After reading the opinion from the 7th circuit, in between sessions of trying not to crash virtual helicopters, I sense a lot of the infleunce of Judge Posner in the opinion.Â Â Judge Posner wrote an unfavorable article bout Heller not too long after the decision, that appealed to the same arguments we see in the opinion:
The differences in attitudes toward private ownership of pistols across regions of the country and, outside the South, between urban and rural areas, are profound (mirroring the national diversity of views about gay marriage, and gay rights in general, as well as about abortion rights). A uniform rule is neither necessary nor appropriate. Yet that is what the Heller decision will produce if its rule is held applicable to the states as well as to the District of Columbia and other federal enclaves.
Heller gives short shrift to the values of federalism, and to the related values of cultural diversity, local preference, and social experimentation. A majority of Americans support gun rights. But if the District of Columbia (or Chicago or New York) wants to ban guns, why should the views of a national majority control?
But Heller made it pretty clear this wasn’t just about the right to own a gun, but protected a right to “use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.”Â This isn’t really about the right to own a piece of recreational equipment, it’s about the right to protect one’s own life.Â What greater natural right can you name other than the right of self-preservation?Â In fact, the word “self-defense” appears one hundred fifty six times in the opinion, and has been swept aside by the Seventh Circuit.Â Why?Â The opinion mentions self-defense, but seems to imply that self-defense could be considered a privilege created through statute.Â Â Volokh has some extensive discussion around that topic too.