Monday, March 17, 2008

District of Columbia v. Heller in the Supreme Court

How long before this one winds up in Con-Law textbooks?  The Second Amendment challenge is going to be argued before the Supreme Court - here's what's at stake according to DC's brief:

Whether [provisions banning handguns in DC] violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state regulated militia but wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.

We hope that the SCOTUS upholds the ban.  If there's one thing the Navy Yard doesn't need, it's guns.  The gun ban, evidence purports to show, saves lives.  Moreover, the self-defense argument is shaky:  

Even pro-gun advocates recognize that handguns are not well-suited for self-defense. Firearms expert Chris Bird has explained that a handgun 'is the least effective firearm for self defense' and in almost all situations 'shotguns and rifles are much more effective in stopping a [criminal].' . . . [and] '[a] handgun is the hardest firearm to shoot accurately.' Because of their smaller size and shape, which allows them to be concealed and carried easily, handguns -- compared with larger shotguns and rifles that are designed to be held with two hands -- require a greater degree of dexterity

[Washington Post]; this article has links to a lot of the different amicus briefs filed - including by United States Government (who supports the ban), Republican (and a handful of Democratic) Senators and Dick Cheney (who oppose it), Linguists purporting to interpret the second amendment, Pink Pistols ("an advocacy group for gay and transgendered gun owners"), and many, many more.

Anyway, even though we hope the ban will be upheld, we predict the Roberts court will be striking it down. 

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