McDonald Victory – what does it mean?

First off, this is an extremely exciting era of modern history to live in from the firearms perspective. We have seen a gradual restoration of one of the fundamental rights of Americans.  It started with the restoration of concealed/open carry rights. It became codified 2 yrs ago with the Heller decision which finally attested to the fundamental nature of the 2nd Amendment.   Now we have gained incorporation, the recognition that the right is so fundamental and natural that the states do not have the right to trample it.

But what does this really mean? Can we just sit back and sit on our merits?  Is the fight over?  Is this “Victory”?

Not even close. If anything, this is a escalation of war.  I expect to see more numerous and more intense battles with regards to our 2nd Amendment rights.  McDonald has in fact opened the door for more conflict.  We will now see numerous battles regarding the subtlety of our rights.  What limits states and municipalities can apply against our rights.  Which are tolerable (violent felons prohibited) and which are intolerable (one gun limits).  We have the potential to achieve dramatic gains over the next few years. But if we’re not careful and dauntless the we could find ourselves under greater restrictions. (If a court ruling says that Chicago’s 1 handgun limit does not violate the 2nd Amendment, how many other cities will follow suit?)

But here is the key effect of the McDonald decision. One, it opens up the gates to allow us to confront these issues. Now having standing on a decision that says this is a fundamental right, and any infringement must be reviewed by the courts. (Rather than merely being dismissed without cause by the lower courts as has been commonly done in the past.)  Second, it puts the ball in our court. We finally get to move into the offensive.  Because now that our right is affirmed we have the stronger base position.  Both of these aspects are significant positives for our movement and the cause of liberty.

But neither mitigates the need to be vocal and stand in support of our “last” right.  A right of significant importance.

The NRA refers to the right to keep and bear arms as our “First Freedom”. I am of the opinion that a more apt description is “Our Last Right”.  The right to keep and bear arms, to defend our lives against tyranny and villainy is in fact our final right. It’s the one we hold onto until our dying moment.

McDonald is a step in strengthening that right; which in itself is a deterrent against needing to use it.

Snowflakesinhell has some good commentary on the decision:

http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2010/06/28/live-blog-the-decision/

http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2010/06/28/scalias-concurrence/

http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2010/06/28/thomas-privileges-or-immunities-opinion/

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Published in: on July 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Justice Stevens to retire (no surprise here)

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has announced he will be retiring. This really comes as no surprise. CNN tried to paint Stevens as a moderate. But let’s face it, there is a really easy litmus test, if they retire under a conservative – they’re a conservative and if they retire under a liberal, they’re a liberal.

So what does this mean for the gun rights community?

It does not really change the status quo or balance of the court. There is a slight chance it could weaken the left. Stevens wrote many dissents, and was often the leadership end of the left. If Stevens is replaced before McDonald is heard, we’d have a SCOTUS line-up featuring two new and rather young liberals. One of which does not strike me as all that bright (Sotomayor). Facing much more experienced and stronger individuals.

That said, one item about this greatly disturbs me. The mention of the possibility of appointing Janet Napolotino to the Supreme Court. Yes, the former governor of Arizona who is now head of Homeland Security. Yes, the one who pretty much declared conservatives and liberals a threat to security – and who is very anti-gun.

I am not too concerned at this point. Because I think there would be far too many objections for her to be viable. But if such proves to be a serious consideration, I will be sure to raise a ruckus. This is one woman who I deem to be an extremely dangerous threat to liberty.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/09/stevens.biography/index.html?hpt=T2

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 5:56 am  Comments (4)  
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Transcript of Oral Arguments in McDonald Case

77 pages…

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/08-1521.pdf
(H/T Snowflakes In Hell)

This has the potential to be the most significant court decision in regards to the 2nd Amendment.

***

Reading through…so far, my thoughts are “Roberts” is an intelligent man, never wager $ in a chess game with him.

Scalia hit with a thought I had myself “Let’s assume that the only reason it is there and the only purpose it serves is the militia purpose. Isn’t that militia purpose just as much defeated by allowing the States to take away the militia’s arms as it would be by allowing the Federal Government to take away the militia’s arms?”

Scalia hits it out of the park again… “See, the right to keep and bear arms is right there, it’s right there in the Bill of Rights. Where do you find the right to self-defense?  You — you want us to impose that one on the States but not — not the explicit guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. That seems very strange.”

*****

The final most important words…

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS:  “The case is submitted.”

Published in: on March 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Follow Sebastian and Bitter’s coverage of McDonald Case on Twitter

This is the case that could restore many of our 2nd Amendment rights.

http://twitter.com/SebastianSH

http://twitter.com/bitterb

Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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McDonald vs Chicago (a.k.a. Alan Gura part II)

If you have not heard, Alan Gura, the lawyer who argued the case for Dick Heller in DC vs Heller will now be arguing for McDonald vs Chicago.  This case has the potential to a) defeat Chicago draconian and “unreasonable” gun ban, and b) garner incorporation of the 2nd Amendment. Which would require states to also acknowledge and adhere to the ideals of the 2nd Amendment.

Below is the press release by Alan Gura for the Second Amendment Foundation as well as some other relevant links.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, and decide whether the right to keep and bear arms secured by the Second Amendment protects Americans from overreaching state and local governments.

At issue is a 27-year-old Chicago law banning handguns, requiring the annual taxation of firearms, and otherwise interfering with the right of law-abiding individuals to keep guns at home for self-defense. The case was brought on behalf of four Chicago residents, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Last year, in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. However, as that case concerned the actions of the District of Columbia government, a federal entity, the high court was not called upon to decide whether the right bound states and local governments. Over the years, almost the entire Bill of Rights has been held to apply to state and local governments by operation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“The freedoms we enjoy as Americans are secured to us against violation by all levels of government,” noted Alan Gura, of Gura & Possessky, PLLC, lead counsel for the McDonald plaintiffs. “State and local politicians should be on notice: the Second Amendment is a normal part of the Bill of Rights, and it is coming to your town.”

Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident since 1952 who led the fight to integrate his union local in the 1960s and is a plaintiff in the case, welcomed the news.

“I am grateful the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case,” McDonald said. “I now pray that the Court secures me and all other law-abiding citizens the right to defend ourselves and our families.”

SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the case is of paramount importance to American citizens, to see that their constitutional rights are respected not only by the Congress, but by state and local governments.

“SAF was delighted to bring this case in cooperation with the Illinois State Rifle Association and the four local plaintiffs because a gun ban is no less onerous to civil rights in Chicago than it was in the District of Columbia,” Gottlieb observed. “Such a law cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.”

Chicago attorney David Sigale commented, “The City of Chicago cannot take from millions of Americans the fundamental freedom of self-defense in one’s own home. We are confident the Court will stand on the side of the law-abiding citizens and the Bill of Rights.”

“We’re pleased to hear that the Supreme Court has decided to take a look at Chicago’s gun laws,” added ISRA President Don Moran. “In this time of economic uncertainty and increasing lawlessness, the good people of Chicago ought not have to choose between violating Chicago’s gun ban, and protecting themselves and their loved ones.”

The Chicago gun ban challenge will likely be among the most closely watched constitutional law cases in decades. At stake is not just the question of whether the Second Amendment secures the right to arms against state and local governments, but also the extent to which the Supreme Court preserves individual liberty against encroachment by state and local governments.

Oral argument will possibly be scheduled early this coming winter, with a decision expected by June 2010. Gura will argue the case on behalf of the McDonald plaintiffs.

More Info:

Second Amendment Foundation:  Press Release by Alan Gura
http://www.chicagoguncase.com/2009/09/30/press-release-supreme-court-to-hear-mcdonald-case/

U.S. Supreme Court docket
http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08-1521.htm

Wikipedia Article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._Chicago