Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Showdown in handgun ban

However the US Supreme Court will decide this issue may well affect us in the City of Chicago.

I want to expose my bias here. I would support any attempt to take aim at the handgun ban as I support the 2nd Amendment. Banning guns doesn't necessarily make citizens safer as it is my belief that there are those citizens who would disregard any gun ban for their own aims mainly criminal aims. Law abiding citizens should have the right if they so choose to own and possess a gun on the confines of their own property.

That being said here's a report from FOX Chicago on a grandfather from Morgan Park who is the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case on Chicago's gun ban:

Here's another article from Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business:
Look for a big crowd —and some verrry contentious debate — on Tuesday morning when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether to overturn Chicago's ordinance banning most private possession of handguns in the city.

The 30-year-old measure has intense local support. Not only Mayor Richard M. Daley but four area members of Congress joined Chicago police chief Jody Weis on Monday at a press conference defending the law.

But most insiders expect the court to veto the law as it overturned a similar statute in Washington, D.C., a year ago. The only real question likely is how far the court goes to affect related laws, such as measures limiting who can carry concealed weapons on the street.
This is also of note from that piece:
As Mr. Daley put it, "Cities and states should be able to decide for themselves how to protect their citizens."
Well while I think I should be allowed to own a handgun at home, I can't disagree with that. The question that should be answered is how far should a city or state go in banning guns? Should there be a total ban allowed or can it be decided that gun owners shouldn't own certain types of guns?

There are those strict constructionists who believe in the text of the 2nd Amendment which says:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I understand that people will look at the term "militia" and then assume that this means a collective right. That you have to sign up for the Reserves or the National Guard or something like that in order to bear arms. Indeed there are those who have more trust in military or police to handle guns in our society. Although there are those who may have little faith or trust in our military personnel or the police to handle their weapons and their authority to use arms.

If I was to read that literally I see a distinction between the people versus a militia. If it's a collective right as written and adopted not long after the 1789 ratification of the US Constitution (the Bill of Rights including the 2nd Amendment was adopted in 1791) then why mention the people at all. Surely there is a decent explanation for that even if it's in some past definition of terms as the English has evolved since 1789.

BTW, I want to note the Chicago Tribune. On my own blog I wrote about Mr. McDonald bouncing off of a Tribune article from January:
Amid the clamor of the gun-rights debate, McDonald presents a strongly sympathetic figure: an elderly man who wants a gun to protect himself from the hoodlums preying upon his neighborhood. But the story of McDonald and his lawsuit is more complicated than its broad outlines might suggest. McDonald and three co-plaintiffs were carefully recruited by gun-rights groups attempting to shift the public perception of the Second Amendment as a white, rural Republican issue. McDonald, a Democrat and longtime hunter, jokes that he was chosen as lead plaintiff because he is African-American.

And no matter what the court — and the public — might make of his story or his case, legal experts say McDonald is poised to become an enduring symbol.

"Regardless of how this case goes, Mr. McDonald's name is set in legal history, at the same level as Roe v. Wade and Plessy v. Ferguson," said Nicholas Johnson, a law professor at Fordham University. "Schoolkids are going to recognize that in this case, something dramatic happened."
Read the whole thing while it's still available. It's a good story.

I also want to note that in the Republican gubernatorial primary, the entire field supports concealed carry in our state. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states in the union where concealed carry isn't the law. The presumed Republican nominee for Governor, Bill Brady, is on record as supporting concealed carry in Illinois. 

As always comments are always appreciated. Let's hear your thoughts on whether or not you support gun control or a gun ban in the city. If the Supreme Court overturns Chicago's gun ban ordinances how do YOU think it will affect Chicago.

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