Although the NRA trumpeted today’s 5-4 SCOTUS ruling striking down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban enacted in 1976, I somehow doubt it will have much impact on the presidential election.
For one, the ruling simply affirms the legal expectations that already orbited the Second Amendment: a) people have a legal right to bear arms, and; b) state regulations (e.g. background checks) on gun ownership are constitutional.
If anything, had this ruling gone the other way, and the DC handgun ban were upheld it would have given John McCain’s camp a issue to pin Barack Obama on by insisting he re-state his position on gun rights, and as a result, have allowed the NRA to begin yet another election year fear campaign (a la 2000) among legal gun owners claiming the state would soon be kicking in their doors at 3AM to confiscate their roscoes.
As such, I think the Supreme Court’s right-wing (inadvertently) did Obama’s campaign a favor today.