Those who feel the "right" of a criminal to commit violence without fear of immediate consequences is more important than your right to self defense have joined A Nation Of Cowards. It is not necessary to follow a Judeo-Christian spiritual tradition to see the truth in Jeffrey Snyder's essay.
Washington D.C. prohibits its residents from having functional firearms. In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declared D.C.'s gun prohibition laws to be unconstitutional. The city, with encouragement from the attorneys challenging the gun ban, asked the Supreme Court to review that decision. The Court agreed in November and set oral argument for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18. A final decision is expected by June 30, 2008.
This historic case, District of Columbia v. Heller, is named for Dick Anthony Heller, a private security guard who carries a gun at work, but cannot keep one at home to defend himself and his wife. "I'm fighting for the constitutional right of law-abiding individuals who live in dangerous communities to have a firearm to protect themselves and their families from rampant violent crime," said Heller.
The right of effective self-defense is especially important to those who may be perceived by criminals as weak, as easy prey: women, the elderly, and the disabled. Amici Curiae briefs filed by Second Amendment Sisters and by the law firm of Gura & Possessky on behalf of 126 women legislators and academics in this case perfectly explain why.
The most chilling aspect of gun rights is the canary-in-the-coal-mine effect of what invariably follows when a government decides to restrict and control gun ownership. Basic civil rights are gradually destroyed, because as the late Nobel laureate George Stigler stated, "Government never knows when to quit."
Don't say it can't happen here. It's already happening.