Main | Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Well-Regulated (Queer) Militia...

The Pink Pistols, a group of gay gun owners, were among 68 groups that today filed briefs at the Supreme Court in its hearing to overturn Washington, DC's ban on handguns.
A Washington resident who wants to keep handguns at home for protection is challenging the 32-year-old ban as a violation of his constitutional rights. A federal appeals court in Washington agreed that the city cannot ban handguns.

The court has not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment in the 216 years since its ratification. The basic issue for the justices is whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Even if the court determines there is an individual right, the justices still will have to decide whether the District's ban can stand and how to evaluate other gun control laws."Does that make it unreasonable for a city with a very high crime say no handguns here?" Justice Stephen Breyer asked the attorneys.

On the other side, Chief Justice John Roberts asked at one point: "What is reasonable about a ban on possession" of handguns? The case drew 68 briefs from outside groups, most opposed to the ban.

Among them were Pink Pistols - a national LGBT gun club - and Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty. Pink Pistols, which according to its Web site, has 43 chapters nationwide, said that guns should be allowed in homes for self-defense purposes. "More anti-gay hate crimes occur in the home than in any other location," the Pink Pistols said in their brief.
As the story notes, the Supreme Court has not ruled authoritatively on the Second Amendment since its institution in 1791. And it's about time they do. In this situation, I hope the Pink Pistols and the others lose.

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