Having failed to protect citizens from crime in the 1970s, the District government chose to ban an effective means of protection for honest citizens. Now that its bans on possessing firearms for self-defense have also failed -- both on the ground and in the U.S. Court of Appeals -- D.C. defends them even more feverishly.

The District is appealing a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which held in Parker v. District of Columbia that gun control laws imposed by the D.C. City Council prohibiting possession of a handgun, and prohibiting keeping any gun assembled and loaded at home (the condition required for self-defense), are unconstitutional.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Justice Department, the Framers of the Bill of Rights, and constitutional scholars past and present, that the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing right of individuals, not a so-called "right" of a state to maintain a select militia, or a privilege to have guns only when serving in a select militia. The court also ruled that individuals have a right to possess handguns.

The panel’s decision overturned the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, that the Second Amendment protects only a right to be armed while on active duty in a militia. The city appealed the panel’s decision to the full Appeals Court, which allowed the panel’s decision to stand. Before the city appealed to the Supreme Court, the anti-gun Brady Campaign, which has provided legal assistance to the city throughout, expressed its concerns. Brady Campaign president Paul Helmke, said, "The D.C. law [is] a tougher one to get behind and defend. Why is this the one we’re going to be taking up to the Supremes?"

The history of the ban is a history of failure. In 1976, D.C.’s City Council thumbed its nose at Congress and the rest of the U.S., and began conducting a social experiment of its own design against the city’s law-abiding residents. The experiment, unlike anything known elsewhere in America, took the form of the Firearms Control Regulations Act, which required that firearms kept at home be rendered useless for protection by being “unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.