Court Acknowledges What Some Of Us New All Along

Court strikes down D.C. ban on guns

Appeals Court Says Gun Ban Violates 2nd Amendment

The first interesting part of the decision:

We are told by the District that the Second Amendment was written in response to fears that the new federal government would disarm the state militias by preventing men from bearing arms while in actual militia service, or by preventing them from keeping arms at home in preparation for such service. Thus the Amendment should be understood to check federal power to regulate firearms only when federal legislation was directed at the abolition of state militias, because the Amendment’s exclusive concern was the preservation of those entities. At first blush, it seems passing strange that the able lawyers and statesmen in the First Congress (including James Madison) would have expressed a sole concern for state militias with the language of the Second Amendment. Surely there was a more direct locution, such as “Congress shall make no law disarming the state militias” or “States have a right to a well-regulated militia.”

The District’s argument—as strained as it seems to us[emphasis mine]—is hardly an isolated view.

The next part of interest is:

In determining whether the Second Amendment’s guarantee is an individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the right—“the people.” That term is found in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion, interference, or usurpation. We also note that the Tenth Amendment—“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”—indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of distinguishing between “the people,” on the one hand, and “the states,” on the other. The natural reading of “the right of the people” in the Second Amendment would accord with usage elsewhere in the Bill of Rights.

Here, however, is the key:

The Amendment does not protect “the right of militiamen to keep and bear arms,” but rather “the right of the people.”

However, the New York Times feels free to reinterpret the decision:

The court relied on a constitutional interpretation that has been rejected by nine federal appeals courts around the nation. The decision was the first from a federal appeals court to hold a gun-control law unconstitutional on the ground that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals, as opposed to a collective right of state militias.

Obviously the report didn’t read the decision, either relying on the District of Columbia team, or their own interpretation of things. The Times implies that this court is the exception, however, the District Appeals Court is quite specific that less than a majority of the other courts have upheld D.C.’s (and the anti-gun fanatics), and the Court also specifically references the decision of at least one other court that supports the District Court’s opinion. Either the reporter didn’t read the decision, or he hopes that his readers won’t bother to read the opinion.
The opinion is very long (from my legal-layman point of view), but the Court is setting out that the Courts as a whole have been very inconsistent in their decision making process (not a news flash).
Here is my favorite part from the Washington Times article:

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called the decision “judicial activism at its worst.”

“By disregarding nearly 70 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, two federal judges have negated the democratically expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia and deprived this community of a gun law it enacted 30 years ago and still strongly supports,” he said.

My response, “Yeah, and what about the framers intentions and the previous 148 (approximately) years of precedence?”