Monday, June 28th, 2010
A disarmed people are vulnerable, and at risk of enslavement to the expansion of authoritarian governments both domestic and foreign. Dictatorships thoughout history have employed gun control to devastating effect. This is the fundamental reason for the 2nd Amendment to the American constitution. This is a principle urban Canadians, who have been trained in a couple of short generations to quake in fear at the thought of a gun, have lost sight of. Kids in the US used to take their guns to school and stick them in their lockers. It was no big deal, the culture was accustomed to handling firearms responsibly. This, then, is the point that some ‘tea party’ types exercising their right to open carry at demonstrations are making. It is not a threat to shoot Barack Obama, as some moronic media commenters have inferred, voices quavering at the thought of the evil guns.
The stakes are very high when it comes to whether the citizens of any country are permitted their right to a means of self-defence, which is why there is so much obfuscation and spin around the issue. Which is why legitimate gun owners are demonized and police forces are directed to engage in tactics like knock and talk, seizures for minor violations of arbitrary registration laws, and bribery (cameras for guns) programs to encourage disarmament. This ruling by the US Supreme Court is a victory for liberty, but it is not an absolute victory, given that the absolute right of any citizen to act in their defence is now subject by this decision to any limitation local governments may dream up. It could be argued that this is a Pyhrric victory – it simultaneously affirms the intention of the constitutional framers on the one hand, while simultaneously restricting the right they held to be such an important check on the power of central governments with the other.
Related: UK doctors agree to waive privacy of mentally ill gun owners | Toronto police beat man, TASER dog in failed gun raid | Liberals aim to put a bullet in bill to scrap gun registry | Bilderberg Wants Americans Disarmed And Dependent On Government | Anti-gun registry bill hits snag as committee votes not to proceed | Police groups join forces in support of long gun registry | Gun activists rally in U.S. capital | George Jonas: Mr. Bumble’s gun registry | Toronto Star Columnist Fiorito: The cops came and took my gun | BATF Notice Bans Private Gun Sales In Texas | Parliament votes ‘in principle’ to scrap gun registry, bill moves to second reading | Tories move closer to killing gun registry | UK: Paramilitary police placed on routine foot patrol for first time | Toronto police seize 400 guns in ’safety push’ | Handgun bans and the world of make-believe | No vote scheduled on Tory bill to kill gun registry | Americans stick to their guns as firearms sales surge | Secret Homeland Security Threat Assessment Labels Gun Owners Potential Terrorists | Harper urges supporters to fight long gun registry | Police-run gun amnesties in trouble across country | 1,900 Guns Traded for Cameras in Toronto | Toronto Police offer gun owners shiny new camera, home visit to disarm themselves | Layton promises urban gun control | Ont. premier calls for Canada-wide ban on handguns | Citizens Witness Gunplay, Black Uniforms as ‘Flashpoint’ Shoots Drama in Heart of Toronto | A historic gun club’s final days | Chicago, awash in gun violence, gives Toronto advice: You need a gun ban like ours | Illinois governor suggests National Guard help with Chicago gun crime | Armed Police to Roam Toronto High Schools | My gun, my right. We’ll see | Municipalities Join Miller in Calling for Final Citizen Disarmament | Pistol Pendant Causes Airport Holdup | Miller wants shooting ranges shut down | Machine Gun-Toting Officers To Patrol NYC Subway
June 28, 2010
A divided U.S. Supreme Court said the constitutional right to bear arms binds states and cities, as well as the federal government, in a decision that raises questions about gun laws around the country.
The ruling, while not creating an unlimited right for individuals to carry weapons, restricts the power of cities and states to regulate firearms. A 5-4 majority said Chicago went too far by banning handguns even for self-defense in the home. The Chicago ordinance is now unenforceable, its mayor said, though the law stays in effect pending lower court proceedings.
The ruling said states and cities can ban possession by convicted felons and mentally ill people and enforce laws against bringing guns into schools or government buildings.
Chicago is the only major city with a blanket handgun ban, after a 2008 Supreme Court decision struck down a similar ban in Washington, D.C., a federal enclave. Jurisdictions with narrower weapons restrictions, including New York City, may now face new legal challenges.
The right to bear arms “is fully binding on the states and thus limits (but by no means eliminates) their ability to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.