Supreme Court extends rights of gun ownership

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In a landmark ruling the US Supreme Court on June 28, 2010 has extended the gun rights of the American citizens by limiting the power of states and municipalities to restrict gun ownership.

Some cities like Chicago have strict firearms rules but the ruling of the US Supreme Court now has restricted the rights of state and city governments to enforce controls on gun ownership.

The United State's highest court ruled by 5-4 that a ban on handgun ownership in Chicago was unconstitutional with justices saying that the US Constitution protected the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.

The ruling could potentially change laws on gun ownership in many of the US states. Debate over the exact meaning of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms has raged for years in the US.

The problem though, still is, that even the judges of the Supreme Court do not seem to understand the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution properly for the provisions made therein are about military firearms of the day and this would, in the spirit, extend to military hardware of today.

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is what the Second Amendment states and when we thus remember that the militia was then the defense force for an area against enemies of all kinds in today's understanding it would mean that the people have the right to own (keep) and bear military firearms.

Two years ago, the same court ruled a ban on handguns in Washington DC to be unconstitutional – declaring that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess guns, at least for purposes of self-defense in the home.

But Washington is a federal city, with a unique legal standing. Gun rights proponents almost immediately filed a federal lawsuit challenging gun control laws in Chicago, Illinois, and its suburb of Oak Park, where handguns have been banned for nearly 30 years.

In June 2010's ruling on that challenge the justices said the Second Amendment right "applies equally to the federal government and the states".

Gun control proponents say the ruling will be seen as a blow to efforts to reduce the role of firearms in American life.

The justices seen as the more liberal – Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg and Sotomayor – voted against the latest ruling and with Sotamayor's record that was rather obvious.

The case with reference to the gun restrictions in the City of Chicago was brought by four Chicago residents, as well as local firearms rights activists and the National Rifle Association.

The latest Supreme Court decision does not explicitly strike down the Chicago area laws, but it orders a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling – leaving little doubt that the laws will eventually be overturned.

The NRA has welcomed the "landmark decision" of the court, and it's executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre said, “The NRA will work to ensure this constitutional victory is not transformed into a practical defeat by activist judges, defiant city councils or cynical politicians who seek to pervert, reverse or nullify the Supreme Court's McDonald decision.”

Too many people are afraid – especially in countries such as Britain – that gun ownership is a bad thing and some seem to see guns as “evil”. A trait they have begun, in the UK, to now attach to knives even.

This is utter stupidity and balderdash as neither a knife nor a gun can be evil; it is the person using it for evil purposes who is and if someone wants to get a gun in order to commit a crime he or she can and will.

On the other hand, legally owned and carried guns can prevent a crime and have done so in many instances, but such instances are never ever reported. Only the the bad sides get into the news and into reports.

Many a problematic situation can be defused with a kind word and many more can be done so with a kind word and the barrel of a gun. The gun reinforcing the word. It works.

In areas where concealed carry is legal in United States towns and cities violent crime like street muggings and such have dropped to near nothing. The reason: criminals are cowards and like their potential victims and bystanders to be defenseless. Armed civilians increase their risks and hence they move their activities elsewhere.

The Supreme Court ruling can be found here. This is a PDF file.

© 2010