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Mis (Not Quite) Quoted by the AP:
Yesterday I engaged in an email interview with a reporter from the AP, who today in this story inaccurately attributes the following view to me:
Randy Barnett, law professor at Georgetown University, agreed that the argument is strained, and said that if the high court accepts the notion that the right to bear arms is an individual right, it would be hard pressed to turn around and allow the district and the states to violate that right.

The district's interpretation "is at odds with the text and the original meaning of the Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights as well," Barnett said.
The actual quote is correct. The view attributed to me in the italicized portion of the story, but not actually quoted, was not even the subject of our exchange.

To the contrary, in my view, because the Second Amendment by itself applies only to the federal government, whether or not states may violate a right to keep and bear arms is a Fourteenth Amendment issue. Originally, such an individual right to arms was meant to be protected by the Privileges or Immunities Clause. Ahistorically today, it would have to be "incorporated" into the Due Process Clause. Therefore, it is quite easy to imagine the Supreme Court accepting an individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment and then not applying it to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. That issue is not on the table (immediately at least) in the Heller case.

The interview actually concerned DC's claim that because the District was LIKE a state, and because the Second Amendment only protected the right of a state to have a militia (and also that it did not originally interfere with the internal discretionary powers of states), the Amendment did not apply to DC. It was this claim (in bold) that I viewed as both strained and "at odds with the text and the original meaning of the Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights as well." Here is what I wrote in my very brief email:
This part of the District's argument depends entirely on its claim that the Second Amendment only protects the rights of states to preserve their militias. This is not what the amendment says. What it says is that, given the importance of having a militia, the "right" of "the people" (which everywhere else in the Bill of Rights refers to individual rights) shall not be infringed. So while the district's argument has been accepted by many courts of appeals in the 20th Century, it is wrong.
Other than a report by the Cybercast News Service of a talk I gave at Brookings Institute that, by being badly written, inadvertently made it appear as though I opposed the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, this is the first time I have been misquoted by a reporter, except in this story the actual quotation was indeed mine.

I am positive that this was an innocent oversight by the AP reporter, and this is not the worst view with which to be wrongly associated. However, because past quotes of mine in wire service stories have spread widely on the net, although I doubt that this correction (or even one by the AP itself) can catch up to this misattribution, I felt it necessary at least to try to correct the record here.
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