Recently, as citizens across America were learning about Judge Sotomayor’s troubling Second Amendment rulings, a new story broke that increased concerns. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled to uphold a Chicago law banning handguns and automatic weapons within city limits. This is exactly the type of ruling Judge Sotomayor uphold as she was one of three federal appellate judges to say that an individual’s rights, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, does not apply to states.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Judge Sotomayor will likely be on the Supreme Court while a potentially groundbreaking Second Amendment case is decided. Constitutional scholars, gun owners and freedom loving Americans will once again find themselves on pins and needles.
For months now, the rights of gun owners all across this country have been in limbo as they experienced the fluid ups and downs of federal court opinions. At times they saw their individual rights eroding away under the weight of anti-gun activists who would impose personal views in place of the plain language of the 2nd Amendment. At other moments, it seemed the activists would be defeated by cases like District of Columbia v. Heller and individual rights would prevail.
In fact, over two hundred years ago – the author of the Declaration of Independence - President Thomas Jefferson, had many of the same concerns as he sat down to write a letter to his friend Wilson Cary Nicholas. Jefferson wrote, “Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction."
Thomas Jefferson knew then, with fresh memories of a bloody struggle for independence, what many gun-owners have come to learn today: liberty is a fragile gift which is always worth fighting for. That’s why I have applauded cases such as Heller while remaining vigilant against activists who would have the District of Columbia find new ways around the Heller ruling, and support the 7th Circuit Court’s search for new precedents.