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Friday, June 27, 2008

And So It Begins

As I said in my statement about the Heller decision yesterday (echoing those more knowledgeable than I on the Constitution and impact of SCOTUS decisions) yesterday's ruling was just the beginning. Following yesterday's 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court in Heller v. District of Columbia, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) filed a federal lawsuit challenging the City of Chicago's long-standing handgun ban. The case, McDonald v. City of Chicago includes Attorney Alan Gura, who argued the Heller Case to the Supreme Court and David G. Sigale, representing the plaintiffs.

I cannot stress how important this year's election is going to be for continuing to regain ground lost over the years. If Barack Obama has the opportunity appoint two justices that believe like him, the the Constitution is a living document (see his book "The Audacity of Hope") then yesterday's ruling will have no measurable affect on gun bans like those in Chicago because more lawsuits will be necessary to do away with them.

Gun owners may have differences with Senator John McCain but compared to Senator Barack Obama, the choice should be clear.

Senator McCain had this to say about the decision:

"Today's decision is a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States. For this first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers. I applaud this decision as well as the overturning of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and limitations on the ability to use firearms for self-defense.

"Unlike Senator Obama, who refused to join me in signing a bipartisan amicus brief, I was pleased to express my support and call for the ruling issued today. Today's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans. Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is an important right- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly.

"This ruling does not mark the end of our struggle against those who seek to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. We must always remain vigilant in defense of our freedoms. But today, the Supreme Court ended forever the specious argument that the Second Amendment did not confer an individual right to keep and bear arms. "

For some good coverage of yesterday's ruling, go to The archives have a DC vs Heller section and last night's program is part of it. Also, on Sunday, Gun Talk radio will have Alan Gura on for the first hour. Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb will be Tom's guest on the second hour and both will be talking about the Heller v. District of Columbia decision as well as the lawsuits that will be filed against Chicago. You can listen online at starting at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Hat tip to the Shooting Wire.

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