The Second Amendment to the Constitution says, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Well, we don't have militias much any more; we've the National Guard. You don't bring your own guns to their meetings, but we do have continuing arguments about the right to bear those arms. The latest, to be argued today in the Supreme Court, involves some Chicago residents upset with that city's 28-year-old handgun ban. The plaintiffs are not your standard gun-rights types. They are: the Lawsons--she was home alone when three men tried to jimmy open her back door; 76-year-old Otis McDonald, whose house has been broken into three times; and a retired police officer who says, "The law only prohibits the actions of those who are law-abiding." Regular folks all. Selecting sympathetic plaintiffs is part of the game, of course. Juries are more likely to sympathize with these four than with, say, the National Rifle Association. In 2008 the Supremes struck down a similar handgun ban in Washington, D.C. But it's a federal city, of course. The Court must now decide whether that ruling applies to state and local laws too. We'll see how it goes. The ruling in the D.C. case was, if I remember rightly, 5--4.
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