On the DC gun ban ruling

I’ve just read the best commentary on the DC gun ban ruling I’ve seen (out of the very few places that have covered it) over at the Reason magazine web site. As the real root of the article, the author wonders why the federal appeals court ruling the gun ban unconstitutional is “interpreting the Second Amendment broadly,” as The New York Times reports. After all, as he points out, actually protecting free speech rights or unreasonable search and seizure rights would not be seen as overly broad interpretations of First or Fourth Amendments.

This oddly bifurcated view of an enumerated constitutional right helps explain why the gun control debate in this country is so acrimonious. When one side considers the Second Amendment a nullity and the other side thinks it counts for something, there is no safe middle ground.

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The court did not say Americans have a right to own anti-aircraft missiles or nuclear warheads. It did not even say they have a right to carry guns publicly (although that does seem to be implied by the “bear” part). It said they have a right to keep guns in their own homes for self-protection.

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