Bob Barr

Scullin’s refreshingly clear ruling follows one in December 2012 by federal Court of Appeals Judge for the Seventh Circuit, Richard Posner. In that ruling Posner noted that “to confine the right to be armed to the home” -- as Illinois’ then-blanket ban on the private carry of firearms did -- “is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.” Posner noted pointedly that residents of Chicago, a notoriously dangerous city despite years of aggressive gun control laws, had a far greater claim to self-defense outside the home than in it.

As Scullin and Posner’s rulings suggest, it is only logical that law-abiding citizens protecting themselves from violence outside the home is a natural and logical focus of the Second Amendment, especially given the legal clarity on the issue from two recent Supreme Court battles. Unfortunately, logic is not an attribute favored by gun-control zealots such as those controlling the levers of power in the District of Columbia; which is precisely why the fight for the Second Amendment continues long after a majority of Supreme Court justices might have thought they resolved the issue in 2008 and 2010.

And, the anti-gun grandstanding in the courts is not without financial costs to taxpayers, who are forced to pay the legal fees of both parties after each government defeat. The six years D.C. officials dragged Dick Heller through the legal system, only to be told what the language of and history behind the Second Amendments clearly proclaims to the world (that “the right of the people to keep and bear [a]rms shall not be infringed”), cost taxpayers more than one million dollars in attorney fees, just for Heller’s team.

That is why some members of Congress are starting to use the power of the purse strings to rein in D.C. officials who continue to violate the clear directive of the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, for example, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) successfully passed an appropriations amendment that prohibits the District of Columbia from using federal tax dollars to enforce its unconstitutional gun control laws. While the fate of such a common-sense measure remains unclear in the Senate, the fact that many Democratic incumbents facing reelection in November hail from states whose voters are strong Second Amendment supporters, raises the legislation’s odds considerably.


Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.