By Daren Briscoe
A couple of the questions:
NEWSWEEK: Why did you file this suit?There are more questions in the article, but not the complete interview. Now I have to go out and buy a copy of Newsweek.
Robert Levy: First, because I’m a fervent believer in the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, and I read the Second Amendment as securing an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. In most jurisdictions, the courts have read the Second Amendment only to protect members of militias. In D.C., that issue has not been resolved. I saw an opportunity, with my two co-counsels, to vindicate Second Amendment rights and to establish a precedent that, if it reached the Supreme Court, would be applicable across the nation.
You don’t own any guns personally. Why not?
While I believe the Constitution secures my right to own guns, as a practical matter, I don’t sense the need to do so. I live in a safe area, a relatively affluent area, and crime isn’t a major issue where I live. I don’t have the same need for self-defense as the six plaintiffs in the Parker case.
Why is the Second Amendment so important?
Originally it was important as a protection accorded to American citizens against a tyrannical government. But even before the Constitution was written, even before the U.S. government was formed, the right existed. It was a means of self-defense, and today the right to bear arms protects us against predators. It’s important to note that the Second Amendment doesn’t grant a right to bear arms. It says the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed,” meaning that it already existed.