Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SCOTUS shoots down Chicago

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in MacDonald vs. Chicago, a landmark case in which the defendant argued for the ability to deprive its citizens of their Second Amendment right to defend themselves with handguns. The Supreme Court affirmed that Chicago is indeed part of the United States, and regardless of the wishes of its mayor, its citizens are entitled to exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves.

Not so fast, said the City Council. After first considering a limit of one handgun per person (illegal), the aldermen settled on one handgun per person per month. I'm glad I'm not limited to one blog post per month; or one members' meeting of The V Show Fan Club per month. Those limits would infringe on my First Amendment rights. The City Council's law infringes on Chicagoans' Second Amendment rights. Is there a constitutional difference? We'll soon find out. One alderman--Robert Fioretti (2nd), as I recall--warned gun advocates about taking the City to court. Of course, Alderman. The little people wouldn't dare assert their constitutional rights. The law enacts a $100 gun possession license valid for three years. Since this is more than the cost of processing, the license fee is illegal: the city cannot charge its citizens to invoke their Second Amendment rights. The law bans more than one gun in the home being operational; the others must be disassembled. Who is going to enforce that? Stormtroopers? (G-d forbid.) My sense is people who own more than one consider their firearms like fire extinguishers; they want one at the ready on each floor in case of intruders. I don't see how this part of the law is at all helpful in quelling crime; it seems only helpful in weakening law-abiding homeowners. The law also bans gun possession in garages, porches and outside staircases. So criminals know they're safe in those parts of a residence, where the Second Amendment doesn't apply. The law bans gun sales in the city--certainly unconstitutional. The city cannot ban from sale an item the U.S. Supreme Court insists is legal.

"I can't imagine why anyone would oppose these reasonable regulations," squealed Ald. Joe Moore (49th). Because they're illegal, Alderman. Because they restrict your peasants' constitutional rights. Because they want the same right your long-serving colleagues kept for themselves 28 years ago while banning it for their constituents.

On an issue seemingly controversial in the city, in which two residents successfully defended themselves with handguns they owned, and in which the Chicago Tribune estimates there are 100,000 handguns, this ordinance passed 45-0. I wonder if the aldermen excluded themselves from these restrictions like they did from the original 1982 handgun ban.

Quick question: how does one bring home his just-purchased gun from a gun store outside the city? If it is concealed in one's vehicle and one is stopped by police, who conduct a "probable cause" search, then the concealed weapon violates the state's ban on concealed weapons. If it is in plain sight, and the police see it from their vantage point outside the vehicle, then it violates the city's law against possession away from home. And how does one transport the weapon to the city's mandated target practice sessions? I would love to see the trial for the possession charge.

This is just another example of Chicago's City Council doing the bidding of Hizzonerdamare Richard M. Daley with no debate or public input. If the Tribune's estimate is true, perhaps 10 percent of homeowners protect themselves with handguns. Shouldn't they have a say in how their Second Amendment rights are being trampled upon?

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