by Max Brantley
Gotta go to the ACLU banquet. A debate on the limits of the Second Amendment is scheduled. Firearms must be checked at the door.
UPDATE for blackberry: The debate featured Paul Helmke, president of the Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Stephen Halbrook, a lead lawyer in a number of gun cases, including the recent D.C. v. Heller case.
Helmke won the debate.
Until another group of judicial activists comes along to upend precedent and misread history for political ends, Helmke conceded that the individual right to gun possession is going to prevail over the collective right theory for many years to come. But .... this is not altogether a bad thing. Scalia's opinion in the 5-4 Heller case clearly provided for the legality of registration, limits on types of weapons, restrictions on places guns may be possessed and other ideas that are central to the idea of sensible and safe regulation -- not confiscation or banning -- of firearms.
Halbrook was as disingenuous as you'd expect. For precedent when it suits. Selective in use of history. And forever noting the limits Scalia included in his decision even as he and the firearms industry work to make such limitations as meaningless and rare as possible. To give you some idea: He's already argued a case for possession of fully automatic machine guns.