While most of the media was debating whether the recent Newsweek cover photo of Sarah Palin was sexist or sexy, the National Rifle Association quietly filed a brief in support of a U.S. Supreme Court case that could resolve a substantive debate — whether an individual’s right to firearms ownership guaranteed in the Second Amendment is applied to the states and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.
In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down Washington D.C.’s near total handgun ban, in the landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller. The justices found that the Second Amendment granted individuals the right to bear arms.
However, since the District is a federal enclave, the court still had to consider whether the Second Amendment protections applied outside of D.C.
Now, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Court will determine whether the Second Amendment applies to the states and local governments.
According to the NRA:
In September, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the McDonald case, on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. That court incorrectly claimed that prior Supreme Court precedent prevented it from holding in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment. As we argued at the time, the Seventh Circuit should have followed the lead of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. King, which found that Supreme Court precedent does not prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
For most of the East Coast and the People’s Democratic Republic of California, guns are a partisan political issue, subject to “control” by the tyrannical and whimsical acts of local politicians, many of whom couldn’t describe the difference between a shotgun and a rifle.
For most of the states in between, guns are simply a tool.
In Delaware, one need not look hard to see evidence of the politicization of this civil right.
Gov. Jack Markell, during his campaign, touted the benefits of several gun control strategies, including the need for banning “assault weapons” — a political term he had a hard time defining. We at CRI are pretty sure Markell defines an “assault weapon” as any firearm that looks scary. We prefer the term PIG (Politically Incorrect Gun).
Outside the First State, the mishmash of firearms restrictions becomes even more looney.
Most PIGS are banned on the other side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. New Jersey has some of the most restrictive and most ill-conceived firearms laws in the United States.
The Garden State is home to Sarco Inc., one of the country’s largest and most-respected purveyors of firearms and firearms parts and accessories. Sarco can sell a PIG or a 30-round magazine to a visiting Delawarean — and their prices and inventory make the trip worthwhile — but not to anyone from New Jersey, even if they live across the street from the Stirling, NJ firm.
Jumping across the country, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed A.B. 962, which requires gun owners to provide their fingerprints and personal information when they buy a box of ammunition.
Through McDonald, the High Court can end the craziness, making moot many of the inane laws and restrictions signed into law for purely political reasons, by politicians who don’t know which end of the barrel the bullets come out of.