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Dick A. Heller (pictured here with his wife Jane) is the plaintiff in District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark gun case recently adjudicated before the United States Supreme Court. As Justice Antonin Scalia explained in his majority opinion striking down the District’s handgun ban, “the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”
When I arrived at the Supreme Court to photograph Mr. Heller, I was unable to locate him as 1) the Supreme Court is a large building, 2) I did not know what Mr. Heller looked like, and 3) I had left my cell phone at home. I contemplated borrowing a tourist’s cell phone, but deemed the necessary preamble – “Excuse me, you don’t know me, but I’m a newspaper reporter for the Washington City Paper…well, really, more of a videographer…but I’m searching for Dick A. Heller, the plaintiff in District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark gun case, perhaps you’ve heard of it? Anyway, I am supposed to contact Mr. Heller, but I forgot my cell phone…can I use yours?” – too complex. Also, most tourists on hand were praying as part of a pro-life protest, and I doubted they would be in the mood for lending out PDAs to unshaven strangers. After short discussion with a security guard, I was directed to one of the Highest Court’s two payphones, and was able to locate Mr. Heller the old-fashioned way.