When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

09 March 2007

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down gun control law

Can someone get a weather report from Hell? I'm wondering if it has frozen over.

Some shockingly good news from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals:

A federal appeals court in Washington today struck down on Second Amendment grounds a gun control law in the District of Columbia that bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes.

The court relied on a constitutional interpretation that has been rejected by nine federal appeals courts around the nation. The decision was the first from a federal appeals court to hold a gun-control law unconstitutional on the ground that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals, as opposed to a collective right of state militias.

There is abundant evidence that a private, individual right of gun ownership was the precise intent of the Founders, as noted (for example) in Sanford Levinson's Yale Law Journal article, The Embarrassing Second Amendment:
I cannot help but suspect that the best explanation for the absence of the Second Amendment from the legal consciousness of the elite bar, including that component found in the legal academy, 28 is derived from a mixture of sheer opposition to the idea of private ownership of guns and the perhaps subconscious fear that altogether plausible, perhaps even "winning," interpretations of the Second Amendment would present real hurdles to those of us supporting prohibitory regulation. Thus the title of this essay — The Embarrassing Second Amendment — for I want to suggest that the Amendment may be profoundly embarrassing to many who both support such regulation and view themselves as committed to zealous adherence to the Bill of Rights (such as most members of the ACLU). Indeed, one sometimes discovers members of the NRA who are equally committed members of the ACLU, differing with the latter only on the issue of the Second Amendment but otherwise genuinely sharing the libertarian viewpoint of the ACLU.
Ahem, yes.

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