Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court Rules on the Right to Arms

At long last, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes, striking down the District of Columbia’s 30-year-old ban on private handguns. Unfortunately, the court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller was not the sweeping, revolutionary opinion that might have spared Americans from many more years of political theater and emotional litigation. Civil libertarians still face a long and torturous path to create a working freedom from the Constitutional right.

Indeed, the court was almost evenly split on the matter. In a disappointing display of intellectual dishonesty and contradictory reasoning, four justices dissented from the majority, favoring their personal opinions over nearly self-evident constitutional law. Tonight, however, the way is ever so much clearer, so I raise my glass in thanks to the five justices who finally ended 216 years of uncertainty.