Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Supreme Court to Decide 2nd Amendment

“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.”

For the first time in 70 years, the US Supreme Court will rule on the 2nd Amendment, it was announced yesterday. The justices will hear a case on Washington DC's 31 year old ban of handguns in private residences.

A wealthy libertarian lawyer recruited a plaintiff and financed the suit, which was successful in the DC court of appeals. The plaintiff is a security guard who carries a gun at work, and wants to keep it at home for protection. Under DC law, he is unable to do so.

At issue is whether the Second Amendment, quoted above, grants an individual right to arm, or if that right is tied to the formation of a militia. To me, the word militia is in the same sentence, so...

The court has shifted conservative over the past 7 years, so I would expect the DC law to be struck down.

Also of note, this will spark the gun- control debate in the presidential race, and it will be interesting to see how Rudy Giuliani handles it. Giuliani was a staunch gun control advocate as NYC mayor, but has distinguished that stance (rightly so, I think) from hunter's rights, and gun control in less dangerous situations.

However, this is Washington, DC we're talking about. One of America's most dangerous and crime- ridden cities. If Giuliani is consistent (honest, really) he'd probably be in favor of DC's restrictive law.

This is going to be interesting.

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