An Individual Right Vindicated

Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights

I’m in Accra, Ghana and, in between other events, I’m doing various media interviews. I am currently trying to arrange a television interview, but they need to find an appropriate studio in Accra first. We’ll see.

Tomorrow I’ll be on CitiFM tomorrow morning with a Ghanaian friend and a Zimbabwean friend (by phone) to talk about the crisis in Zimbabwe.

P.S. I should emphasize that the ones who deserve our gratitude are the lawyers: Alan Gura, Robert Levy, and Clark Neily. To all three: Hip, Hip, Hooray!!

22 Responses to “An Individual Right Vindicated”

  1. Rich Newell

    Congratulations, Tom! It’s about the best decision we could have hoped for. You must feel great about it. Thanks for your role in achieving this historic result.

  2. Congratulations. And, as a neighbor of and frequent visitor to DC, a sincere thank you to Tom, Robert Levy, et al. The city just may have become slightly safer — we’ll see — but at the very least there’s one fewer delusional law on the books. Now DC must stop taking away people’s guns, and it can focus on what it does best: bribing billionaires to built sports stadiums and arresting poor people for smoking pot. Two steps forward…

  3. Congratulations on a brilliant victory. The 2nd Amendment protects an individual right. A victory is a victory is a victory. Thank you for this.

  4. John, that’s silly.

    It is definitely a victory for the 2nd Amendment. It’s not everything, but it’s certainly something.

    This particular law has been struck down.

    And, all nine justices have agreed that there’s an individual right, not a collective right, to own guns. That’s a lot.

    There are still open questions about scrutiny, incorporation, and which sorts of restrictions go beyond what’s constitutionally permissible; but this is a first step in the right direction.

  5. Gil is right. However, it’s disappointing that this ruling doesn’t seem like it will necessarily force DC to write a law that would protect Tom’s right to protect himself in the very (awful) situation that prompted his participation in this suit to begin with.

    In other words, even under Heller, it’s not at all clear that DC residents will be able to “keep and bear arms” anywhere but in their homes. I haven’t seen data on this, but do most rapes, murders, and muggings take place in someone’s home?

    If not, then maybe conceal-carry, or eve open-carry, will be considered a “traditionally lawful purpose,” but now – partly as a result of the (necessarily) narrow question before the Court – we just don’t know.

  6. I’m disappointed how little coverage this is getting on the web. I couldn’t find anything on MSN at all. Yahoo mentions it, but only in a larger story on the SC term as a whole. Of course, Reason is all over it, but that is the only place I found it covered. Anybody else see anything on it? I’m not looking for headlines — *any* coverage?

  7. Was this really a victory for “individual rights” ? In one respect sure but not if you REALLY care about liberty and aren’t beholden to the bloody constitution.

  8. rbk,

    Before this decision, if the DC police found out that a resident owned a gun, that resident was subject to criminal penalties — the government coerced him into giving up what you agree is his natural right to own a gun. The Court ruled that the city CANNOT do so (at least not quite as much). So the answer to your question is yes.

  9. Tom Walls

    The most heinous part of this law was that it regarded otherwise law-abiding people who choose a pistol or revolver for self-defense as the moral equivalent of the thug intent on breaking and entering and doing bodily harm.

    Chicago still has such a prohibition on handguns, and there are a number of other places with effective bans, such as NYC.

    This ruling increases the possibility of me even living there one day. Now if they get rid of the DC income tax it will only be a matter of time.


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