We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54-55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
Justice Antonin Scalia
June 26, 2008
District of Columbia, et al., petitioners v. Dick Anthony Heller, No. 07-290, Page 64
[It’s not the role of our legislators or the executive branch either. The only legal way for them to try is through a constitutional amendment and even that has some serious problems because the formation of the union was dependent upon those first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights.–Joe]