What you do not hear is talk of activist judges reading broad rights into the Constitution that are patently not there (since when did every gun nut with an SUV and suburban house constitute a "well-regulated militia"?). You do not hear attacks on courts thumbing their nose at the democratic wishes of the people. Yet so-called conservatives make these arguments quite vociferously in other cases, such as when the right to privacy was deemed to encompass the right to abortion. Sadly, opposition to "judicial activism" is not a principle, but merely a rhetorical device to support one's ideological agenda.
Of all the opinions expressed on the National Review symposium, the most laughable comes from John Lott, who notes that "the nation’s strictest gun-control laws, gun-control advocates have been embarrassed that the city has frequently had the highest murder rate of any large city in the U.S". Hence gun control does not deter crime! Given that there are no border controls in place between DC and Virginia, this is an utterly ridiculous argument. If you want real numbers, compare gun deaths in the United States and countries with broad based gun control measures. I raised this issue before, and here are the numbers again:
Gun-related deaths per 100,000 people:
U.S.A. 14.24; Brazil 12.95; Mexico 12.69; Argentina 8.93; Finland 6.46; Switzerland 5.31; France 5.15; Canada 4.31; Norway 3.82; Austria 3.70; Portugal 3.20; Israel 2.91; Belgium 2.90; Australia 2.65; Italy 2.44; New Zealand 2.38; Denmark 2.09; Sweden 1.92; Greece 1.29; Germany 1.24; Ireland 0.97; Spain 0.78; Netherlands 0.70; Scotland 0.54; England and Wales 0.41; Taiwan 0.37; Singapore 0.21; Hong Kong 0.14; South Korea 0.12; Japan 0.05.
There are many hypotheses for the high rate of gun deaths in the United States. Some point to the legacy of the Wild West, others to the acceptability of violence as a response to problems, others to a popular culture that glorifies violence, and others still to the greater diversity that breeds tensions. Whatever the reason, dishing out guns to people in such an environment is an act of gross irresponsibility. It's not an issue of "freedom" (most countries on the list above are at least as "free" as the United States), but rather a part of the gospel of life.