I found myself agreeing with Eugene Robinson's take on the DC gun decision probably more than any other:
The big problem, for me, is the clarity of the Second Amendment's guarantee of the "right of the people to keep and bear arms." The traditional argument in favor of gun control has been that this is a collective right, accorded to state militias. This has always struck me as a real stretch, if not a total dodge.
I've never been able to understand why the Founders would stick a collective right into the middle of the greatest charter of individual rights and freedoms ever written -- and give it such pride of place -- the No. 2 position, right behind such bedrock freedoms as speech and religion. Even Barack Obama, a longtime advocate of gun control -- but also a one-time professor of constitutional law -- has said he believes the amendment confers an individual right to gun ownership.
And even if the Second Amendment was meant to refer to state militias, where did the Founders intend for the militias' weapons to be stored? In the homes of the volunteers is my guess.
More broadly, I've always had trouble believing that a bunch of radicals who had just overthrown their British oppressors would tolerate any arrangement in which government had a monopoly on the instruments of deadly force. I don't mean to sound like some kind of backwoods survivalist, but I think the revolutionaries who founded this nation believed in guns.
Did they believe in assault weapons? Of course not. Would they be appalled that drug gangs are often better armed than the police? Of course they would, and surely they'd want to do something about it.
I believe the Constitution is a living document that has to be seen in light of the times. I believe the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, was right to infer an implicit right to privacy, even though no such thing is spelled out. I think the idea that the Founders' "original intent" should govern every interpretation of the Constitution is loony -- as if men who wrote with quill pens could somehow devise a blueprint for regulating the Internet.
But I also believe that if the Constitution says yes, you can't just blithely pretend it says no. Yesterday's decision appears to leave room for laws that place some restrictions on gun ownership but still observe the Second Amendment's guarantee. If not, then the way to fix the Constitution is to amend it -- not ignore it.