Do you remember June 26 of last year. The Supreme Court finally handed down it’s ruling in the District of Columbia v. Heller case concerning the district’s outright ban on handguns. When that ruling was delivered, it was known that it would not be a blanket decision on gun laws across the United States. Chicago has it’s own ban in place and it was fully expected that it would be challenged and brought before the high court. Coming as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention, the Supreme Court has accepted the case of McDonald v. Chicago, 08-1521 and will rule on the constitutionality of Chicago’s handgun ban sometime next year.
If you have been around Political Realities for long, you will probably be aware of an earlier discussion on this subject. Defending the 2nd Amendment drew much more response than I ever expected and remains the most commented on post on the blog. Yes, I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. That is why I reject out of hand, any law that outright bans handguns or any other reasonable weapon. That does not include fully automatic or other weapons that should be strictly for military use, but I can not help but get my hackles up when a politician or anyone else gets the bright idea that the best way to stop crime is to ban guns. Sorry, but that does not compute for me.
I would like to think that I learned something from the earlier discussion on the 2nd Amendment. Almost every year, legislation is introduced in Congress that would do great harm to the rights of gun owners. In nearly every case, the legislation is dead on arrival or soon thereafter. Even Tom Gresham of Gun Talk thinks we should stop wasting time and ammo on legislation that is going nowhere fast. So, on one side we have people who seem to think they have the right to ban firearms completely and on the other, the NRA and other 2nd Amendment advocates lobbying hard to prevent any restrictions at all.
That is the reason the Chicago case gets my attention. This case has the potential to change the way gun laws are viewed across the country. Since the District of Columbia has a different status than do the states, this case could have great bearing on some of the state and local laws that are very tough on gun ownership. Do I hope the ban is overturned? Yes, I do and even gun control advocates agree that it probably will, but I hope the ruling does more than that. If the ruling goes as expected, it will be hailed as a great victory for the 2nd Amendment, as it should be. I would hope that it would force the same politicians I mentioned in the paragraph above to realize that outright bans do no good and will not go unchallenged. I hope it makes them realize that fighting crime does not include fighting against those in this country who legally own firearms. Maybe then both sides can work together to come up with a better solution than fighting to either allow any and all weapons or ban them altogether.