As expected, but welcome nonetheless:
The Supreme Court reversed a ruling upholding Chicago's ban on handguns Monday and extended the reach of the 2nd Amendment as a nationwide protection against laws that infringe on the "right to keep and bear arms."
The 5-4 decision appears to void the 1982 ordinance, one of the nation's strictest, which barred city residents from having handguns for their own use, even at home.
The ruling has both local and national implications.
National implications -- no kidding. The 5-4 ruling, with Kennedy providing the decisive vote, was also widely predicted. Kind of underscores the importance of the Kagan hearings starting today. A decision this close on an issue this controversial can be overturned in a heartbeat, one more reason to care a lot about presidential Supreme Court nominations (for both the left and the right).
Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley promised even before the ruling that he wouldn't let the Supreme Court get in the way of his gun-control beliefs. So expect Chicago to go the way of Washington, D.C., in trying to negate the court's ruling:
After SCOTUS eliminated the D.C. ban the city put in place dozens of regulations surrounding handgun ownership. Prospective gun owners in D.C. now are required to take training courses that include spending one hour on a firing range and several hours in a classroom learning about gun safety. They also must pass a 20-question test based on D.C.'s firearm laws.
Since the ban was lifted in D.C., just over 800 guns have been registered in city. The relatively low total comes as the district passed the slew of new requirements that also include being fingerprinted and taking ballistic tests, which could help police track bullets back to specific guns if needed.
"The Supreme Court tore down the wall, and D.C. built up 95 percent of it again," said Richard Gardiner, who is suing the district over the new laws on behalf of Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the original case.
This is just one victory in a long, long campaign. "Fundamental right" or not, the other side surely won't give up.