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SECONDAMENDMENTREDUX:SCRUTINY, INCORPORATION,ANDTHEHELLERPARADOX

ROBERTA.LEVY*

In District of Columbia v. Heller,1 the final opinion of the Su preme Courts 2007 term, Justice Antonin Scalia reinvigorated the Second Amendment. Writing for a 54 majority, Justice ScaliaheldunequivocallythattheSecondAmendmentprotects an individual right to possess a firearm in the home for self defense, unconnected with militia service.2 He also held that the three Washington, D.C., laws that Heller challenged were unconstitutional: first, the outright ban on all handguns ac quired after 1976; second, the ban on carrying handguns ac quiredbefore1976fromroomtoroomwithoutapermit,which could not be obtained; and third, the requirement that rifles andshotgunsinthehomehadtobeunloadedandeitherdisas sembledortriggerlocked.3 Three issues received less attention in the majority and dis sentingopinions,buthavesignificantimplications.First,what gunregulationsarenowpermissible?Second, willtheSecond Amendmentapplyagainststateandlocalgovernments?Third, wastheHellerdecisionahiddenvictoryforguncontrollers?

*Chairman of the Board, Cato Institute. Cocounsel to the plaintiffs in District of Columbia v. Heller. This Article is extracted in part from two blog postings by the Author:PostingofRobertA.LevytoCatoUnbound,http://www.catounbound.org/ 2008/07/14/robertalevy/districtofcolumbiavhellerwhatsnext/ (July 14, 2008, 12:31 EDT); Posting of Robert A. Levy to Cato Unbound, http://www.cato unbound.org/2008/07/22/robertalevy/lookingaheadtohellersnewparadigm/ (July22,2008,7:30EDT). 1.128S.Ct.2783(2008). 2.Id.at2799. 3.Id.at282122.

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ustice Scalia acknowledged that the Second Amendment, J liketheFirst,isnotabsolute.Henoted,forexample,thatcourts had upheld concealed carry prohibitions in the past, although he stopped short of saying courts should uphold them in the future.4Thesamegoesforlicensingrequirements,whichHeller didnotchallenge.5JusticeScaliawentevenfurthertostatethat theCourtsopiniondidnotcastdoubtonlongstandingprohi bitionsonthepossessionoffirearmsbyfelonsandthementally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive placessuchasschoolsandgovernmentbuildings,orlawsim posingconditionsandqualificationsonthecommercialsaleof arms.6 He added that he could also find support in the his torical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusualweapons.7 ellerwaslikelywelladvisednottohaveantagonizedpo H tential allies among the Justices by demanding deregulation of weapons like machine guns. Hellers success was due in parttothemoderate,incrementalreliefthathesought.Subse quent cases will have to resolve what weapons and persons canberegulatedandwhatrestrictionsarepermissible.Those questions will depend in large measure on the standard of reviewthattheCourtchoosestoapplyanissueHellerdoes not resolve despite considerable attention to that subject in various amicus briefs, including one by Solicitor General PaulClement. SolicitorGeneralClementsuggestedthattheCourtapplya formofheightenedscrutinyinreviewinggunregulations. Specifically, he advised the Court to consider the practical impact of the challenged restriction on the plaintiffs ability to possess firearms for lawful purposes (which depends in turn on the nature and functional adequacy of available al ternatives).8 Although Solicitor General Clement acknowl
4.Id.at2816. 5.Id.at2819. 6.Id.at281617. 7.Id.at2817(internalquotationmarksomitted). 8.BrieffortheUnitedStatesasAmicusCuriaeat8,Heller,128S.Ct.2783(No. 07290).

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edged that the D.C. gun ban may well fail such scrutiny, he expressed concern that the circuit court had mistakenly applied a different per se test, which would preclude any ban on a category of Arms that can be traced back to the Foundingera.9 ellerarguedthattheD.C.gunbanwasunconstitutionalno H matter which standard of review the Supreme Court applied. Accordingly,saidHeller,theCourtdidnothavetoaddressthe standard of review question. On the other hand, should the Courtdecidetotacklethatissue,Hellerurgedthatstrict,not heightened,scrutinybethestandard.10Tojustifyaguncontrol regulationunderstrictscrutiny,thegovernmentwouldhaveto demonstrateacompellingneedforthelawandthenshowthat anyrestrictionswerenarrowlytailoredthatis,nomoreinva sive than necessary to achieve the governments objectives.11 Traditionally,theCourthasbeenmorerigorousinscrutinizing governmentregulationsthatinfringeonafundamentalright: one that is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty12 or deeplyrootedinthisNationshistoryandtradition[s].13Vir tuallyallofthefirsteightamendmentsqualify,14anditisdiffi culttoimaginethattherighttokeepandbeararmsisanexcep tiontotherule.
9.Id.at9. 10.SeeRespondentsBriefat5462,Heller,128S.Ct.2783(No.07290). 11.SeeAbramsv.Johnson,521U.S.74,82(1997). 12.Palkov.Connecticut,302U.S.319,325(1937). 13.Moorev.CityofEastCleveland,431U.S.494,503(1977). 14.See, e.g., Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 794 (1969) (double jeopardy); Duncanv.Louisiana,391U.S.145,149(1968)(impartialcriminaljury);Washington v.Texas,388U.S.14,18(1967)(compulsoryprocess);Klopferv.NorthCarolina,386 U.S.213,233(1967)(speedytrial);Pointerv.Texas,380U.S.400,403(1965)(confron tationofwitnesses);Aguilarv.Texas,378U.S.108,110(1964)(warrants);Malloy v.Hogan,378U.S.1,6(1964)(selfincrimination);Gideonv.Wainwright,372U.S. 335,342(1963)(counsel);Edwardsv.SouthCarolina,372U.S.229,235(1963)(re dress of grievances); Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660, 667 (1962) (cruel and unusualpunishment);Mappv.Ohio,367U.S.643,655(1961)(searchandseizure); InreOliver,333U.S.257,273(1948)(publictrialandnoticeofaccusations);Ever son v. Bd. of Educ., 330 U.S. 1, 15 (1947) (establishment of religion); Cantwell v. Connecticut,310U.S.296,303(1940)(exerciseofreligion);DeJongev.Oregon,299 U.S.353,364(1937)(assembly);Nearv.Minnesota,283U.S.697,707(1931)(press); Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 666 (1925) (speech); Chicago, B. & Q. R.R. v. Chicago,166U.S.226,241(1897)(takings).TheSupremeCourthasnotdeclared thefollowingBillofRightsprovisionstobefundamental:keepingandbearing arms,quarteringofsoldiers,grandjuryindictment,civiljurytrial,excessivebail, andexcessivefines.

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Ultimately, the Court agreed with Heller that D.C.s ban on allfunctionalfirearmsinthehomeisunconstitutional[u]nder any of the standards of scrutiny [the Court has] applied to enumerated constitutional rights.15 But the Court did not chooseaspecificstandard.Inlatercasesitmightapplysome thinglessthanthestrictscrutinystandardthatHellerhadsug gested.Ontheotherhand,theCourtcategoricallyrejectedra tional basis scrutiny, which has been a rubber stamp for nearlyalllegislativeenactments.16TheCourtalsorejectedJus ticeStephenBreyersinterestbalancingtest,whichismerely arepetitionoftheprocessthatlegislaturesalreadygothrough in crafting regulations.17 Something higher is demanded, said JusticeScalia,whenanexpressconstitutionalrightisatissue.18 Ataminimum,itappearsthattheCourtwilladoptsomever sionofintermediateorheightenedscrutiny. In fact, Justice Scalias citation in footnote twentyseven to United States v. Carolene Products19 is illuminating on this point. Carolene was the 1938 case that effectively bifurcated ourrights.TheCourtrigorouslyprotectssomerights,suchas thosecodifiedintheBillofRights,butrubberstampsregula tions of secondtier rights, such as those related to contract, property,andcommerce.Bypositioningtherighttokeepand bear arms squarely within the camp of specific, enumerated rights,andlinkingtheSecondAmendmenttothefreedomof speech,theguaranteeagainstdoublejeopardy,[and]theright to counsel,20 Justice Scalia sent an unmistakable signal that theCourtwillrigorouslyreviewguncontrolregulations.Itis fair to say then that the standard of review will have more thanafewteethinit. hatoutcomewillnotmaketheantiguncrowdhappy.When T itcomestotheSecondAmendment,theybelieveingreaterju dicialdeferencetolegislativejudgments.Therighttokeepand beararmshas,theysay,immediateanddirectimplicationsfor the health and safety of othersa factor that does not apply
15.Heller,128S.Ct.at281718. 16.Id.at281718n.27. 17.Id.at2821. 18.Id. 19.304U.S.144(1938). 20.Heller,128S.Ct.at281718n.27(citingCarolene,304U.S.at152n.4).

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to, for example, the First Amendment.21 Yet the First Amend mentprotectsevenadvocacyoftheuseofforceoroflawvio lationunlessitisintendedandlikelytoinciteorproducesuch action.22 Advocating force or law violation can have greater implicationsforpublicsafetythantherightofD.C.residentsto keepahandgunintheirhome. nother argument from gun controllers is that state A courts...have universally rejected strict scrutiny or any heightened level of review in favor of a highly deferential reasonablenesstestthathasbeenmetbyvirtuallyeverygun control law challenged in the state courts.23 First, that state mentisinaccurate.Through2003,statecourtsvoidedlawsin fringingontherighttokeeporbeararmsontwentyfourocca sions.24Manyofthecasesoverturnedcarryrestrictions,25which aresurelylessofarestraintonSecondAmendmentrightsthan the outright prohibitions at issue in places like D.C., Chicago, andSanFrancisco. econd,thereisnoinherentincompatibilitybetweenreason S ablenessandheightenedscrutiny.Courtscanrigorouslyreview gun restrictions for reasonableness without being highly defer entialtothelegislature.Forexample,acourtcouldstrictlyscru tinize whether a Fourth Amendment search is reasonable. An amicusbriefinHellerfiledbytheGoldwaterInstituteputitthis way: As with the First Amendments free speech right, the Second Amendments personal right is subject to a range of reasonable restrictions even though strict scrutiny applies to the core of the protected conduct.26 The brief goes on to rec ommendstrictscrutinyasthestandardofreview,butsubject towellunderstoodhistoricalexceptionsandreasonablerestric

21.PostingofDennisA.HenigantoCatoUnbound,http://www.catounbound.org/ 2008/07/23/dennishenigan/doeshellerpointthewaytovictoryforreasonable gunlaws/(July23,2008,17:48EDT)(quotingAdamWinkler,ScrutinizingtheSec ondAmendment,105MICH.L.REV.683,686(2007)). 22.Brandenburgv.Ohio,395U.S.444,447(1969). 23.Henigan,supranote21. 24.BriefforAmicusCuriaeAmericanLegislativeExchangeCouncilinSupport ofRespondentat10,Heller,128S.Ct.2783(No.07290). 25.Id.at1011n.2. 26.BriefforAmicusCuriaeGoldwaterInstituteinSupportofRespondentat14, Heller,128S.Ct.2783(No.07290).

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tionsontime,place,andmannerjustasisthecasewithother constitutionallyenumeratedrights.27 Tieredlevelsofreviewforourvariousrightsaremystifying and,evenworse,oftenpermitjudgestoexpresstheirpersonal policypreferenceforsomerightsoverothers.Thekeypointis that courts must be vigorously engaged in protecting against legislative and executive impulses that violate constitutionally secured rights. Judges must have a proper respect for the documenttheyarechargedwithenforcing,focusingonexpan sive individual liberties and a tightly constrained government oflimitedandenumeratedpowers.Indeed,thejudiciaryexists, in large part, to bind the legislative and executive branches withthechainsoftheConstitution. II. INCORPORATION:WILLTHESECONDAMENDMENTBE ENFORCEABLEAGAINSTSTATEGOVERNMENT?

Imminently,theSupremeCourtwillhavetodecidewhether Second Amendment rights apply against state governments. Washington, D.C., is not a state; it is a federal enclave where Congress exercises plenary legislative power.28 Until 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, the Bill of Rightsappliedonlytothefederalgovernmentandnottostates or municipalities legislating under delegated state authority.29 InaseriesofpostCivilWarcases,however,theSupremeCourt held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amend mentincorporatedmostoftheBillofRightsinordertohold stategovernmentsaccountableforviolationsoftherightspro tectedtherein.30Interestingly,theCourthasneverincorporated the Second Amendment. If gun control regulations are chal lenged in places such as Chicago, New York, and San Fran cisco,theCourtmustaddressthatquestion. usticeScaliadevotedseveralpagesofhisopiniontoanalyz J ing postCivil War legislation and commentators.31 He con
27.Id.at1415. 28.U.S.CONST.art.I,8,cl.17. 29.See Barron v. City of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243, 250 (1833) (The Bill of Rights contain[s]noexpressionindicatinganintentiontoapplythemtothestategov ernments.Thiscourtcannotsoapplythem.). 30.Seecasescited,supranote14. 31.Heller,128S.Ct.at280912.

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cluded that civil rights statutes, enacted under the Fourteenth Amendment,wereintendedtoensurethatfreedblackshadthe righttokeepandbeararmsforselfdefense.Itappears,there fore,thatJusticeScaliabelievestheSecondAmendmentlimits stategovernments.Officially,however,hestatedthatincorpo rationisaquestionnotpresentedbyHeller.32 onincorporation advocates point to United States v. Cruik N shankandPresserv.Illinois,twocasesinwhichtheCourtstated squarely that the Second Amendment is a limitation on the powerofCongress,notstateandlocallegislativebodies.33Yet bothofthosecasesarosepriortotheCourtsincorporationdoc trine, which took form beginning in 1897.34 As Justice Scalia pointed out, Cruikshank did not engage in the sort of Four teenth Amendment inquiry required by our later cases.35 In fact, noted Justice Scalia, Cruikshank also held that the First Amendmentdidnotapplyagainstthestates36anotionthatis obviously antiquated. It may be, as Ninth Circuit Judge StephenReinhardthaswritten,thatPresserrestsonaprinciple thatisnowthoroughlydiscredited.37Evenso,theSecondCir cuitstatedinBachv.Patakithatthosecasesstillcontrol;38ifthey are no longer good law, the Supreme Court, not the lower courts,willhavetoreverse. t will soon become clear where the Supreme Court stands. I In February 2009, the Second Circuit denied incorporation of theSecondAmendmentinMaloneyv.Cuomo,39whichinvolveda challenge to New York States ban on nunchuks in the home. Fourmonthslater,theSeventhCircuitagreed,statingthatCruik shank and Presser control unless and until the Supreme Court holdsotherwise.40Butbetweenthosetwodecisions,aNinthCir cuit panel held the opposite. In Nordyke v. King, Judges Diar muidF.OScannlain(aReaganappointee),ArthurL.Alarcon(a
32.Id.at2813n.23. 33.Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 265 (1886); United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S.542,553(1875). 34.SeeChicago,B.&Q.R.R.v.Chicago,166U.S.226(1897). 35.Heller,128S.Ct.at2813n.23. 36.Id. 37.Silveirav.Lockyer,312F.3d1052,1067n.17(9thCir.2002). 38.Bachv.Pataki,408F.3d75,8486(2005). 39.554F.3d56(2dCir.2009). 40.NRA v. City of Chicago, 567 F.3d 856, 857 (7th Cir. 2009), cert. granted, McDonaldv.CityofChicago,130S.Ct.48(2009).

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Carterappointee),andRonaldM.Gould(aClintonappointee) unanimouslyheldthattheSupremeCourtsprioropinionshad merelyforecloseddirectapplicationoftheentireBillofRights to the states, as well as indirect application through the Privi legesorImmunitiesClauseoftheFourteenthAmendment.41But CruikshankandPresserdidnotforeclose,accordingtothepanel, selective incorporation of the Second Amendment through the Due Process Clause.42 The panel then noted that other funda mentalrightsamongthefirsttenamendmentshadbeenincor porated using the Due Process Clause.43 The right to keep and beararms,saidthepanel,isalsofundamental.Itisimplicitin ourAngloAmericansystemoforderedlibertyanddeeplyrooted inournationshistory.44Moreover,theframersoftheFourteenth Amendment specificallyintended the Second Amendment tobe applicableagainstthestates.45 nJuly2009,theNinthCircuitagreedtoreconsiderNordyke I enbanc.Thus,theapparentcircuitsplitontheincorporation issuewasonlytemporary.Still,withsomuchconfusionabout the precedential value of Cruikshank and Presser, on Septem ber30,2009theSupremeCourtgrantedcertiorariinMcDonald v.CityofChicago,acompanioncasetoNRAv.CityofChicago.46 A decision in McDonald is expected by June 30, 2010. In the end, the Second Amendment will very likely constrain state governmentsaswellasthenationalgovernment.Perhapsthe moreinterestingquestioniswhethertheCourtwillexpandits selective incorporation via the Due Process Clause or side withHarvardLawProfessorLaurenceTribe,whowroteinhis treatise on American constitutional law that Second Amend mentrightsmaywell...beamongtheprivilegesorimmuni tiesofUnitedStatescitizensprotectedbySection1oftheFour teenth Amendment against state or local government
41.Nordykev.King,563F.3d439,44649(9thCir.2009),rehggranted,575F.3d 890(9thCir.2009). 42.Id.at448. 43.Id.at449. 44.Id.at457. 45.Id. at 45556. Notwithstanding its conclusion that the Second Amendment applies to the states, the Ninth Circuit refused to overturn the countyordinance banning guns on public property. According to the court, the ordinance did not limitselfdefenseinthehomeandappliedonlyonpropertythatmightreasonably becharacterizedassensitive.Id.at460. 46.Seesupranote40.

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action.47 The question presented in McDonald suggests that the Court will consider both the Due Process and the Privi legesandImmunitiesClauses:WhethertheSecondAmend ment right to keep and bear arms is incorporated as against the States by the Fourteenth Amendments Privileges or Im munitiesorDueProcessClauses.48 The Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendmentdeclares:NoStateshallmakeorenforceanylaw whichshallabridgetheprivilegesorimmunitiesofcitizensof the United States.49 Some argue that the Amendments fram ers intended that clause to secure natural rights of property and liberty against state actions.50 But it was stripped of any real meaning in the infamous SlaughterHouse Cases, in which the Court concluded that the privileges or immunities were thoseofnationalcitizenshipthatis,onlyrightsthatwouldnot existexceptfortheexistenceofthefederalgovernmentsuch asaccesstoseaports,navigablewaters,theseatofgovernment, andthefederalcourts.51 fter SlaughterHouse, the Court enforced substantive rights A againstthestatesthroughtheDueProcessClauseoftheFour teenthAmendment.52Thatclause,asitsnameimplies,isbetter for enforcing procedural rather than substantive rights. Inter estingly, however, constitutional scholars from both the left and right are embracing the notion that the Privileges or Im munitiesClauseencompassestherighttokeepandbeararms. InNRAv.CityofChicago,boththeInstituteforJustice,aliber tarianpublicinterestlawfirm,andtheConstitutionalAccount abilityCenter,aliberaladvocacygroup,filedamicusbriefsad vocating the enforceability of Second Amendment rights via thePrivilegesorImmunitiesClause.53
47.1LAURENCEH.TRIBE,AMERICANCONSTITUTIONALLAW902n.221(3ded.2000). 48.PetitionersBriefati,McDonaldv.CityofChicago,No.081521(U.S.Nov. 16,2009). 49.U.S.CONST.amend.XIV,1. 50.See,e.g.,KimberlyC.Shankman&RogerPilon,RevivingthePrivilegesorIm munitiesClausetoRedresstheBalanceAmongStates,Individuals,andtheFederalGov ernment,326POLYANALYSIS1,3637(1998). 51.SlaughterHouseCases,83U.S.(16Wall.)36,7880(1872). 52.Shankman&Pilon,supranote50,at3. 53.SeeBriefofAmicusCuriaetheInstituteforJusticeinSupportofAppellants at4,NRAv.CityofChicago,567F.3d856(2009)(No.084241);BriefofConstitu

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ibertariansinterpretthePrivilegesorImmunitiesClauseas L providingthefoundationforvindicatingnegativerightsboth enumerated and unenumeratedwhich free people can exer cisewithoutimposingpositiveobligationsonothers.Negative rights include the rights to pursue happiness, own property, start a business, and contract for ones labor. Not included amongtheprivilegesorimmunitiesofcitizenshiparepositive rights,includingentitlementsfavoredbyliberals,suchaswel fare or a minimum wage, the enforcement of which affirma tivelyobligatesnonconsentingparties. istorically, courts have used the Due Process Clause se H lectivelytoincorporateonlyrightsconsideredfundamental to the American scheme of justice.54 Since the New Deal, however,stateshavehadbroadleewaytoregulateeconomic liberties,55 and courts have rubberstamped regulation of property, contract, and entrepreneurial activity despite the DueProcessClause.56 hisstateofaffairscouldchangeiftheSupremeCourtrevis T its the Privileges or Immunities Clause. This Article is not the forumtoexploretheargumentsandcounterargumentsfordue process versus privileges or immunities, but the choice does matter.TheCourtshandlingoftheSecondAmendmentmight heartenlibertarianswhobelievethatthebifurcationofourlib erties into fundamental and nonfundamental categories is in compatiblewiththetext,structure,purpose,andhistoryofthe FourteenthAmendment. III. THEHELLERPARADOX:WHOSEVICTORYWASIT?

Meanwhile, the antigun community is trying to spin the Heller case as a hidden victory for gun control. The argu ment, which Dennis HeniganattheBradyCentertoPrevent Gun Violence calls the Heller paradox, takes this essential form: First, the National Rifle Association and others in the
tionalLawProfessorsasAmiciCuriaeinSupportofReversalat2,NRA,567F.3d 856(No.084241). 54.Duncanv.Louisiana,391U.S.145,149(1968). 55.SeeUnitedStatesv.CaroleneProds.Co.,304U.S.144,152n.4(1938). 56.See,e.g.,PennCent.Transp.Co.v.NewYorkCity,438U.S.104(1978)(regu latory takings); Powers v. Harris, 379 F.3d 1208 (10th Cir. 2004) (entrepreneurial activity); Vesta Fire Ins. Corp. v. Florida, 141 F.3d 1427 (11th Cir. 1998) (impair mentofcontracts).

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gunlobbyarguedthateachnewgunregulationwasastep down the slippery slope toward confiscation. Second, fear of theslipperyslopemadeguncontrolawedgeorcultural issue. Third, by erecting a constitutional barrier to a broad gunban,Hellerhastakenconfiscationoffthetable.Therefore, theNRAanditsalliescannolongerinvoketheslipperyslope argument,andwithoutthatwedgeissue,ordinarygunown erswillbemorereceptivetosensibleregulations.Insumma tion,Hellerwillprovetobeanimportantmilestonefavoring reasonable approaches such as those promoted by the BradyCenter.57 hislineofargumentisproblematicforanumberofreasons. T First,HellerchallengedonlythreeprovisionsoftheD.C.code, andsoughtnoreliefbeyondadeclarationthatthosethreepro visions were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court granted Helleronehundredpercentofthereliefthatherequestednot bad for a hidden defeat. Before Heller, federal appeals courts coveringfortysevenoffiftystatesindicatedthatlitigantshave noredressundertheSecondAmendmentiftheirrighttokeep andbeararmsisviolatedbystatelaw.58AfterHellerandafter the likely application of the Fourteenth Amendment to the stateslitigantsineverystatewillhaveredressundertheSec ond Amendment if their right to keep and bear arms is vio lated by state law. That means Chicagos gun ban will fall,
57.PostingofDennisA.HenigantoCatoUnbound,http://www.catounbound.org/ 2008/07/16/dennishenigan/thehellerparadoxaresponsetorobertlevy (July 16, 2008,10:01EDT). 58.See, e.g., United States v. Lippman, 369 F.3d 1039, 1044 (8thCir. 2004), cert. denied,543U.S.1080(2005);UnitedStatesv.Parker,362F.3d1279,1282(10thCir. 2004), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 874 (2004); Gillespie v. City of Indianapolis, 185 F.3d 693,710(7thCir.1999),cert.denied,528U.S.1116(2000);UnitedStatesv.Wright, 117F.3d1265,1273(11thCir.1997),cert.denied,522U.S.1007(1997);Hickmanv. Block,81F.3d98,101(9thCir.1996);Lovev.Pepersack,47F.3d120,124(4thCir. 1995),cert.denied,516U.S.813(1995);UnitedStatesv.Toner,728F.2d115,128(2d Cir. 1984); United States v. Graves, 554 F.2d 65, 6667 n.2 (3d Cir. 1977); United States v. Warin, 530 F.2d 103, 10607 (6th Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 948 (1976);Casesv.UnitedStates,131F.2d916,922(1stCir.1942).OnlytheFifthCir cuitcovering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippihas affirmed that the Second Amendment secures an individual right. See United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203,260(5thCir.2001)([TheSecondAmendment]protectstherightofindividu als,includingthosenotthenactuallyamemberofanymilitia...toprivatelypos sess andbear their own firearms...suitableas personal, individual weapons.). Inthatcase,however,thefederalstatuteatissuewasupheldasareasonableregu lationnotwithstandingEmersonsSecondAmendmentright.

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many of San Franciscos laws will fall, and parts of New Yorks regulations will fall. If that is a defeat for gun rights advocates,wewilltakeit. Moreover,thesocalledHellerparadoxdependsondemoniz ingthegunlobby.Thattacticmayberhetoricallyusefulforthe BradyCenteranditsdevotees,buttwootherlawyersandI,not the gun lobby, filed the Heller lawsuit, picked the right time, identified the issues, selected the plaintiffs, served as their at torneys, chose the venue, decided on the legal strategy, wrote the briefs, argued in court, and won the case. The NRA can speakforitself,butourgoalswerenotgroundedonwedgeis suesoraculturalbase.Firstandforemost,ourinterestwasto ensure that the D.C. government complied with the Second Amendment. For us, Heller was about the Constitution; guns merelyprovidedthecontext. Furthermore, if extreme elements within the gun lobby ex ploittheculturalaspectsofguncontrol,thatcriticismisnoless validwhenappliedtoguncontrollersthemselves.Accordingto Glenn Ivey, the states attorney for Prince Georges County, a Washington, D.C. suburb, Democrats and others were fre quentlyunwillingtorecognizeanyrighttogunownershipand motivated their constituents, especially those in urban areas with high crime rates, by claiming that the NRA would flood ourstreetswithweaponsthatwouldwreakhavoc.59Onetac tic was to rile up urban residents with dire predictions of streetsrunningwithblood,awashwithmilitarystyleweapons. To some, it seemed that no civilian should ever own a gun andthatthegovernmentshouldbangunownershiporimpose as many restrictions as possible on it. It didnt matter that an owner had never committed a crime or demonstrated mental or emotional instability.60 That is how gun controllers at tempted to marginalize anyone who argued for an individual righttopossessdefensivefirearms. lso, years ago the slippery slope argument was justified, A not illusory. According to Nelson T. Pete Shields, founding chairoftheBradyCenter:
59.GlennF.Ivey,OpEd.,ANewChancetoCurbGunViolence,WASH. POST,July 17,2008,atA21. 60.Id.

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Thefirstproblemistoslowdowntheincreasingnumberof handguns being produced and sold....The second prob lemistogethandgunsregistered.Andthefinalproblemis to make possession of all handguns...except [those] for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sportingclubs,andlicensedguncollectorstotallyillegal.61

That sure sounds like confiscation. But if confiscation is now off the table, and the slippery slope argument is no longer valid,goodriddanceonbothcounts. ccordingtoHenigan,theNRAscorestrategyistokeep A gun owners in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety about gunconfiscation.62EvenpreHeller,thatstrategywouldhave beenbizarreandineffective.Afterall,fortyfourstatessecure an individual right to keep and bear arms under their own constitutions.63 Fortyfive states now allow individuals to carry concealed handgunsforselfdefense.64 Confiscationhas notbeenontheradarscreenformanyyears,exceptperhapsin a small handful of municipalities and counties legislating un der delegated state power. Whatever plans Pete Shields may havehadforconfiscationinhisearlydaysattheBradyCen ter, those plans went out the window with the enactment of permissive state laws long before the Heller decision. Gun controlisalosingissueforwouldbeconfiscators.Thatiswhy even liberals, like President Obama, find it necessary to em braceor at least pretend to embracean individualist view oftheSecondAmendment.65 astly, if the antigun crowd is correct in predicting that the L byproduct of Heller will be sensible regulations, gun rights proponents should applaud that development. But sensible is not what prevails in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or
61.RichardHarris,AReporteratLarge:Handguns,NEWYORKER,July26,1976,at58. 62.Henigan,supranote21. 63.BriefofStateofTexasetal.asAmiciCuriaeinSupportofRespondentat1, DistrictofColumbiav.Heller,128S.Ct.2783(2008)(No.07290). 64.Id.at33. 65.See Robert D. Novak, OpEd., Obamas Second Amendment Dance, WASH. POST, April 7, 2008, at A17 (Obama...declares that the Second Amendments right of the people to keep and bear arms applies to individuals, not just the wellregulatedmilitiaintheamendment.Inthenextbreath,heassertsthatthis constitutional guarantee does not preclude local common sense restrictions on firearms. Does the draconian prohibition in Washington fit that description?My attemptstogetananswerhaveprovedunavailing.).

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many other major cities, and sensible is not what D.C.s allies supportedarguingintheiramicusbriefsinHellerthatlegisla turesliketheD.C.CityCouncilshouldhavecarteblanche,un impeded by judicial review, to ban all functional firearms.66 Thankfully, Heller has taken a major step to restore sensibility in Washington, D.C. Soon, with the Fourteenth Amendment binding the states, Heller will have nationwide implications. That result is a big win for common sense. More important, thatresultisabigwinfortheConstitution.

66.See,e.g.,BriefforBradyCentertoPreventGunViolenceetal.asAmiciCu riaeSupportingPetitionerat5,Heller,128S.Ct.2783(No.07290).