A Wingnut's version of Utopia. (public domain)
In yet another pro-violence decision made under the delusion that it's everyone's God-given right to own a firearm, wherever they want, whenever they want; the Supreme Court decided 5-4 in the case of McDonald v. Chicago in favor of Otis McDonald, one of four Chicago-area residents to bring the original suit.
They followed the decision of D.C. v. Heller from 2008, which held that Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban within the city was unconstitutional, despite the dramatic decrease in violent crime since the law was enacted.
The Heller decision applied only to federal laws - the McDonald ruling applies the right to own a gun for defense to the entire country.
The four Chicago-area residents who brought the suit challenged handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, IL, as unconstitutional. McDonald, who is in his seventies, said he lives in a high-crime area and needs a handgun for protection.
Apparently the affluent suburb of Oak Park is a high-crime area as well.
The City of Chicago argued that its ban was enacted to protect citizens from guns and that the court should not apply the Heller right, via the Fourteenth Amendment, to the states. In other words, follow and argue the conservative mantra of “states rights”. What they forgot is that “states rights” is a mantra conservatives use until it doesn't suit their purposes anymore. So again, in the Court's mind, the Second Amendment counts, but the Fourteenth Amendment doesn't.
Justice Alito essentially said as much:
Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day, and in Heller, we held that individual self-defense is 'the central component' of the Second Amendment right. Municipal respondents, in effect, ask us to treat the right recognized in Heller as a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees that we have held to be incorporated into the Due Process Clause.
The Court also ordered that a lower court review the Chicago handgun ban.
The majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy.
In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens argued that if the right to self-defense applies to the states, it doesn't necessarily mean that the City of Chicago cannot ban handgun ownership.
It is a very long way from the proposition that the Fourteenth Amendment protects a basic individual right of self-defense to the conclusion that a city may not ban handguns. Although the court’s decision in this case might be seen as a mere adjunct to Heller,the consequences could prove far more destructive — quite literally — to out nation’s communities and to our constitution.”
His dissent was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor.
On a day where Circuit Court Judge failure and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) railed against Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan for twenty solid minutes about “activist judges”, it's beyond ironic that the only “activist judges” on the bench today in the news are the five wingnuts who said that states rights don't count if they impede a pet project of the right.
Today, the SCOTUS has made the country less safe. Not by allowing terrorists free reign (although they were sure helped today) necessarily, but by allowing everyone everywhere to have guns whenever they want.
The numbers don't lie. The United States already is up there with South Africa and Columbia in terms of gun-related violence and murders by firearm. So by all means, the right thing to do is to make it easier for someone to get a gun.
The brilliance of the right continues to astound us all. The current Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution and stance on gun control is astounding as well.