Monday, June 28, 2010

Supreme Court Is Correct in Striking Down Chicago Gun Ban

I support the US Supreme Court's striking down (5 to 4) a Chicago gun ban as unconstitutional this morning.   I'm no fan or devotee of guns, but the Second Amendment is, after all, a prominent part of our Constitution - only the First Amendment exceeds it in numerical priority - and ought to be respected.

Chicago argued that the Second Amendment applies only to Federal laws, not to state and local laws.  But the Fourteenth Amendment says otherwise, explicitly insisting that the rights of citizens given in the Constitution cannot be taken away or abridged by states.

The dangers of violating the Constitution should be obvious.  World War II was the last war legally declared by Congress as provided for in the Constitution.   American wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan are the result.   The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech and press.  But the FCC has been fining broadcasters millions of dollars in the past few years.  (See my Flouting of the First Amendment for more.)

Disregarding a part of the Constitution, such as the Second Amendment, just because we don't like it, is not the way to go.   Finding a legal way to work around it (if one really exists) or repealing it are the only possible roads to real progress.   The Chicago gun ban law did neither, and the Supreme Court was right to sweep it aside.
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