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March 18, 2008

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Watch for the gun nuts to argue that DC's handgun ban has been ineffective, citing homicide rate data. But the reason for that is that it's easy to purchase handguns in Virginia, just across the Potomac River from DC. The only way effectively to get rid of handguns is a nationwide ban, such as obtains in most European countries, where, not surprisingly, homicide rates are a small fraction of ours.

Terry is right that, given the current constitution (no pun intended) of the Supreme Court, the "individual right" argument is likely to win the day. There is some possibility, however, that such a ruling would not have the draconian effect of abolishing all handgun restrictions -- background checks, etc. Even the first amendment's rights have never been considered absolute. Most states ban hate speech, pornography, etc.

In the end, it will likely take a constitutional amendment -- i.e., an amendment or abolition of the 4th amendment -- to clear the way for wider restrictions - or, ideally, an outright ban -- on handguns.

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