The Parker Case gets some WaPo time
In a case that could shape firearms laws nationwide, attorneys for the District of Columbia argued Thursday that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms applies only to militias, not individuals.
The city defended as constitutional its long-standing ban on handguns, a law that some gun opponents have advocated elsewhere. Civil liberties groups and pro-gun organizations say the ban in unconstitutional.
Kudos to the WaPo for not referring to the good guys as the powerful gun lobby. More:
At issue in the case before a federal appeals court is whether the 2nd Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” applies to all people or only to “a well regulated militia.” The Bush administration has endorsed individual gun-ownership rights but the Supreme Court has never settled the issue.
If the dispute makes it to the high court, it would be the first case in nearly 70 years to address the amendment’s scope. The court disappointed gun owner groups in 2003 when it refused to take up a challenge to California’s ban on high-powered weapons.
In the Washington, D.C. case, a lower-court judge told six city residents in 2004 that they did not have a constitutional right to own handguns. The plaintiffs include residents of high-crime neighborhoods who want guns for protection.
There’s more. I have to day, and I don’t do this often, it’s a fairly balanced piece from the other liberal Washington paper. Balanced or not, this should scare you:
Silberman and Judge Thomas B. Griffith seemed to wrestle, however, with the meaning of the amendment’s language about militias. If a well-regulated militia is no longer needed, they asked, is the right to bear arms still necessary?
“That’s quite a task for any court to decide that a right is no longer necessary,” Alan Gura, an attorney for the plaintiffs, replied. “If we decide that it’s no longer necessary, can we erase any part of the Constitution?”
This will be an interesting case to watch.