In his ruling this week that struck down one of the last relics of Chicago’s long-standing gun ban, U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang made a startling observation. Chang noted that while one of the fundamental duties of government is to protect its citizens, “certain fundamental rights” are protected by the Constitution, and thus should be “outside government's reach.” To put it more bluntly, government cannot – and should not -- be trusted with those rights.
This was bad news for Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel, who along with President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have been trying to rewrite America’s gun laws during their tenure in power (in the case of Holder, I have called publicly for his resignation, and for Obama, the “I” word should no longer be off-limits).
Yet, Chang’s ruling was just one of many since 2010 that have struck down, blow by blow, key parts of Chicago’s gun ban that made it one of the most unfriendly cities in America for gun rights – and, by no coincidence, among the most dangerous for its citizens.
In 2008, the Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, established once and for all, that the Second Amendment codified an “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Two years later, in a follow-up decision, the high Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago, that the right guaranteed in the Second Amendment applied to local governments as well as the federal government. These two foundational rulings set the stage for a comprehensive and long-term campaign, waged by pro-Constitution organizations, against the city of Chicago’s gun laws, and those of the state as well.
Around this time last year, I wrote about the federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit striking down Illinois’ unconstitutional ban on private carry of firearms, in an opinion authored by well-known jurist Richard Posner. Since then, Illinois has been flooded by citizen applications for concealed carry permits -- in numbers that dwarf the inflated enrollment figures for ObamaCare in the state.
It appears citizens know which program will really keep them safe and healthy.