The Huffington Post published an article about the results of the Supreme Court's decision last June.
In June, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, D.C. v. Heller. For over 70 years, the federal courts had read that amendment to protect only a state's right to organize militias, like the National Guard. In a long-awaited victory for the gun rights movement, the Court reversed course and held that the Second Amendment protected an individual's right to own guns for personal self-defense.
So far, the victory hasn't turned out exactly as the gun rights folks had hoped.
Is that right? How could this not be a major victory for the gun folks?
The article goes on to explain that since June, lower courts have upheld existing gun laws no fewer than 60 times. Felons still cannot own guns legally, nor can the mentally incompetent or the wife-beaters.
The courts have ruled on the constitutionality of laws prohibiting particular types of weapons, including sawed-off shotguns and machine guns, and specific weapons attachments. Defendants have challenged laws barring guns in school zones and post offices, and laws outlawing "straw" purchases, the carrying of concealed weapons, possession of an unregistered firearm, and particular types of ammunition. The courts have upheld every one of these laws.
According to Adam Winkler, author of the HuffPo piece, the reason none of these restrictions have been lifted is because Judge Scalia included the following statement in his decision.
"nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions on the commercial sale of arms."
So aside from allowing citizens of the District of Columbia to own guns for personal protection, like in many other places, has this ruling changed anything? Do law abiding gun owners want the restrictions relaxed that have always prevented felons from owning guns? Was it hoped that this ruling would trickle down to the lower courts and effect changes in the laws prohibiting guns in schools and government buildings?
What's your opinion?