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GUNS Magazine July 2010 - Page 64
RIGHTS WATCH • DAVID CODREA • cDonald v. Chicago (see “Chicago Gun Ban Heads to Supreme Court” in the Feb. 2010 issue), challenging the Windy City’s handgun ban, is being considered by the US Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard on March 2, and a decision is expected sometime in June. The case has not been without controversy, and not just from antigunners. The National Rifle Association, which had been promoting a parallel case, was granted time to address the high court in oral arguments, a request and decision that did not please lead attorney Alan Gura. It’s not the first time the two have clashed over competing cases and approaches. NRA had previously been rebuffed in the District of Columbia v. Heller case (see “The Heller High Watermark”: Oct. 2008). At issue is determining if, and how, the Second Amendment should be applied to the states, that is, via the 14th Amendment’s “privileges and immunities” clause or using the “due process” clause that the court has applied in the past. The first would require overturning “settled law” from the Slaughterhouse Cases—an approach favored by some and feared by others due to what other edicts might fall. In the end, based on the oral argument transcripts, the justices appeared to offer fewer challenges to NRA counsel and former Solicitor General Paul Clement’s due process arguments. The general consensus? SCOTUSBlog, the go-to resource on Supreme Court activities, noted, “[A] number of news sources reported that the justices’ questions suggested that the Court would extend Second Amendment protection to individuals subject to state and local gun-control ordinances. [They] all report that the Court seems ready to expand the Second Amendment’s reach significantly.” 64 M Due Process for seconD AmenDment? This did not sit well with Chicago’s mayor and notorious anti-gunner Richard M. Daley. In what can only be described as a media tantrum documented by the Chicago Sun-Times, city hall reporter Fran Spielman wrote, “In fact, he’s ridiculing the high court for affirming the Second Amendment right to bear arms while sitting in a protective bubble.” Like Daley should talk, with his retinue of armed police bodyguards giving him a taxpayer-funded protective bubble of his own, all the while demanding “ordinary” citizens are disarmed. Still, it’s appropriate to ask just what will change if the court rules as anticipated. “McDonald v. City of Chicago ruling may prove a hollow victory for gun lobby,” wrote the Brady Center’s Dennis A. Henigan in “Hotline Buzz,” a University of Pittsburgh School of Law blog. “[C]omments by members of the Heller majority appear to embrace the position argued in the amicus brief filed by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and several national police groups that, regardless of whether the Second Amendment applies to the states, it should be read to allow for reasonable gun regulations.” As much as we might hate to admit it, he may have a point. The justices spent much time talking about just what might be considered “reasonable.” And the concept “shall not be infringed” did not even receive a passing mention. Visit David Codrea’s online journal “The War on Guns” at waronguns.blogspot.com or visit DavidCodrea.com to read his Examiner column. WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JULY 2010