In other words, even if the D.C. Circuit is right in holding that the Second Amendment creates individual rights, that does not answer the question as to the level of scrutiny to be used in evaluating gun control laws. I believe that there is a strong argument that the regulation of guns should be treated the same as other regulation of property under modern constitutional law: The regulation should be allowed so long as it is rationally related to achieving a legitimate government purpose.
Under this standard, there is no doubt that the D.C. gun law is constitutional. The city’s government was pursuing the legitimate goal of decreasing gun violence, and its means were certainly reasonable.
Now, understand: For a law to be “rationally related” to a legitimate state purpose, it’s not necessary that it actually achieve that purpose, let alone achieve it without bringing about various ancillary harms in the process. It’s enough that a sane legislator might reasonably believe it to contribute to the relevant goal. Reducing violence is unambiguously a legitimate state function. And it’s probably never going to be ruled irrational (whether or not it’s true) to think banning all privately-owned guns might further this function, even if the level of gun violence isn’t terribly high to begin with. So we could have a Second Amendment that creates an individual right to bear arms, but this constitutes no barrier to a total ban on firearms. It’s an inert right—a right to jam tomorrow, but never jam today. Allow me to suggest that if your interpretation of a constitutional right implies that its framers were just making meaningless squiggles on parchment for their own amusement, you should try a different interpretation.