Opinion

Chicago's threat to the Second Amendment | Firearms Lawyer

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decided the most important gun case in history on June 28, 2010. A previous landmark 2008 gun case, DC vs. Heller, held that the Constitution actually meant what the Founding Fathers thought they meant when they drafted it!

The Bill of Rights only began to be applied to the states due to the 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War to protect newly freed citizens from the tyranny of Southern regimes that deployed de jure force of law and de facto intimidation to perpetuate slavery.

In McDonald vs. Chicago, the Court acknowledged that the 14th Amendment aims at firearms restrictions enacted against blacks and enforced by armed white mobs often via the noose-end of a rope. Otis McDonald, the 76-year-old African-American plaintiff in the case, is a neighborhood activist targeted because he stood up to thugs that claim to rule the streets of Chicago.

Chicago required registration in order for Mr. McDonald to keep a handgun in his home, but also prohibited the registration of handguns. Thus, McDonald sued Chicago and declared independence from a de facto ban on handguns.

The criteria upon which SCOTUS determined that the right to keep and bear arms applies against state governments relates to whether our gun rights are fundamental to a civilized society. Amazingly, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley thinks that disarming citizens in the City of the Big Shoulders is just a "common sense" measure because other civilized nations also have enacted severe gun control laws.

Judging by the high murder rate in Chicago, Mayor Daley's "common sense" may seem like blatant racism to black people like Otis McDonald. Just as Daley's father defied Martin Luther King by displaying his middle finger to Civil Rights marchers in front of City Hall in Chicago, Chicago's current machine boss has vowed to keep fighting to keep guns out of the hands of honest people. Chicago is busy attempting to thwart gun ownership with new legal barriers, and the mayor urged countries like Mexico to sue the U.S. in the World Court.

Washington has a firearms preemption law that prevents municipalities from enacting gun laws that are more restrictive than laws enacted by the state Legislature. Expect to see lawsuits challenging California laws against semi-automatic rifles; i.e., “assault weapons” that look like fully-automatic M-16s.

Washington state's Legislature has recently considered enacting "assault weapon" bans similar to the one in California. SCOTUS has suggested that the Second Amendment protects "militarily useful" firearms. Thus, SCOTUS may protect us against the gun banners in Olympia by deciding in the future that the Second Amendment protects "assault weapons." Military style semi-autos, high-capacity magazines and/or .50-caliber rifles (legal in Washington and most other states) are all prohibited in California.

The Obama administration is presently moving toward a UN Treaty and expects the courts might uphold executive orders backed up by international treaty commitments that would arguably preempt the U.S. Constitution. Gun rights are now one of the most important reasons Supreme Court nominations launch such intense battles! While some Americans ask why some of us use the harsh language of war, citizens in nations that have lost their freedom are looking at what Americans will do next as the land of the free struggles to remain free.

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