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Question of the day

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2009

* The big news today, of course, is the US Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal to overturn Chicago’s handgun ban.

* The Question: Should the US Supreme Court strike down Chicago’s handgun ban? Explain, and tell us where you live (Chicago, suburbs, Downstate).

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    Live downstate…

    I think the environment is different in every part of this state. There are counties where if someone broke into your house, the sheriff might get there in 30 minutes. Suburban and city response time is different.

    But at the end of the day, the Second Amendment is in the Constitution and it does protect individual ownership of guns.

    The only reasonable position for gun control advocates to repeal that amendment.

  2. - David - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    Yes, the Chicago handgun ban should be overturned. The Constitution states ” the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Seems pretty straightforward to me. If you are a law-abiding citizen you have the right to own handguns, or any other kind of gun. I live in Waterloo, IL (near St. Louis)and yes, I own many firearms.

  3. - The Doc - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    I’m a city denizen, and have never entertained the notion of owning a firearm.

    Nevertheless, this law should be struck down. I’m in favor of taking significant steps to restrict access to and usage of handguns, but an outright ban doesn’t appear to deter those for whom the law presumably targets.

  4. - hmmm - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    As a city resident, I believe the ban should be upheld. Same with the ban on nuclear weapons.

  5. - colt 45 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    i live in the burbs. i’m not the biggest fan of concealed carry but do see it’s prohibition as an infringement of a constitutional right. in a state like ours, a reasonable compromise may be training, permit, etc… there’s a form of concealed carry in california and new york for crying out loud. if it works in those states in ways tailored to those states, it would work here under our own rules.

  6. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    I live in the city and have had NRA training in using a shotgun–which I do not own, I was just shooting in the general direction of some clay pigeons one weekend. I wonder why everyone who thinks the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to gun ownership always skips the part about the ‘well-regulated militia.’

  7. - RJW - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 12:57 pm:

    I’m from downstate.

    First, colt45, the issue isn’t concealed carry. Chicago bans handguns period.

    While I don’t believe that the 2nd Amendment provides an absolute right to gun ownership, I do believe it provides enough protection for gun ownership to prohibit states or cities from permanently banning guns for everyone in their jurisdiction.

  8. - Shore - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    live in the city grew up on the north shore. no need for more guns in the city. I’ve lived in some of the most violent neighborhoods in america and never needed protection.

    As I said in morning shorts, if the media wasn’t in denmark on vacation, this is the kind of issue that Republican voters really need to get an answer from Mark Kirk on. What kind of justices would he support, how would he vote on gun laws?

  9. - bored now - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:08 pm:

    south suburbs. handgun ban definitely should not be overturned. the city endures enough violence without adding to the weapon count…

  10. - Tricia - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    HAHAHAHA. This is funny! I have worked in Chicago and lived in the burbs all my life. The ban on handguns is a joke. Crime in Chicago is rampid! Criminals don’t get licenses for handguns or register them, so all you have done is disarm the law abiding citizens. The only people left with guns in Chicago are the criminals! Has your crime gotten better? Nope…Are the people safer? Nope. Does any of the people running Chicago use common sense? Nope!Stop violating the constitution and using crime as an excuse. Criminals don’t get guns legally…hence, that excuse is ridiculous.

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    I live in the suburbs. The law is pretty useless in combating gun crime, but I think the Supremes will and should let it stand based on precedent regarding federalism.

    In previous cases, the Supremes have held that the Second Amendment restricted the national government, not the states or locals. DC, of course, is a federal enclave.

    Even in the Old West there were ordinances prohibiting firearms within town borders. Violations of those ordinances were plot points in great Westerns inlcuding “Unforgiven,” “Rio Bravo,” and all the Gunfight at the OK Corral movies (”Tombstone” and “My Darling Clementine” being the best of the bunch).

    Rio Bravo, of course, had Rick Nelson and Dean Martin singing “My Rifle, My Pony and Me,” with Walter Brennan on the harmonica, but I digress.

  12. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    I live in the city but grew up in rural Kankakee County. When do you think I can get me some guns? Will they also legalize automatic rifles, cause having a bunch of them would be cool too.

    How many handguns can I purchase? I want to be armed to the teeth when Obama’s socialist policies trigger the inevitable civil war. Praise the Lord and pass the Ammo!

    Seriously, the hand gun ban in Chicago doesn’t work. I’m not an NRA type, but I’m not anti-gun at all either. I’m OK with the Court striking down this meaningless ban.

  13. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    I live in the Burbs (guess which one!) but I’m formerly from the 19th Ward.

    There’s no doubt that the ban should be struck down.

    When the Framers created the 2nd ammendment, they understood that one way to impose tyranny on the people was to disarm them and make them defenseless against government oppressors and make them capitulate to government despots for protection against marauders, gangs, and other ne’er do wells.

    I’ve worked in some of the worst areas of the city; through stairways in public housing and neighborhoods where having a “pale” complexion draws the same fire that a white tailed deer (or wife) draws fire in Wisconsin.

    The police can’t, or won’t, provide the necessary protection against the murderous gangs and scum that beats bright, potential-filled children to death as they did at Fenger.

    They can’t, or won’t, provide enough patrols in certain neighborhoods to protect innocent children from stray bullets from gang drive-by shootings.

    America was not founded on the principle that it’s citizens should be impotent victims.

    The right to bear arms, especially concealed carry, should be a right for Chicagoans to protect themselves from enemies from within and without.

    Daley should be disgraced for stealing Chicagoan’s right to protection until he is willing to get rid of, or disarm, his bodyguards.

    Until then, he’s no more than a dishonest hypocrite.

  14. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:23 pm:

    I live in the City — grew up in the suburbs.

    The law should be overturned. I fear the criminal that indifferent to human life and any gun laws — not the law abiding citizen maintaining a gun for personal protection or sport.

  15. - slightly bent - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    I live in St Louis and we have a concealed carry law. I personally do not carry but I do not believe any city in America should have a ban n handguns. So I am definitely in favor of repealing the ban. However, there should be strict laws and requirements for any type of conceal carry system. I have never seen a criminal decide not to carry based on a ban. However if the penalty for being caught carrying a firearm without a permit is stiff and enforced, authorities have a tool for being tough on criminals without infringing on everyone’s rights…..assuming background checks etc are dne prior to issuing permits.

  16. - Ghost - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    Live downstate.

    Keep the ban.

    before people complain that this is not doing anything to reduce violence, you might want to look into how many criminals were arrested because they were found with a handgun; not to mention the number of criminals on parole sent back to jail becuase they were found with a handgun. These are people who were prevented from commiting further crimes because being caught with the gun was enough.

    Just because gun violence is bd now, doesnt mean lifting the ban won’t make it worse.

    They should allow people what the consitution provided for…. black powder muskets, non-rifled barrel.

  17. - The Doc - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:41 pm:

    Ghost, no one is advocating for allowing criminals to carry, and your statement that reversal of the current ban will result in felons having licit access to a firearm is wholly inaccurate.

    Folks, a decision to overturn the current ban by SCOTUS does not sound the death knell for gun control laws.

  18. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:45 pm:

    This is one of those laws that we will probably never know the effectiveness of…if the ban were overturned, and gun related crime went up or down, it would be nearly impossible to isolate the factor of legal handgun ownership from the myriad of other factors in “why” the handgun crimes went up or down.

    The writings of the Constitution authors seem to point to an individual, rather than a regulated collective right…even our constitutional scholar POTUS has stated as such. Therefore, I think the ban should and will be struck down and will likely come back in a much narrower form that will pass constitutional muster.

  19. - NIEVA - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    Downstate,If I go to anywhere in Indiana.Missouri,Kentucky I can carry a gun. I have a permit from Pa. that lets out of state residents carry even though I don’t live there. It all comes down to trust. I can drive a car at 70 mph but I’m not trusted to carry a gun that might save my life or someone else. I don’t go to Chicago and probably never will but yet I have to live under their rules. Hopefully some day we will have the same rights as 48 other states!

  20. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:50 pm:

    Nice point, Shore. This would be a great question for Mark Kirk:

    “Do you favor a constitutional right for all the citizens of Chicago and Cook County to own handguns? Should they be packin’ in Pilsen? Yes or no.”

    “And please, no hiding behind the Supreme Court - ‘I support whatever the justices say.’ They haven’t spoken yet, and it may be a 5-4 decision. What is YOUR opinion? You want to be a Senator now; your vision of the Constitution matters.”

    Should be fun to see how Kirk handles that.

  21. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Oh, I forgot. Live past the burbs but work often in the city.

  22. - D.P. Gumby - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    People and Justice Scalia–the myth of the intent of the framers on the 2nd Amendment is a myth; there is no clear legislative intent and there is no sponsors floor statement. Indeed, there was no clear agreement on what was intended. Scalia’s opinion was pure Judicial Activism not unlike the Supreme Court selecting Bush for president–the law was what 5 votes said it was. It will be the same way on this issue. If 5 votes decide to incorporate the 2nd amendment and apply it to the states, then the Chicago law will be wacked. But make no mistake, this is pure public policy and not jurisprudence. I live and grew up downstate and am working in Chicago. I do not trust civilians w/ handguns and barely trust law enforcement, but at least they are forced to have regular training. Vehemently oppose concealed carried–stupidest idea ever…bunch of macho morons and bullies running around w/ handguns, not going to stop the criminals and only going to put more guns in circulation and more accidental gun deaths.

  23. - Distant Observer - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    Live in MN, but have grew up downstate & lived in Chicago, Houston & Dallas. Worked in some pretty fun neighborhoods in all the places I’ve worked, both armed and unarmed.
    Keep the ban, IF the State’s Attorney changes policy and doesn’t bargain away the possession charge all the time; no teeth, no street level enforcement effort - that’s one of the reasons why locals used to file all their firearms charges federal. The street guys only beat their heads into the wall so many times arresting somebody to watch the charges go away before they declare victory and move on for something that will stick. Right now, its mostly used as a hold charge until they can get the rest of the paperwork filed.

  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    Previous Supreme Court rulings have held that the Second Amendment restricted the national government from disarming the states.

    What hasn’t been determined is whether 14th Amendment protections restrict states and locals from banning guns.

  25. - Dan S, a voter and Cubs Fan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    Peace, that short interlude when both sides are reloading.

  26. - krome - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    It should be overturned.

    If the states and locals can’t ban the exercise made up rights (like abortions), they shouldn’t be able to ban the exercise of explicit rights like gun ownership.

    And a note to Cheryl44 - the “militia” of teh time was every able bodied man from about 16 to 60 (it wasn’t the equivilent of the National Guard).

  27. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    I think it is likely that the ban will be upheld by the same vote as the D.C. ban in the Heller case. As a city dweller I am not thrilled about that idea, but legally I think it is probably the right decision. It is difficult to conceive of a “right to bear arms” that does not at least allow handgun ownership for self-defense in one’s own home. Also, as others have pointed out, the ban hardly keeps Chicago residents safe from gun violence anyway.

    @John Bambenek: Your statement that “[t]he only reasonable position for gun control advocates [is]to repeal [the 2nd] amendment” seems to ignore the Heller opinion itself, in which the Court explicitly acknowledges that reasonable restrictions on the use of “arms” (e.g., prohibitions on military weapons) are in fact constitutional. If what you are saying is that, from a legal perspective, it is difficult to reconcile that finding with the language of the 2nd Amendment, I agree. But as a practical matter, it is pretty hard to imagine this or any other Supreme Court invalidating all weapons regulations, for the simple reason that to do so would be totally crazy. If that calls into question some of the justices’ credentials as “strict constructionists,” it should. But it does show that the Court does not entirely lack common sense.

  28. - Slick Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    Downstate resident.

    Never understood the logic behind a handgun ban (or any gun for that matter). How can anyone keep a straight face while stating a belief that gangbangers and thugs will comply with all the gun laws? While I think it should be allowed, opposition to concealed carry is at least a somewhat plausible argument.

    In short, I think that citizens should be allowed to have any gun that they want (after a background check and such). Sadly, there is no expectation of personal responsibility or accountability anymore.

    I find it somewhat unbelieveable that Daley is allowed to have armed bodyguards, but rest of the law-abiding people that live in the city cannot. Even after ten years, I still shake my head in disbelief at the hypocrisy and arrogance.

  29. - HappyToaster - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:12 pm:

    What do I think? Overturn it. The court will vote to uphold. The current majority isn’t conservative, just cravenly political. You know the routine, off year election, the NRA screaming about Chicago politicians taking YOUR guns away, how are you going to protect home and hearth from “those people”. Blah, blah, blah.

  30. - howie - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:17 pm:

    I live downstate. The ban should be overturned simply because it’s unconstitutional, period.

  31. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    See, it’s so simple. The Second Amendment says so! Clearly there is only one possible answer here.

    Surely Republican Mark Kirk will agree. He will state his proud, unequivocal defense of an obvious citizen right in the U.S. Constitution. He will stand up not only for conservatives, but for law-abiding Americans everywhere.


  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    Let’s stay on topic, please.

  33. - True Observer - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:40 pm:

    Assuming ban is lifted.

    One guess.

    1:00 A.M. Lincoln Park.

    Will the 5 guys still assault that newspaper carrier?

  34. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:42 pm:

    @howie: That’s an awfully persuasive argument. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  35. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    OK. No, for the record, I live in the city, I don’t support striking down the handgun ban, because I believe that people should (within limits) have the right to self-govern. It’s called democracy. I don’t consider gun owners a discriminated-against, powerless minority who need court intervention to protect themselves from the democratic process.

    If Chicagoans don’t like the handgun ban, they’ve had plenty of times to register their discontent with it. If you want to overturn it, run on a pro-guns platform vs. Daley. Good luck.

    As for the Second Amendment-in-exile, I often object to “original understandings” of the Constitution, because a) I see no reason why the dead hand of these folks over 200 years ago should AUTOMATICALLY preside over the democratic wishes of We the People today, if there’s no other reason, except They Said It; b) We live in a constitutional system with something called stare decisis, and there’s now plenty of federal precedent to show that the current ban is perfectly Constitutional.

  36. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:49 pm:

    Overturn the ban. I live in the ‘burbs and the only people the handgun ban inhibits are the law abiding folks.

    Just makes them and their homes easy prey for the bad guys.

  37. - George - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

    “Will the 5 guys still assault that newspaper carrier?”

    They’ll probably just shoot first, just in case he is carrying a gun.

  38. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    Downstate, but have lived near/around Chicago.

    Currently, the only people that the gun ‘ban’ in Chicago helps are the criminals. If the law is overturned (as it should), it doesn’t legalize ‘open shooting’.

    Responsible gun owners are just that. Responsible. We take classes to learn how to handle a gun, and we don’t wave them around showing them off.

    Currently only the criminals have guns. That is an absurd way to control firearms.

    It should be overturned.

  39. - Levois - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:00 pm:

    I think the ban should be overturned. Many people here have explained there reasons that I would so I shouldn’t repeat their answer. What I will say is that there are ways to regulate civilian usage or ownership of handguns without having to resort to anything resembling a blanket ban? I have no problem if say Chicago or any other municipality chose to regulate or outright prohibit concealed carry.

  40. - Levois - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    Forgot to note that I’m from Chicago, south side!

  41. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    It won’t difficult to ascertain where I live from my name so I won’t comment further.

    The ban should be overturned. It is unconstitutional on its’ face. Reasonable gun restrictions can still be applied.

  42. - Vinron - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    Downstate. Overturn the gun ban/find that the 2nd amendment applies to the states via the 14th.

    @ZC. “I see no reason why the dead hand of these folks over 200 years ago should AUTOMATICALLY preside over the democratic wishes of We the People today, if there’s no other reason, except They Said It”

    Many people believe that the rights “They” wrote down have always existed and are not something that the majority can take away now or 200 years from now. I think “They” recognized that “We the People” can act irrationally (prohibition, anyone).

  43. - MrJM - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

    Q: Should the US Supreme Court strike down Chicago’s handgun ban?


    The city’s handgun prohibition is too broad. The Second Amendment rights of every citizen are infringed without regard for whether or not they are law abiding or well trained.

    When a law pinches the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it needs to be narrowly tailored — and a sweeping ban on handguns isn’t.

    That said, I suspect that the sweeping ban will be lifted and an ordinance creating a strict, lengthy and onerous process for hand gun licensing will take its place.

    As a result the ban will die but there will be little or no change in the number of legal handguns in the city of Chicago.

    – MrJM

  44. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:07 pm:


    So if a majority of people want to end free speech we should go along with it?

    Couldn’t we have applied stare decisis in maintaining the system of slavery?

    Silly arguements. Good thing you aren’t on the SCOTUS.

  45. - Irish - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:08 pm:

    Gun bans do not work. Criminals are going to get guns anyway. The volance has to be stopped. Evidence of this is the recent beating to death of the young man from Fenger High. Is Mayor Daly going to ban boards next?
    I thihk the city needs to put a little more thought in to some of their actions. You don’t just start moving people from one neighborhood to another en masse without studying the ramifications of those moves.
    It brings to mind the program the the first Mayor Daley had for the gangs during his administration. He had buses make stops in all the neighborhoods to pick up youth that wanted to “experience nature” and he would bus them to State Parks, namely Starved Rock. There they ran into youth from other neighborhoods. Many a gang fight would occur out in the Parks instead of in the city. Problem solved. The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    I live about 100 miles outside the city.

  46. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:11 pm:


    Excellent point re natural rights - have always been there, not for the gov’t to give or take away.


    Love the analogy - I say we ban all sharp things while we are at it.

  47. - OdysseusVL - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:15 pm:

    Great. A bunch of people from the suburbs and downstate think they should walk around my neighborhood carrying guns. That’s all we need. As a general rule, anybody who thinks they need a gun to come into Chicago shouldn’t have one.

    But to the question: I don’t know. The arguments are far more complex than the gun people claim. The fact that they don’t seem to think so is a bit disturbing. “Right to bear arms” must have some limits. The question is the extent of those limits. It would be nice if the gun freaks would acknowledge that the 2nd Amendment is not limitless. It would make the debate much more interesting (and sane).

  48. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    I say maintain the ban. That way, law-abiding citizens will use rifles and shotguns, which are more accurate, and criminals will use handguns, which are less accurate. Law of probability favors the law-abiding citizens. I’m from downstate.

  49. - Ken in Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    Aurora here (duh.)

    Of course it should be overturned; I’ve never heard a plausible, supportable, intellectually honest argument justifying the notion that any of the prohibitions specified in the Bill of Rights shouldn’t also apply to the states. Really, now - would it be OK for the brain trust in Springfield to tell you how to worship, or for the State Police to be able to kick your door in without a warrant? Why is the Second any different than the First or Fourth? Oh, that’s right - because it’s not popular with a certain segment of our population, one that feels the need to impress their views on others.

    My idea of an appropriate outcome is the reversal of Slaughterhouse resulting in incorporation. I look forward to seeing an unprecedented Mayor Chucky meltdown televised after the SC finds for the petitioners in McDonald.

  50. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    –Couldn’t we have applied stare decisis in maintaining the system of slavery?–

    Well, it was, of course. The courts didn’t abolish slavery. It took the 13th Amendment.

  51. - krome - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:37 pm:

    Ody - The gun rights supporters do acknowledge limits: law-abiding people, with a permit (which should be ‘must issue’ in the absence of a reason to deny), can have guns. Criminals and people without permits should not have guns.

  52. - OdysseusVL - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    “I’ve never heard a plausible, supportable, intellectually honest argument justifying the notion that any of the prohibitions specified in the Bill of Rights shouldn’t also apply to the states.”

    Well, try this:

    1. The Court rules that the 2A does apply to the state.

    2. The Court then rules that that 2A should be treated like the 1A. The court finds that just as a state can impose reasonable (time/place) restrictions on speech, it can impose reasonable (handgun v. rifle v. RPG) restrictions on the types of “arms” that can be possessed.

    I think that might be plausible, supportable, and intellectually honest, and it sure kicks the teeth out of the “weapons without limits” arguments.

    I note that, as I’ve said, I continue to have no opinion on the ultimate merits of the matter.

  53. - InParis - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Downstate. I am a member of NRA, but do not own a handgun or a long gun, but belive my right to own one is set in the constitution. Individuals who commit crimes with weapons are for the most part, not buying them legally, going thru the process of ID checks and verifications, or the other things that legal gun owners are doing as a matter of course. Overturn the ban. Just because we support our rights under the constitution and all the arguments that support our case, does not mean that we are all “gun freaks” wearing holsters wanting a return to the wild west.

  54. - HoosierDaddy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:45 pm:

    Downstate. @charlesincharge, FYI, in the Heller case the Court affirmed the DC Circuit, which struck down the handgun ban. The key term for restrictions on a right is “reasonable.” A total ban on handguns is not a reasonable restriction. The Supreme Court also held for the first time that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, and that in 18th Century parlance, the term “militia” referred to every male citizen of age to perform military service. The Amendment is intended to preserve the right of citizens to defend themselves from enemies, foreign or domestic.

    The problem with Chicago’s handgun ban is that it is pretty much total. It will not pass muster. It will be struck down.

    A more limited restriction will later be passed and if challenged, will likely be upheld.

    A question for the “public policy” people: has the handgun ban actually reduced the crime rate? Even the “gun crime” rate? I truly don’t know the answer to that, but in order to be reasonable, a government policy must be shown to be a rational response to a problem. Is it?

  55. - Todd - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    The ban should be struck down as unconsitutional. I do believe that the meltdown by da mare will be worthy of replay.

    Rights are what they are. Just as Justice Roberts said a few weeks ago in the FEC case that we don’t trust our 1st amendment rights to the FEC…we don’t trust our 2nd amendment rights to the city. It is NOT one law for Chicago and one law for Wyoming.

    And resonable regulation does NOT mean regulate the hell out of it. In the Heller decision the 1st and 4th amendments were cited about 6 times as comparatives. what whatever restrictions we abide by when talking about those rights is what we will stand for under the the Constitution.

    No more semi-auto bans, no one gun per month, no FOID card.

  56. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:55 pm:

    Downstate, formerly Rogers Park. They should scrap the ban because, like any other action of the city council, it’s ill-considered and poorly crafted. No doubt it’s unconstitutional somehow.

    As to the US Constitution and the militia: raising a militia is one of the ENUMERATED POWERS OF CONGRESS - where it says that Congress can do the things on the list and not anything else. No one seems to have read that for a while. The purpose of the second amendment is not to allow the raising of a militia, it’s to allow people to keep their guns so a militia can be raised.

    Just as the first amendment does not allow you to yell fire in a crowded theater, the second has room for regulation about how we exercise our right to own guns, including where we take them. But I wouldn’t bet on the Chicago City Council to ever perform that regulation properly.

  57. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:58 pm:

    From the majority in Heller:

    — Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.–

    For those who think it’s a Natural Right to carry arms, Justice Scalia, Thomas, et. al would disagree.

  58. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:01 pm:

    Too funny! South Side of Chicago resident

    Seriously, this is ridiculous, no matter what the law is there will still be plenty of illegal weapons, it’s the legal ones where you have responsible owners, well most of the time anyhow. Illegal gun owners won’t have to worry about the legal gun owners who have them in their homes for protection.

  59. - Ken in Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:08 pm:

    - OdysseusVL - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    It’s a long stretch from overturning Slaughterhouse to “weapons without limits”, which I never mentioned. Is this a scare tactic?

  60. - Ken in Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

    As a followup, if McDonald kills Chicago’s current de facto ban I predict many years of the city nibbling around the edges of what’s allowable, similar to what DC was (is?) doing. It will take several judicial hand slaps before Chicago sees the light.

  61. - Speaking at Will - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

    I live in Carbondale, so I am “Downstate.”

    My thought is that Illinois should adopt a Missouri Style of right to carry. Let Chicago have their handgun ban if they want it, and make it illegal to carry in the city of Chicago. However don’t dictate to the rest of the state, who support right to carry, a policy that 48 other states have figured out works and works well.

  62. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:14 pm:

    @Irish/dupage dan: If you want to have an honest debate about this issue, you need to quit dragging out the old trope that, because violence sometimes happens without guns, therefore if guns were unavailable, “the criminals” would simply switch to baseball bats, letter openers and their bare hands, and there would be no less violence in the aggregate as a result.

    An illustration of why this argument is ridiculous: X is motivated to do violence to Y, maybe even to kill Y. X has a sharp stick handy, but no gun. To succeed, X must: (1) approach Y and get within stabbing range without allowing Y an opportunity to retreat to safety; (2) summon the courage to attack Y at close range; (3) physically overpower Y’s efforts at self-defense; (4) resist any attempts by other persons to defend Y; (5) resist X’s own natural repulsion at the tearing of flesh and the spurting of blood, possibly onto X’s own person, in order to sustain the attack; and (6) do all of this before X has a chance to cool off and realize that stabbing someone with a stick is not such a great idea. Now imagine the same scenario, only X has a gun instead of a stick. To successfully harm or even kill Y, X must simply: (1) aim; and (2) shoot.

    The fact that X’s goal of hurting or killing Y can be accomplished with either implement does not mean that X is not much more likely to accomplish that goal with a gun, and much more likely to fail without one.

  63. - downstate conservative - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:16 pm:

    I live downstate in the St. Louis Metro East. And I absolutely think that this ban should be overturned. People who LEGALLY own guns typically aren’t the ones committing gun-related crimes. If the City of Chicago can ignore the 2nd Amendment, then what’s to stop them from ignoring the 1st Amendment, and the rest of the Bill of Rights? Why do liberals get so passionate about all of the Amendments except for the 2nd?

    I hope this gets overturned, and that it clears the way for concealed-carry legislation statewide. After all, only Illinois & Wisconin still refuse to allow any sort of concealed carry.

  64. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==Well, it was, of course. The courts didn’t abolish slavery. It took the 13th Amendment. ==

    And there, in a nutshell is the answer to ZC’s argument that we should ignore the intent of 200 year old words. If you disagree with the way the constitution was written and it’s original intent, then change (amend) the constitution. If enough people disagree with the 2nd Amendment, another amendment can be passed to override those 200 year old dead guys. If there isn’t enough support to change it, then those 200 year old beliefs still hold true.

  65. - Todd - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    wordslinger –

    … sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.–

    For those who think it’s a Natural Right to carry arms, Justice Scalia, Thomas, et. al would disagree

    You didn’t read the whole thing and that portion is the favorite quote of the antis without context.

    “Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all ofthese textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” pg19

    I’ll agree that felons and the menatlly ill can be barred from possessing firearms. And I’ll agree that their are sensitive places like secured portions of airports and some government buildings where the prohibition of carrying a gun can be enforced. But Illinois blanket ban will not stand. It wasn’t that Scalia supported a entire ban on carrying a gun and the right to self defense in Heller didn’t end at the front door.

    There is more in Heller for gun guys than the otherside wants to admit. And they can keep harping about what they think they can hold, but Illinios is about to get dragged into a new world. And if they choose to keep screwing with people’s rights, then I guess we just bring out the 1983 suits and see how the city council likes all those damages they have to pay.

  66. - OdysseusVL - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:28 pm:

    - OdysseusVL - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    It’s a long stretch from overturning Slaughterhouse to “weapons without limits”, which I never mentioned. Is this a scare tactic? ”

    Not at all. Read the posts. Many people believe that the 2A has no limits. Your post seemed to be one of them. Nice to see that you are not lining up with the extremists.

  67. - Bucktown Bob - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:31 pm:

    Yes, strike down the ban. It is unconstitutional for one, and bans just don’t work. We have a nationwide ban on many types of drugs and we all know how well that worked.

  68. - Bucktown Bob - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:32 pm:

    Forgot to mention I live in the city (as the name implies)

  69. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:34 pm:

    Downstate—What is it about guns that make normally rational people lose it?

    In my opinion, guns are a hot air political issue….all heat and no substance. Absent the political will to confiscate the nearly 300 + million guns in America, gun laws will have very little effective purpose. However, the City of Chicago should have the right to ban hand guns if that is the intent of their elected officials.

    For at least seventy years the Supreme Court ruled that “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state” was the controlling clause in the 2nd Amendment. Today, after 30 years of the Know Nothing wing of the GOP party controlling Supreme Court nominations, we have an evolving understanding of this most controversial right.

  70. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:37 pm:

    As the Second Amendment was interpreted by the Supreme Court for more than 200 years, Chicago’s ban certainly would not have been unconstitutional.

    The Supremes ruled time and again that the Second Amemdment only applied to the national government.

    Heller broke new ground, but it was still applied only to the national government, i.e., the District of Columbia.

    Whether the Supremes will seek to apply it now to states and locals is the big question.

  71. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:10 pm:

    charles in charge,

    Boiled down to the simplest point: the law is unconstitutional. You can argue your point until time stops - it won’t change the fact that the founding fathers put “right to bear arms” into the second amendment - the bill of rights.

    Human beings happen to be violent animals. There are a thousand reasons why people become violent. I don’t want to try to discuss this with the person who is trying to kill me. I want to be able to defend myself and my family from the person who is trying to kill me. I have a right to possess a gun for that purpose. I will use it if I have to. X and Y can go hang, for all I care.

  72. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:13 pm:

    DD, if it’s so simple, and if that was the intent, why did the Supremes interpret it differently for more than 200 years?

  73. - Todd - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:15 pm:

    As the Second Amendment was interpreted by the Supreme Court for more than 200 years, Chicago’s ban certainly would not have been unconstitutional.,

    no not really. The three cases on the Second are from 1876, 1886 and 1894. Not much beyond that on piont. But Verdugio (sp) in 1994 I believe Ginsberg cited it as an individual right as the first, second, foruth……

    the Court also said “This Court first held a law to violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech in 1931,almost 150 years after the Amendment was ratified,”

    so really in the 19th century jurisprudence it’s not surprising that it has taken this long. remember it has only been since reconstrcution that the bill of rights as been applied to the states. In the 1876 ruling it also said the First did not apply to the states.

    The Supremes ruled time and again that the Second Amemdment only applied to the national government.

    I don’t consider 3 times in 20 years at the turn of the 19th century time and time again.

    Heller broke new ground, but it was still applied only to the national government, i.e., the District of Columbia.

    Yes and hence the arguement over the modern doctrine of incorporation. just as they said the 1876 case did not undertake. And neither did any of the other cases. So this is the FIRST time this issue is being argued before the court.

    Whether the Supremes will seek to apply it now to states and locals is the big question.

    That is the question before the court. My money says they do incorportate. then the countdown begins the the mushroom cloud over city hall as the little guy blows his stack.

  74. - Honest Abe - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:27 pm:

    Law abiding members of the public are entitled to arm themselves for the purposes of self defense.

    The Chicago ordinance only succeeds in assisting the criminals who prey upon unarmed victims.

    I have visited Southern and Western states where concealed carry laws are in effect and was never hassled on the street because everyone was aware of the possibility that anyone might be armed.

  75. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:36 pm:

    Todd, my point is that some commenters think it’s a slam dunk, that somehow an obvious truth has been ignored throughout history.

    As it stands now, the court has found otherwise.

    And dude, Reconstruction was quite some time ago.

  76. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:38 pm:

    In addition, I’m sure there have been many times when the court didn’t grant cert on gun control cases because if was considered settled.

    Obviously, at least four of the nine on the current court don’t see it that way any longer.

  77. - D.P. Gumby - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:48 pm:

    Thank you Louis Howe and Todd. I might add that in addition to upholding the ban (which I do not expect the USSC to do) we also need to eliminate the gun show exception and the mail order/internet purchase of weapons…that is where many of the illegal weapons are coming from. People keep whining about their right to own a legal weapon but are unwilling to take the actions necessary to prevent criminals from obtaining weapons.

  78. - Ken in Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:53 pm:

    - D.P. Gumby - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:48 pm:
    “we also need to eliminate … the mail order/internet purchase of weapons…that is where many of the illegal weapons are coming from.”

    What on Earth are you talking about? I dare you to purchase and take delivery of any firearm through a web or mail order without it going through a duly licensed FFL before it reaches your hands. Go ahead - try.

  79. - Todd - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 5:55 pm:

    DP —

    you know not of what you speak.

    No so called “gunshow loophole” in Illinois. Never was, and in ‘05 they added more red tape to it.

    Mail order and purchase of firearms over the internet are ALREADY ILLEGAL! ! !.

    under the 1968 gun control act you can not ship or sell a firearm across state lines if you are not a federal gun dealer. I can’t even take a gun to my brother in another state as a gift for Christmas without having to have it go through a gun dealer. So all the things you cited about buying over the internet across state lines are illegal.

    And if it was within the state, they still have to have FOID cards and doa face to face transfer.

    but I am sure all the criminals pay atention to all these laws.

  80. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:03 pm:

    I live between the suburbs and downstate. :)

    I do believe that the court should overturn the ban. Regardless of any arguments speaking toward the merit of such a ban, I believe that the federal constitution clearly gives people a right to bear arms, which I understand to mean a “reasonable” right to bear arms (i.e. handguns and other “reasonable” arms–not nuclear, chemical, biological, or other weapons of mass destruction, just to be clear.)

    While I believe that this constitutional provision allows for the “regulation” of the possession of arms, I also believe that it obviously prohibits local governments from effectively banning the possession of reasonable arms, whether outright or merely constructively.

    Those who want a ban on handguns should seek an amendment to the federal constitution–not attempt to merely circumvent the supreme law of the land with state laws and local ordinances. Once you start to undermine the “sanctity” of the legal system itself, you open the door to much greater dangers than the deaths resulting from handgun possession within the City of Chicago, which may themselves ultimately result in deaths.

  81. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:12 pm:

    OK. Probably nobody on this thread is going to convince anyone else here. So in a different spirit, I’d prefer instead to collect a little information from the opposite side. Am genuinely curious about this, would appreciate your thoughts, to help me envision the opposite position.

    The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. OK. I have two questions: 1) How broadly or narrowly do you construe “arms”? The argument is that it should include handguns. OK; I take it for many of you it should also include AK-47s? Should it include machine guns? Bazookas? Small tactical nuclear warheads? Where’s the limit here, if any? b) How exactly does an “originalist” interpretation of the Second Amendment provide any true historical data, about where to draw this line?

  82. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:14 pm:

    The legislative intent of the 14th Amendment with respect to ‘bearing arms’ is even more clear than that of the 2nd Amendment. Read the McDonald briefs at if you are really interested in learning something.

    This Chicago resident is in favor of overturning the ban, but then, with fundamental rights we don’t get to vote.

    Chicago’s ban is nearly identical to DC’s former ban. Since that was deemed to be beyond the pale of even rational basis analysis, it seems like a slam dunk to go down if the Court rules that the 14th Amendment binds the 2nd to the States. McDonald v Chicago is a 14th Amendment case more than it is a 2nd Amendment case.

    The 2nd Amendment already rules out broad handgun bans, as shown by Heller. If the 14th Amendment means anything, then Chicago’s ban bites the dust.

  83. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:19 pm:

    ZC, my opinion is that ‘arms’ originally meant what we would call ’small arms’ today.

    One intent of the 2nd Amendment was to ensure a populace conditioned to the use of arms such that they can serve the common defense. Small arms training serves this purpose.

    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms also includes other uses of ‘arms’ such as self-defense. So then, it must protect the keeping and bearing of weapons suitable for self defense. Sorry, no backpack nuke for you.

    Aside from WMD such as backpack nukes, a general rule of thumb would be any weapon an individual could use to defend themselves. Pattern after the small arms that police typically use.

  84. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:19 pm:


    The issue isn’t Fully Automatic Weapons (They are outlawed on the Federal Level). So don’t confuse handgun ownership with that. It’s 2 different ball of wax.

    In Chicago, a law abiding citizen can’t even own a handgun IN HIS OWN HOME. Forget Conceal Carry (CC). You don’t even have the right to own a firearm to protect your family at home.

    That position I don’t imagine was EVER considered with regards to the founding fathers.

  85. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:21 pm:

    ===You don’t even have the right to own a firearm to protect your family at home.===

    Not true. C’mon. You can own an array of firearms in Chicago.

  86. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:27 pm:

    I will read the McDonald brief. (Sounds like it may be the Supreme Court’s position soon, anyways, so best to read up on it.)

    There is the distinction between “small arms” and “large arms.” Is a machine gun small or large? Is an AK-47? Agreed I couldn’t handle a backpack nuke. But I could probably defend myself with an AK-47, with a bit of practice.

  87. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:30 pm:

    Rich, it is true that you can own a limited array of shotguns and rifles. However, elderly, disabled, and small statured folks sometimes cannot effectively wield such. Forget about packing the shotty with you as you carry the laundry up from the basement. All the guns in the world don’t help you if you don’t have it handy.

    As for rifles…jeez, I could not imagine firing any of my rifles indoors though I would if I had to. Most of mine would send a bullet through 2 or 3 houses on my block.

    Ask yourself this, if you were CPD with their flimsy vests on would you rather enter a house where the occupant is waiting for you with a .45 caliber pistol or a .30-06 hunting rifle? The ironic thing is that those flimsy vests might stop the .45, but they won’t stop the .30-06. Yet I’m allowed as many of those in my house as I can afford to register each year.

  88. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:36 pm:

    ZC, there is nothing magical about an AK-47. It is marginally more effective tactically than any semi-auto hunting rifle, even if you mean the full auto AK-47s as opposed to the semi-auto versions that are much more common in the US civilian market.

    Personally I don’t favor full auto hand held firearms tactically. Even the military realized it was a waste of ammo and went to a 3-round burst for the M-16. In my opinion, full auto really benefits from being placed in a fixed position (like a machine-gun nest). But that said, I don’t see any issue with full auto AK-47s or M-16s for that matter.

    Heck, a 5-shot pump action shotgun can send 45 .30 calibre pellets downrange lickety split. That’s a lot of lead. An AK-47 with a 30 round magazine can send 30 .30 calibre rounds downrange. Of course it is easier to reload.

  89. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:39 pm:

    Minor correction to Howie…full auto weapons are not banned federally. They are heavily regulated, but civilians in nearby Indiana can and do possess them in some numbers. I think in the US there are somewhere around 300,000 full auto weapons licensed to civilians.

    It is true that no full auto firearm not registered prior to August whatever 1986 can ever be transferred to a civilian due to the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986.

  90. - 2A Rights Apply In Illinois - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:42 pm:

    You forget that there is no reason to fear a legal law abiding citizen having a handgun. What you should fear is that thug walking around knowing that YOU are not armed. Lets see I was robbed in Chicago, murders have increased. Chicago doesn’t punish the gangbangers. They let them out on parole with gun violations then they go and kill 2 police officers. You people need to get your head out of the sand and forget about things like green energy. You have a lot more problems with your corrupt politicans feeding you garbage. Check out incorporation, our 14th amendment which is not applied here in Illinois. States came up with these bans to keep undesirables and yes sadly blacks from owning firearms. It’s a way to control the very people that they say they are for and helping. Do a search on banning blacks from owning firearms. God Bless Otis McDonald for standing up for all our rights.

  91. - Mike Marvin - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:51 pm:

    New Berlin

    Yes, the Supreme Court should rule the Second Amendment Incorporated. The ban in Chicago should be ruled unconstitutional….because it is. The Illinois General Assembly should do it’s duty now, but it is understood that the GA will violate our rights until the instant they can no longer do so without serious repercussion. They will be forced to allow some form of carry (concealed and/or open) eventually, the honorable thing to do is to do so now via legislation. Members of the GA should do their constitutional duty, per a republican form of government that the U.S. constitution itself guarantees, by protecting, defending and respecting our individual liberties - up to and including keeping, bearing and using firearms in defense of self, family and property.

  92. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 6:59 pm:

    This all really boils down to theories of statutory construction. Different judges interpret laws in different ways. Some believe that original intent (what lawmakers were attempting to do) matters most, while others believe that original purpose (what problem lawmakers were attempting to solve) matters most, while others believe that the plain text (literally what it says, regardless of original intent or purpose) is what matters most; and even within those categories there are subcategories, such as those in favor of plain text who rely on modern language usage, even sometimes resorting to current dictionary definitions to define terms, and those who attempt to look for the original understanding and usage of terms in the context of the time in which laws were enacted.

    Ultimately, in my opinion, this is a huge problem within our judicial system. There simply is no agreement on how laws should be interpreted; so therefore, it is impossible to predict how any such law will actually interpreted, or which interpretation is correct; and therefore, it is often impossible to actually know the law. (This is despite the maxim that ignorance of the law is no excuse.)

  93. - ilphil - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:12 pm:

    I am touched to see this new found respect the left has for Federalism.
    Where was this for the last 30 yrs or so when Democratic controlled Congress’s have usurped state’s rights to impose…the 55 speed limit, mandatory seat belt laws, 21 yr old drinking age and the .o8% threshhold for DUI???

    The claim always was that an overriding Federal interest was being served by these intrusions, coercive with the threat of withholding federal funds as a penalty for non-compliance.
    Well, you know what…I think giving people the right to protect themselves is also a pretty compelling interest. The ban has to go.

    For the record, I live in the far far north suburbs.

  94. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:16 pm:

    I think the Left’s snarky “but what about States’ rights?” is misplaced. We fought a civil war and passed several Constitutional Amendments to prevent any unit of government from stripping its citizens their fundamental rights.

    It is a simple equation: States’ Rights do not trump civil rights.

  95. - Mike Marvin - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:16 pm:

    Do the gun control supporters actually think that SCOTUS will come out now and say that state and local governments do not have to abide by what they just said a year ago is indeed an individual right?

    Not hardly.

    As much flak as government is getting presently, do these folks really think it will come out and say the most treasured right millions upon millions of people have, the one that protects all the others, the Second Amendment itself isn’t a right at all?

    Not Hardly.

    This is a slam dunk, and to ignore what is coming will only produce a denial based headache when the ruling comes down (much like some experienced after Heller).

    Incorporation - “Change” I can believe in.

  96. - Scott - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:30 pm:

    I’m around Champaign

    An unconstitutional act is not law, it confirs no rights, imposes no duties, affords no protection, it creates no office, it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.

    Norton vs Shelby Co

    Look for SCOTUS to rule incorporation, the crown is melting down Daleys face.

  97. - Scott - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:36 pm:

    P.S. Illinois is the only state in the country that completely denies thier citizens the right to bear arms. Yet as an Illinois resident, I can carry in 17 states with a permit from PA.

  98. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:39 pm:

    As in a lot of things that will come before this court, what is and isn’t constitutional will boil down to what Justice Kennedy says.

    He’s the fifth vote on the hot issues.

  99. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:40 pm:

    –P.S. Illinois is the only state in the country that completely denies thier citizens the right to bear arms–

    You’re not even in the ballgame, dude.

  100. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:55 pm:

    I live downstate, in a small town. As any of you who frequent this site know, I am not anything approaching a right winger. Conceptually, the idea of reasonable gun control has never appalled me (for example, I don’t want people driving around in my neighborhood at 3 am with a loaded gun in the front seat). However, I struggle to reconcile hard line gun control with one irrefutable fact: the only people it affects are those who choose to be law-abiding. I think rigorously enforcing laws against the use of guns in crimes, the possession of guns by felons, etc, better targets the right people: those who are not law-abiding.

  101. - Bobs yer - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:57 pm:

    Handguns are nasty little things, really only meant to kill people, and should be banned nationwide.

    But until that happens, Chicago’s law-abiding citizens should be able to have them, if only to protect themselves from the bad guys (some really bad) who have them.

  102. - D Wareham - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 8:38 pm:

    Yea the ban works so well. HA HA HA Why is it the cities that ban guns have the highest crime rates??????

  103. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 8:52 pm:

    I disagree with ilphil that the federal government has been “imposing” the things he suggests. Individual states do have the option to simply opt-out in many cases, and forgo the federal funds; but it’s simply a cost that they’re not willing to accept. States do, however, sometimes choose to opt-out, just as Texas does with it’s power generation and grid.

    I do think there is a case to be made that gun control laws in Illinois constitute a federal issue, as Illinois is centrally located, and many U.S. citizens reasonably need to pass through the state in order to get from one to another. For this reason, I believe that gun control in Illinois is moreso of a federal issue than in, let’s say, Hawaii.

  104. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 8:55 pm:

    It is not a federal issue simply due to the fact that people travel through here to get between there and over there. The Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986 protects people traveling through Illinois.

    It is a Federal issue because our Federal government is charged with prevent State’s and other lesser governments from violating the civil rights of their residents.

  105. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 9:04 pm:

    @ Rich,

    I should have been more clear. Chicago bans HANDGUNS in your own home. I could use a hunting rifle to defend my family though. And probably kill a neighbor or to as the bullet flies through their homes.

  106. - howie - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 9:16 pm:

    charles in charge- I kept it simple. No further argument is warranted. Try reading the second amendment. The same “people” guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms are the same “people” guaranteed the right to free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to petition the government, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, etc. None of the above are collective rights, but individual rights.

    As has been said above, Chicago’s handgun ban really works well, doesn’t it?

  107. - Patrick McDonough - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 9:38 pm:

    Mayor Daley carries a handgun. If he gets one, how about everyone else, we don’t steal.

  108. - Bobs yer - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 9:53 pm:

    D-Ware, because the cities that ban them are the flakiest, most ignorant of the realities, most politically correct/least pragmatic municipalities. Uneducated 14 year old kids in Chicago carry around unregistered handguns, but the City worries about gay marriage, getting the olympics, banning foi gras, keeping walmart out, and ensuring that Chicago is a ‘nuclear-free zone’. Isn’t that special?

  109. - ZC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 10:28 pm:

    So under the Second Amendment I probably have the right to own an AK-47 (regardless of whether that’s a smart self-defense choice). How about a grenade launcher? Or just a couple of spare grenades kept in a safe place, in my apartment? It’s just pull and throw - an ordinary citizen ought to be able to manage how to throw a grenade, to protect himself or herself. Protected under the Second Amendment? They certainly knew about and used grenades in the late 18th century.

  110. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 10:34 pm:

    I don’t think a grenade would be a smart self-defense choice. But then, I kinda value my own property. I don’t think you can make a self-defense argument for grenade launchers. They do make a great straw man though, don’t they?

  111. - Todd - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 10:43 pm:

    ZC –

    The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. OK. I have two questions: 1) How broadly or narrowly do you construe “arms”? The argument is that it should include handguns. OK; I take it for many of you it should also include AK-47s? Should it include machine guns? Bazookas? Small tactical nuclear warheads? Where’s the limit here, if any?
    I could be like Pat Buchanon and say when you tow it with a Jeep, we’ll regulate it….but,

    Under Heller, I read anything short of a NFA (CLASS 3) firearm is protected. National Firearms Act 1934. That is what started the regulation of machineguns, sawed of shotguns, short barreled rifles, silencers, anything larger than .50 cal.

    So right there I think you have the line. People who talk about bombs and mines and bazokas or rocket launchers are not worth talking to as it is beyond upsurd.

    Heller said”

    “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

    b) How exactly does an “originalist” interpretation of the Second Amendment provide any true historical data, about where to draw this line?

    If you go back to Heller, these simple points answer the second part of the question:

    ““Right of the People.” The first salient feature of the operative clause is that it codifies a “right of the people.”
    The unamended Constitution and the Bill of Rights
    use the phrase “right of the people” two other times, in the First Amendment’s Assembly-and-Petition Clause and in the Fourth Amendment’s Search-and-Seizure Clause. The Ninth Amendment uses very similar terminology (“The
    enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”). All three of these instances unambiguously
    refer to individual rights, not “collective” rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body”


    “Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all of
    these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment.
    We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it
    “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner
    dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed . . . .”

    “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting
    upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future
    judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all.”

    any questions?

  112. - Melancton Smith - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 10:51 pm:

    It’s Todd calling you, on the clue-phone.

  113. - reformer - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 11:03 pm:

    The handgun prohibition movement is dead. The public doesn’t favor it and soon the Supreme Court won’t allow it.

    Even Mother Tribune, which once callecd for repeal of the Second Amendment, advised Mayor Shortshanks to cut his losses and repeal the ban before the court strikes it down.

  114. - borzoi - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 11:08 pm:

    I used to live in Chicago, not far from the lead plaintiff in the case.

    Now I’m a gun owner, and I live in Wheaton. I can’t move back, even if I wanted to, without giving up my rights.

  115. - borzoi - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 11:10 pm:

    So of course, the ban should be overturned.

  116. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 6:52 am:

    ==I wonder if there is anyone else who has encountered ammunition shortages recently. I have a fairly large stock and have not used it up so haven’t purchased any cartridges lately. ==

    Hasn’t there been a spike in gun sales since November 2008 (sigh)? More gun sales, more ammunition sales?

    Or is the Trilateral Commission swooping in and scooping it all up in their black helicopters?

  117. - Anon3 - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 7:37 am:

    Keep it. I think the city is with the constitution to impose the ban. I just do not believe that the “well orderd …” covers handguns in Chicago.
    == wordslinger== the Trrilateral Commission and Bush Sr. wow have not thought about that in a long time!

  118. - Ken in Aurora - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 7:46 am:

    - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 7:40 pm:

    “You’re not even in the ballgame, dude.”

    Read what he’s saying. When he says “bear”, he obviously means “carry’ - in which case his statement is completely true. 48 states have at least a nominal CCW system, Wisconsin arguably has open carry. That leaves Illinois.

  119. - ZC - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 8:42 am:

    OK, that is helpful info, thanks. Still don’t buy it, but I appreciate the feedback.

  120. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 11:09 am:

    @Todd: The excerpts from Heller you have posted provide excellent support for the proposition that the Court will overturn the Chicago handgun ban. However, I don’t believe they address ZC’s issue: where in the actual text of the Constitution (not in case law) is there support for regulating some bearable arms but not others? Why is it “beyond upsurd” (sic) to ask about military-style weapons?

    This is important because those who oppose any form of gun control almost always call themselves “strict constructionists,” turning straight to the text of the Constitution while virtually ignoring Supreme Court jurisprudence; see the proliferation of “The ban should be overturned ‘cuz it’s unconstitutional–’nuff said” type of posts on this thread.

    I think you are correct that the Supremes would never in a million years dream of holding that military weapons cannot be regulated. But the reason for this is practical: that would be crazy. The text of the Constitution itself gives no indication that “arms” means “some weapons, but not others,” so it seems disingenuous for anyone to say they are a strict constructionist who nevertheless believes that the Constitution permits the government to prohibit people from possessing some kinds of bearable arms (e.g., grenade launchers and bazookas) but not others (handguns and assault rifles).

  121. - Champaign County guy - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    location by name…

    - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 09 @ 4:37 pm:

    As the Second Amendment was interpreted by the Supreme Court for more than 200 years, Chicago’s ban certainly would not have been unconstitutional.

    The Supremes ruled time and again that the Second Amemdment only applied to the national government.

    Oh? In what cases did the Supreme Court make these decisions?

    I believe I am correct in stating that the D.C. ruling was the first time the Supreme Court EVER had made a decision concerning the “…right to keep and bear arms…” being or not being an individual right.

    I hope you are not thinking “Miller”, 1939??
    That had nothing to do with the “…right to keep and bear..” The decision was concerned only with whether or not a “sawed-off” shotgun was suitable for militia use. The decision was that it was not, which only proved that, that Court hadn’t done its homework, i.e., shotguns in the trench wars, WWI.

    Unfortunately, neither Miller nor his lawyer was present to argue the case.


  122. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    Well stated, Charles.

    It would be nice if the pro-gun people would admit that they are not advocating a strict construction.

  123. - Rap Man - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    Pittsburgh’s G-20 story: Take an expressway from town and disappear into desolate ‘hoods and encounter the civilization of menace. Pittsburgh, a dual city! The glass wonder of PPG Place and/or the G-20 Summit is a faded memory. Here in the ‘hood lives lie abandoned as far as the eye can see.

    That is: For the most part, African-American Pittsburgh seems to be invisible, not only to the public relations hucksters who tout Pittsburgh’s successes, but we are equally invisible to the protesters.

    Certainly, black Pittsburgh is as proud as anybody in that the black President we worked so hard to elect has selected Pittsburgh as the host of the G-20 Summit. We even enjoy the re-invention of Pittsburgh from a dirty, smoky steel-churning history to the bright, clean, green financial success that the business leaders and politicians boast about so loudly. Nobody is more proud of the Super Bowl winning African-American coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. But none of that feel-good stuff erases the pain of the stubbornly high unemployment among African American young adults and the staggering dropout rate for young black males from the public school system.

  124. - Mike Marvin - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    Pro gun control folks need to understand that governments may regulate that which is not a right. When they understand this, and press their “gun control” legislation, it will target abuse of firearms - which isn’t a right. They will find that pro gun people will support them in their efforts so long as they do not infringe on the rights we hold.

    Examples: Laws affording punishment for shooting up a house from within a vehicle would be supported, where laws against carrying a firearm in a vehicle are opposed.

    Laws punishing the pointing of a firearm at a clerk while committing the robbery of Huck’s store would be supported whereas laws punishing a person who is buying a pack of cigarettes in that Huck’s store,who happens to have a .45 on his hip or in his jacket, would be opposed.

    Laws targeting everyone collectively are opposed but laws targeting those who do something with a firearm which is outside the scope of our rights will be supported.

    We have a right to own arms.
    We have a right to carry arms.
    We have a right to use arms for things like hunting but more importantly for defense of self, family and property against all enemies - foreign and domestic.

    Folks may not like that these rights exist, but that is just something they are going to have to grow up and accept. When that happens, we can all work together on supporting legislation that will actually be common sense, right respecting and criminally targeted. Not only that, but they might actually WORK.

  125. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    “We have a right to own arms.”

    Mike, I’ve looked through my copy of the Constitution many times, and I neve found that “right” to “own.” Could you tell me where you find that precise right?

  126. - Mike Marvin - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    OdysseusVL, “Keep” means “to own” and “bear” means “to carry” and in some cases “use”. Maybe you are looking at a copy of the Constitution that was made prior to the Bill of Rights or maybe you don’t realize that Amendments to the Constitution are in fact part of the Constitution. Whichever the case may be, the Second Amendment is clear on this point. So too was the Supreme Court regarding the meanings of those words.

    Question - Have you read the Heller Decision? A yes or no will do. If you answer yes but still disagree with the meanings of those words, could you share with everyone what meanings you assign to the words “keep” and “bear” and then offer what supports those meanings?

  127. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:06 pm:

    Yes, I have read the opinion, and frankly, what it says is not relevant.
    People on the right HATE penumbras, until they find a situation where the words really don’t say what they want them to say. And then they LOVE penumbras.
    Mike, you are asking the court to be activist. Have the courage to admit it.
    And by the way — don’t lecture anybody about history. It just makes you look ridiculous.

  128. - Mike Marvin - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:17 pm:

    OdysseusVL, Actually I have asked the legislature, through my voice in the House of Representatives and through my state’s voices in the Senate, to handle this and fully support this being handled and settled there. The reason I support this court action is in the vein of the judiciary functioning in it’s due role as a check on the Legislative branch (which has to this point avoided doing their due diligence on this subject).

    You answered my question regarding reading Heller, but you did not offer meanings for the words I asked you about. You simply dismissed that which you disagree with as if it does not exist. I guess I will ask again another way.

    What does “keep” mean and what does “bear” mean? Additionally, I also ask you if you see those words appearing in your copy of the Constitution.

  129. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    The words “keep” and “bear” do appear in my copy.

    When I look up “keep”, none of the definitions necessarily mean “own.” I can “keep” a leased vehicle, without owning it.

    Similarly, none of the definitions of “bear” necesarily lead to “own.”

    To get from “keep” and “bear” to “own”, you need to use something called a penumbra. People on the right don’t like penumbras though. But for some reason, they claim to have a seoond amendment right want to own the arms they keep.

    By the way, I was unaware that the legislature had any “due diligence” duty. That’s a new one.

  130. - Squideshi - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    It this the correct time to point out that Rich Whitney supports open carry of firearms in Illinois?

  131. - Melancton Smith - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    OdysseusVL, you are some piece of work. Are you suggesting that the 2nd Amendment recognizes a right for the people to be custodians and bearers but not owners of arms? It is this kind of word parsing that causes people to ignore what you say.

    The Court was not ‘activist’ nor did they create any ‘penumbras’. The original commentary is there for someone willing to read it. The legal scholars support the 2nd as an individual right independent upon militia membership. Con law experts have written papers analyzing the reasoning behind the prefatory clause of a statute signalling one but not all intent and other caselaw, such as copyright law, supports that in modern analysis. The Court has ruled and their say, barring Constitutional Amendment, is the final word. Quit your whining and use article 5 or shut the heck up. It is pointless to continue to argue Heller, that is settle law like Roe v. Wade.

    If you are interested in discussing 14th Amendment jurisprudence, which happens to be the topic of the day due to McDonald v Chicago, please engage us with a lucid opinion.

  132. - Mike Marvin - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 3:00 pm:

    You do not own a leased vehicle, you agree to borrow it for a specific time in exchange for payment. Do renters keep the property they rent? Hardly. Do you make a habit of keeping that which you borrow?

    Do you own property - even if mortgaged? Yup, ownership and taxes are yours because the deed is in your name demonstrating ownership. See how that works. Guns are property. Do you set out on a path to argue that property cannot be owned? That there is no right to own property? Seriously? Good luck with that.

    You talk about where you “looked it up”. Where is that? (That is the third time I asked you that)

    There is a reason why a thesaurus offers “own” as a synonym to “keep”. Why do you suppose that is? Context would matter huh? The context being personal property, keep is synonymous own. Yes, it really is that simple.

    It is the legislature that is tasked with making law. Therein rests their due diligence. Matters of making law should happen in Congress. If law is ambiguous in language and questioned on that note, it should be settled with legislation clarifying and codifying it. If the legislature refuses to do so, and questions persist, especially with legal ramifications to the tune of incarceration and civil rights violations, then it falls to the SCOTUS to handle. It did so in Heller regarding the meanings of those two words. Having said you read that decision, you would know that was done at great length. What parts of that determination do you disagree with? What was looked to in order to determine those meanings that was improper?

    On what grounds do you render the definition of those words in a SCOTUS ruling irrelevant? Your ideologcal disagreement?

  133. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 3:04 pm:

    The words say what they say.
    And they don’t say what you want them to say.

    The right goes haywire when somebody says “This term has no meaning unless this is included.” That is known as a penumbra and it drives people on the right insane.

    But when it comes to the 2A, the fact that the word don’t say it doesn’t seem to matter. Then, they claim, let’s not look at the words. Let’s look at history.

    Sure guys, look at history when you don’t like the words, but don’t look to history when you do.

    And then you call ME a piece of work?
    Finally, I note the number of personal attacks in both notes. You can’t debate the merits, so you make it personal. What a great reflection on your own character.

  134. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 3:20 pm:

    Still waiting on the “strict constructionist” explanation of why the Constitution allows ownership of some bearable arms but not others to be prohibited . . .

    /twiddles thumbs, drums fingers on table, yawns

  135. - Melancton Smith - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 4:14 pm:

    Chaz, you seem itching for a fight, pushing your strawman. Well, I’ll give it a shot. The drafters didn’t define ‘arms’ so we have to infer a definition by common usage of the day and common understanding, two methods used to interpret statutes. If you take the time to analyze documents and letters of the day, temporally consanguinous statues and State Constitutions, you can eke out a rough idea of what ‘arms’ are. They are offensive and defensive weapons common to the citizen soldier. According to Tenche Cox, they are ‘every terrible implement of war’ but in common usage meant muskets, rifles, pistols, but also included older items such as swords and armor. Cannon were rarely, if ever, referred to as ‘arms’.

  136. - Melancton Smith - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 4:16 pm:

    OdysseusVL, I am not a member of this monolithic ‘on the right’ entity that you conjure, so you can’t counter my arguments by deflecting to the beliefs held by your strawman right-winger. If you can’t address the arguments I do make, then man up and admit it and move on.

  137. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 6:33 pm:

    @Melancton Smith: It’s not a strawman at all, as your weak “shot” at an argument amply demonstrates. There is absolutely no good reason why a modern RPG wouldn’t meet your definition of “arms.” See the language from Heller, quoted by Todd above: “Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

    How is an RPG, bazooka, or handheld grenade not “bearable?” And are we to assume, in light of the quoted language, that should modern technology create more destructive and injurious bearable weapons than we have now (as of course it will), which then become commonly “borne” by “citizen soldiers,” then those would not also meet your definition of “arms”?

    It may be that some of the gun enthusiasts posting here are just OK with people having any and all military weapons they want at home, and think that the Constitution should be interpreted to protect that. I’d like to know who the real “strict constructionists” here are!

  138. - Melancton Smith - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 6:47 pm:

    So what happens when someone says, “yeah, I think 2A protects bazookas”…then what do you say? I’m not getting your end-game here.

  139. - Todd - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 8:54 pm:

    Charles –

    It’s not in the text. But taken from Heller, the court said that a literal reading of Miller from 1939 would declare the machinegun ban unconstitutional – something they didn’t think the District wanted.
    But during the oral arguments in Heller, the question was posed of what sort or type of arms would the general populous bring or be required to bring. Again it was small arms. Not cannons or artillery pieces. I would also suggest that things that explode like mines are not arms but munitions. If the modern form of a militia were present and the government called it forth, I would bet that they would expect/hope people would show up with firearms. I don’t think they would expect you and your neighbors to bring your own squadron and carrier battle group.
    I think it absurd when the debate centers around firearms and the norm that most people consider the debate in that context. We can have a debate about what type of firearms. But to jump from the right to own a firearm to say everybody then has a right to own a rocket launcher is on its face absurd. If that were the case, then all the laws about explosives would be null and void. But if what you consider military style you mean AR-15s, or AKMs up to M4s/M16 or AK-47 that a legit question.
    The First amendment protects things like pornography. It doesn’t protect child pornography. Firearms go bang, not boom.
    I think it is easy to be a constructionist and say most forms of gun control are unconstitutional. The prefatory clause neither adds nor subtracts from the operative clause. As the Court said:
    “The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.”

    “United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.”

    That seems reasonable, you can’t have child porn or make snuff films under the First, you don’t have a right to a tank under the Second.

  140. - charles in charge - Friday, Oct 2, 09 @ 1:54 am:

    @Melancton: No legal endgame; the point is that those claiming that their position re: the Chicago handgun ban is justified by a straightforward reading of the plain language of the 2nd Amendment are largely either: (a) unwilling to extend this “plain language” reading to its logical extreme, and are therefore not “strict constructionists” at all, as many of them claim to be (Justice Scalia falls into this category); or (b) they actually believe that the 2nd Amendment should be read to protect military weapons in the home, a perspective which is out of the mainstream and absurd from a public safety standpoint.

    Am I to assume by your failure to defend your earlier argument that there is textual support in the 2nd Amendment for prohibiting some bearable weapons but not others that you concede it is not defensible?

  141. - charles in charge - Friday, Oct 2, 09 @ 7:43 am:

    @Todd: As I have stated more than once on this thread, I think you are quite right that the 2nd amendment will never be interpreted by the Court to protect rocket launchers. However, I strongly disagree that how the Court gets there has anything much to do with strict constructionism; it has much more to do with the practical problem of respecting the firearms culture that has existed over this country’s history without creating a dangerous result. I raise the example of military “arms” not being distinguished in the text just to illustrate that point. If “it’s not in the text,” then it ain’t strict constructionism.

  142. - Melancton Smith - Friday, Oct 2, 09 @ 8:41 am:

    Charles, I thought I answered. I gave a working definition of ‘arms’ based upon what I believe to be original intent.

    However, if you want to be a part of society, you do have to give up a little, such as, not playing your music real loud all night long in a residential neighborhood. However, we don’t place a prior restraint upon your rights by neutering your stereo.

    Your comment regarding Scalia is dead on. One of my criticisms of his opinion was the ‘common use’ justification. How do we introduce new ‘arms’ then? Note that Federal law does not ban machine guns and grenade launchers, but places a regulatory scheme over them. Some states do ban them, such as IL, and perhaps those bans can be challenged. Hard to say, and certainly not first on my suggestion list post-McDonald.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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