NPR logo

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88484293/88491740" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Scotus

Scotus

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88484293/88491740" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Outside the Supreme Court, waiting to hear District of Columbia v. Heller. Source: David Gura/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Source: David Gura/NPR

On my walk home yesterday, I passed the Supreme Court. On most evenings, there isn't much traffic on First Street, Northeast. Last night, it was bustling. Television cameras and network news correspondents lined the sidewalk, and a group of would-be spectators formed a queue that stretched from the stairs to the street corner. They'd ordered pizzas, set up folding chairs, and covered themselves in blankets and sleeping bags.

By arriving early, they had hoped to get tickets to one of the hottest shows in town: District of Columbia v. Heller, an Supreme Court argument about gun control. Huzzah! Ah, Washington....

Essentially, the case centers on an ordinance that makes it illegal to own a handgun for self-defense in the District of Columbia. For the first time in more than two centuries, the Supreme Court could decide whether the Constitution guarantees every American's right to own a gun. (For more information about District of Columbia v. Heller, read this.)

By 8:55 this morning, as I headed back to NPR, "Camp SCOTUS" had been disassembled, police officers had corralled everyone into an orderly queue, and a band of protesters competed for attention. Arguments began at 10 a.m.

The proceedings ran late, but we'll have audio from the oral arguments and insights from David Savage, of the Los Angeles Times, during the first hour. And you'll have a chance to ask Walter Dellinger and Alan Gura (no relation), who argued the case today, your questions. Do you think that the right to own a gun is as unalienable as, say, the right to free speech?