All sides this week are urging the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the District of Columbia’s strict gun-control law. The case offers the court a chance to rule on whether the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” applies to individuals, or only members of a “well regulated Militia.” (International Herald Tribune)
What the commentators said
The justices have “stayed silent” long enough, said The Washington Post in an editorial (free registration). “Unlike on many other hot-button issues such as abortion or affirmative action, the court has not spoken on such a fundamental Second Amendment matter since 1939.”
It’s high time for the court to “unsnarl the opaque phrasing” of the Second Amendment, said USA Today in an editorial. The justices shouldn’t “take guns away from those who use them responsibly,” but they also shouldn’t make cities “disarm themselves” in the fight to make their streets safer.
“No one argues” the right to bear arms “is absolute,” said Robert A. Levy in the Los Angeles Times (free registration), but the “feckless ban” on “all handguns, in all homes, for all residents” in Washington, D.C., is clearly unconstitutional.
It’s also dangerous, said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, also in USA Today. Study after study shows that crime rates fall in places where “citizens are able to defend themselves with guns.”