I’m no legal expert, but I’d say that the recognition of a right to self defense existed in the U.S. before there was a Constitution, or even an official independent nation state here.
It seems it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence, since specifically outlined were the right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Those things seem to this average citizen to include defending oneself from being murdered.
As the police are under no obligation to provide protection for an individual whose life has been threatened, and the Second doesn’t actually grant a right, it forbids the infringement of a right, I can’t seem to understand what grounds DC bases its law on.
I find it more than a little difficult to wrap my brain around the idea that anyone would want to deprive someone of the means to protect him or herself. Nothing I have ever read about those who wrote the DoI or the Constitution indicated they thought people should be defenseless, and I certainly can’t imagine telling someone they’ve got to take their chances against an armed gang, and do it bare handed.
If Ms. Parker got a gun, and she shot someone who tried to kill her… (sorry for borrowing from John Grisham)
If I were the police, I would not arrest her.
If I were the DA, I would not charge her.
If I were the judge, I would throw the case out of court.
If I were the jury, I would not convict her.
If I were the mayor, I’d give her a medal.
I think that regardless of whether it’s spelled out in the Constitution, people have a right to defend their own lives with the best means they can get. It seems absurd and cruel to try to prevent that.