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The Supreme Court has incorporated the Second Amendment. But the party of government power will continue its efforts to disarm the American people.
(Page 3 of 3)
Chicago must be insisting on these draconian restrictions because the handgun ban had been so effective in reducing crime, right? Well, not exactly. Data presented to the Supreme Court compared Chicago’s violent crime rate (murder, robbery, and assault) to the average of the other 24 of the 25 largest cities in America. None of the other cities had a handgun ban.
The data showed that when Chicago’s handgun ban was enacted in 1982, its violent crime rate was about equal to that of the other 24 cities. After the ban, Chicago’s violent crime rate spiked immediately and dramatically compared to the other cities. From 1982 to the present, Chicago’s violent crime rate has averaged more than 50 percent higher than the other large cities. The percentage of murders committed with handguns in Chicago varied between roughly 40 percent and 55 percent each year during the pre-ban period of 1965-1981. In recent years, while the handgun ban was in place, the percentage committed with handguns has consistently been 70 percent or more.
So why do the proponents of government power bitterly cling to “no guns and no religion”?
Because their opposition to firearms ownership has nothing to do with reducing crime. The reason they want to ban guns is not that they all happen to be empirically mistaken about how to combat crime. Instead, disarming law-abiding citizens is part of a continuing power grab by an elite who want to subdue the private domain and control our lives.
THE DISSENTING OPINIONS in McDonald provide insights into this mindset. The four dissenting justices made it clear that they would gut the Second Amendment if they only had one more vote on their side.
Justice Stevens in his dissenting opinion posited that “it is a foundational premise of modern government that the State holds a monopoly on legitimate violence.” (He sought to attribute that view to Chief Justice Roberts, which was a patent distortion.) But what Justice Stevens considers “a foundational premise of modern government” is diametrically opposed to the views of the Founding Fathers, who believed that every man should be armed, and that free men could legitimately use those arms to defend themselves and to resist tyranny.
According to Justice Breyer’s dissent, there is no need for the American people to possess arms to resist tyranny, because the federal government would never tyrannize. Numerous laws, institutions, and the courts forestall “any serious threat of federal tyranny,” he assures us. Since the four dissenting justices in Heller and McDonald wished to eviscerate a basic safeguard of the Bill of Rights, we may perhaps be excused in finding cold comfort in the protections offered by the courts against federal oppression.
Justice Stevens sneers at any test for incorporation that examines whether a right is “rooted in our history, tradition, and practice….” Instead, he avers, “liberty” under the 14th Amendment is a “dynamic concept” (citing a law review article written by himself). That “dynamic” liberty just doesn’t happen to include the most fundamental right of all. Justice Breyer agrees: “[T]he Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self defense….Moreover, nothing in 18th-, 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century history shows a consensus that the right to private armed self-defense, as described in Heller, is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history or tradition’ or is otherwise ‘fundamental.’”
So there you have it. According to these dissenters, there’s nothing fundamental about the right to protect yourself or your family from being killed, and throughout our history not many people have believed in such a right.
In fact, if you are lethally attacked, Justice Stevens is doubtful that you have much of a right to save your life at all. Whatever dubious right you might have is outside the purview of the Constitution and can certainly be taken away by government: “Just because there may be a natural or common-law right to some measure of self defense, it hardly follows that States may not place substantial restrictions on its exercise or that this Court should recognize a constitutional right to the same.”
THE GOOD NEWS is that a lawsuit backed by the NRA was filed against the Chicago ordinance on the first business day after this oppressive legislation was enacted. The bad news is that some governmental entities will stop at nothing in their attempts to disarm ordinary citizens.
The Founders of this republic envisioned an independent, responsible, strong, informed, courageous, God-fearing, armed citizenry as the bedrock of freedom. In the Constitution, they delegated only limited, carefully enumerated powers to the federal government, and for good measure provided a list of rights of the people that could never be infringed.
But there are powerful people whose vision is exactly the opposite of the Founders. By their every action, they encourage dependence, irresponsibility, weakness, ignorance, political timidity, and irreligion. And they want to disarm us. The McDonald case is a magnificent victory, but the fight will be a long one, against determined, relentless opponents.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?