Annie Get Your Gun

"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

--James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46

Strap on your bandoliers, folks. Or don't.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear an appeal of the D.C. Circuit's Second Amendment case, a possibility discussed here earlier at length:

Analysts are calling it political dynamite.

"This will be one of the biggest decisions ever to come down at that part of the political schedule," says Paul Helmke, president of the Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

"For the first time in history we could get a definitive ruling on what the Second Amendment really means," adds Dave Workman, an editor at Gun Week in Bellevue, Wash. "Gun rights is going to become a centerpiece of the 2008 presidential race, whether these guys like it or not."

The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, will take the justices back to the founding of the republic to the speeches and writings of the framers themselves in an effort to decode a constitutional enigma that has divided appeals court judges and the nation's most distinguished legal scholars.

The potential landmark case is the first time since 1939 that the Supreme Court will confront whether the Second Amendment protects an individual's right of gun ownership or merely a collective right to keep and bear arms while serving in a state militia.

Should be quite the vigorous cultural skirmish.

Assorted Insights:

Instapundit finds judicial hope for individual gun owners in the jurisprudence of gay sex.

Orin Kerr predicts what Justice Kennedy will do.

Academics for the Second Amendment (there's more than just Professor Sharpless?!?) request funding for an amicus brief.

And "Bloviating Zeppelin" disagrees with the experts.