WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a sweeping ban on handguns in the nation’s capital violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The justices struck down the ban in a 5-4 decision, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the opinion for the majority.
Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said he was disappointed in the ruling but will give the district’s police department 21 days to implement a process for registering handguns. It still will be illegal to carry handguns outside the home, and all pistols must be registered with police.
. . . At issue in District of Columbia v. Heller was whether Washington’s ban violated the right to “keep and bear arms” by preventing individuals — as opposed to state militias — from having guns in their homes.
“Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security and where gun violence is a serious problem,” Scalia wrote. “That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”
I agree with Scalia (one of the few times you’ll ever see those 4 words on this blog). I think the second amendment does guarantee an individual right to bear arms and was written with the understanding that our nation wouldn’t always have a standing army, so that an armed citizenry would be necessary to provide for the common defense.
I also (assuming that the CNN story is correct, I haven’t had time to read the actual decision) think that the court did a good job of setting an appropriate balance, by allowing states to enact reasonable regulations on gun ownership but not allowing states to ban a class of guns outright.
I know that some of my liberal readers won’t agree with me on this, but I’m against gun control as long as the cops and military have their guns. I myself don’t believe in the morality of the use of lethal force against human beings, but I still believe in the right of others to choose to own a gun for the purpose of defending their families or their communities. (I myself have owned guns before, but now would only use them for recreation)
On a related tangent, it always surprises me that Scalia can be so literal in interpreting things like the 2nd Amendment, but yet pretty much ignores the 4th Amendment’s protections on search and seizure. It doesn’t make sense to me at all.