_A majority of the Supreme Court indicated a readiness yesterday to settle decades of constitutional debate over the meaning of the Second Amendment by declaring that it provides an individual right to own a gun for self-defense. . .
The Supreme Court's last major ruling on the subject, in 1939, stressed the militia-related aspects of the provision.
[Chief Justice, John G.] Roberts quickly signaled his disagreement. "If it is limited to state militias, why would they say 'the right of the people'?" he asked.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, often the deciding vote on the divided court, was next. "In my view," he said, "there's a general right to bear arms quite without reference to the militia either way. . . ."
Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. also lent support to the individual interpretation. Justice
Clarence Thomas was silent during the arguments, as is his custom, but has previously expressed such a view.