And Justice Antonin Scalia told Mr. Dellinger that “the two clauses go together beautifully” if the Second Amendment was understood as an effort to guarantee that militias would not be “destroyed by tyrants.”

The proper reading, Justice Scalia said, is, “Since we need a militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
I'm guessin' Wendy Cukier just went home sick... with nervous diarrhea.