Bob Barr

However, the lesson here is not entirely about guns. In fact, the real lesson we can learn from Chicago is just how dangerous conditions for liberty can become when we allow government to ignore the Constitution. Years ago Democrats in Illinois decided, for themselves, that the Rule of Law vested in the Constitution was no longer applicable in modern society. They believed, like most of today's Democrats (and some Republicans) in Congress, that unique, modern challenges warranted extra-legal solutions.

The result was years of public policy designed specifically to crush individual freedom.

And, the scariest part? The people of Illinois were brainwashed into believing that “modern times called for modern answers,” and this was the way “freedom” had to be presented in the “post 9/11 world.” Only now, after pro-Constitution groups have spent millions in legal fees, are we seeing the true cost to undo years of wrong-headed laws; not to mention the rights violated, and the lives lost, because liberty was made illegal by Chicago politicians and their enablers in Springfield.

If we are to learn one thing from this week’s ruling in Chicago, it is not that liberals’ attempts at gun control are bad and unconstitutional. Americans already know this from watching countless gun crimes committed in “gun free zones,” or while waiting for the police to arrive as an intruder prowls through their homes. Rather, the lesson is about how constitutional rights are nearly impossible to reclaim fully after being abandoned in favor of society’s understanding of “contemporary” freedom.

So, as we debate the future of gun rights in America, as well as key policy decisions involving our other civil liberties, Americans must reject the claim that our Founding Fathers did not and could not envision the NSA, TSA, local police with armed drones, international terrorism, FISA courts, or no-knock warrants when they drafted the Constitution. They did understand, because they truly understood the inherent nature of government and its drive to control the citizenry with whatever tools are available to it, whether those be muskets or drones. We ignore their lessons at our own peril.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.