D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty must make a risky choice about the District's gun ban: defend it before the Supreme Court or write new, looser laws governing how city residents can keep guns in their homes.Yeah, because it's a darn shame when laws that undercut a constitutional right might, you know, be repealed by the highest Court in the land. Leonnig did note in her article that "the belief that the Second Amendment protects individual gun rights has been gaining currency among conservative and liberal legal scholars," but she failed to flesh out perhaps the most shocking example thereof. As the very liberal constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe concluded (emphasis mine) a few years ago, the Second Amendment's:
As he wades into a high-stakes debate over the Second Amendment, the new mayor of the nation's capital faces the possibility that the city could lose the case and undercut decades of hard-fought gun-control legislation across the country.
central purpose is to arm "We the People" so that ordinary citizens can participate in the collective defense of their community and their state. But it does so not through directly protecting a right on the part of states or other collectivities, assertable by them against the federal government, to arm the populace as they see fit. Rather the amendment achieves its central purpose by assuring that the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification consistent with the authority of the states to organize their own militias. That assurance in turn is provided through recognizing a right (admittedly of uncertain scope) on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes--not a right to hunt for game, quite clearly, and certainly not a right to employ firearms to commit aggressive acts against other persons--a right that directly limits action by Congress or by the Executive Branch and may well, in addition, be among the privileges or immunities of United States citizens protected by [section] 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment against state or local government action.
It doesn't take a criminologist to know the law-abiding citizens of the District of Columbia are fundamentally unable to arm themselves either for self-defense or for collective defense of said District (in event of natural disaster, rioting, etc.). To borrow a popular aphorism, with guns outlawed in the District, only the outlaws have guns.
As such, Leonnig was careful to give equal ink to gun control activists and gun rights spokesmen, right? Wrong.
Only towards the very end of her May 17 article did Leonnig quote Robert A. Levy, the "lawyer who spearheaded the D.C. residents' challenge" in federal court. Even then she only gives Levy one 9-word sentence in the third-from-last paragraph. Leonnig also gave liberal yet pro-2nd Amendment University of Texas professor Sanford Levinson a few words towards the end of the article, but they focused on downplaying the imagined "dire consequences" that gun control advocates see should the Court uphold the unconstitutionality of the gun ban.
By contrast Mayor Fenty and gun control activists Paul Helmke and Joshua Horwitz were given much more ink, and Fenty was given the last word, opining that "We ultimately believe we will prevail" in the push "to make our laws as strong as possible."