At 10:13 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, June 26, the Supreme Court finally released the opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), on whether the District’s firearms regulations – which forbid the possession of handguns and require shotguns and rifles to be kept disassembled or under trigger lock – violate the Second Amendment.
One hundred and fifty-seven pages of legalspeak can make anyone's eyeballs bleed, but it clearly found the Second Amendment to "guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation." Still, it could have been better.
I can't possibly hope to improve on the analyses made by folks smarter and more eloquent than I. AnarchAngel, Atomic Nerds, Dave Kopel, Kim du Toit, The Liberty Zone, Michael Bane, Of Arms And The Law, and Snowflakes In Hell are among those who have excellent commentaries on what this opinion actually means to gun owners in this country. Reason Magazine Online assembled a panel of 8 leading civil libertarians (including Heller attorney Alan Gura) to help make sense of what the Court said, what it means, and what's likely to come next.
We haven't won the war by any means. But it's a good start, and followup action is already being initiated. It took the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association with Alan Gura and David Sigale as counsel about fifteen minutes after the SCOTUS opinion was released to file a federal suit against Chicago's gun ban.
San Francisco's ban on self-defense in public housing is next. And closer to home, the despicable Omaha Housing Authority is frantically consulting their attorneys in an effort to keep their residents helpless as well.
A 5-to-4 decision is scary-close given the election debacle we face in November. Whoever is elected will probably appoint at least two Supreme Court justices. I hope people really listen to the
You know, those same citizens who voted for them . . .