D.C.'s Handgun Ban and the Constitutional Right to Arms: One Hard Question?

Prof. Nelson Lund, of George Mason, is one of the leading conservative legal scholars writing in support of a meaningful Second Amendment. Unlike, for example, most of the VC writers, Lund's legal philosophy has hardly any libertarian influence. (For example, Lund argues that Pierce v. Society of Sisters was wrongly decided, as are all its progeny, the "substantive due process" cases.) Lund's latest article on the Second Amendment, will appear soon in a symposium issue of George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal. Here's part of the abstract of the thought-provoking article, which addresses an argument that, as the cert. petitions have already shown, will be a key part of the Fenty administration's attempt to preserve the D.C. handgun ban:

One way to attack the D.C. Circuit [Parker] decision is to argue that the Second Amendment protects the private possession of weapons only to the extent necessary to preserve in civilian hands a stock of weapons suitable for use while serving in the militia. Rifles and shotguns would be the most obviously useful weapons for militiamen to bring with them from home, and the D.C. statute permits civilians to possess rifles and shotguns, along with the ammunition these weapons require. Why does this not satisfy the Second Amendment?

This superficially plausible defense of the District's statute was not adequately refuted in Judge Silberman's opinion for the D.C. Circuit. This article demonstrates, largely but not exclusively on the basis of a careful linguistic analysis of the Second Amendment, that such a defense of the District's statute is untenable.