Washington D.C.'s handgun ban was struck down in a 5-4 decision today by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you've got some time on your hands you can read the entire 157 page opinion here. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority (are you really surprised). But here's a general taste of the reasoning:
It is therefore entirely sensible that the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia. The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.
I forget when deer season opens in D.C. but I'm sure the ability to tote around a major-caliber Mini Glock will help you nail one for the family dinner table, which you are now able to protect from the other Mini Glock-toting criminals just waiting to break down your door.
Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the nansy pansies, er... dissenters. He was joined by David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Steven Breyer. His dissent begins on page 68, but here's a taste for everyone who has no intention of wading through the thing.
The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. .... Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.