The Supreme Court’s gun ruling is a serious misfire

But in an amicus brief supporting New York, former federal appellate judge (on the 4th Circuit) J. Michael Luttig demonstrated that, regarding the public carrying of loaded guns, there is an American tradition even older than the nation of striking a “delicate balance between the Second Amendment’s twin concerns for self-defense and public safety.”

The court’s ruling, however, does not treat those as “twin,” meaning equal, concerns.

Indeed, it treats the second, public safety, as irrelevant to the framers: This concern was unnecessary to consider because the first concern, self-defense, was sufficient justification for the amendment. On Thursday, the court effectively removed from public debate the essentially legislative choice of balancing the competing values of self-defense and public safety.