27 July 2008

Chicago Digs In For A Fight

Updated: Sunday, July 27, 2008, 1:53 pm -- While city officials continue to defend their ineffective gun ban, activists pushing the public to drink the gun control Kool-Aid yesterday held a "gun buy back." The thinking is that with fewer guns on the street, crime will be reduced. A nice theory, but all it did was put $100 credit cards in the hands of people who turned in broken, already useless firearms, or in the hands of thieves who illegally obtained working guns by stealing them from someone else -- usually from law abiding taxpayers.

Further, Mayor Daley is now proposing additional gun regulations. He wants to codify responsibilities and liabilities of citizens who own firearms. Targeting them as if they are criminals. As they say over at Armed and Safe, Daley is "never one to let himself be limited to . . . being sane."

Maybe its something in the Chicago River. Maybe its just that feeling in the ivory tower that a mayor can do no wrong. Maybe it is to save face . . .

Whatever it is, the powers that be appear to be digging in for a fight that could, as we saw with the Parker/Heller case in Washington D.C., go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This past week, officials in the Windy City announced they have no plans to back down and repeal, or modify, the city's handgun ban. In fact, they have come up with a novel legal argument -- a technicality some are saying -- to defend their position. Several legal scholars say Chicago officlals are playing "iffy."

"Mara Georges, the city's chief lawyer, appeared before aldermen yesterday pledging to "vigorously" defend Chicago's 1982 handgun prohibition. The city is currently facing two suits in district court challenging that ban in the aftermath of a June 26 Supreme Court decision that threw out a handgun ban in Washington, D.C.

"In that case, the court ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment provides a right for individuals to bear arms. Georges says the city is likely to argue that the court's decision applies only in Washington, a federal territory, and not to the states.

"The opinion does not say that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms applies to states or municipalities," says Georges."
And then rational voices speak up:
"Some experts say that argument will face tough scrutiny in court. "If I were making policy recommendations to the City of Chicago, it would be back off this real fast, and just get rid of it before it gets into court," says Harry Wilson, a political science professor at Roanoke College in Virginia, and author of Guns, Gun Control and Elections."
Additionally, the city plans to continue enforcing its questionable gun ban while it is defending itself in court. A lot of taxpayer dollars going out the door to pay attorneys fees. Not smart, in my book, considering that there is virtually no evidence this ban has done any more to effect crime than the gun ban in the District of Columbia. Wilmette, Ill. repealed a nearly identical ban last week after the Heller decision, and the city of Morton Grove, Ill. has suspended enforcement of its gun ban over fear of a lawsuit by self defense advocates.

I'm no attorney, but the legal argument sounds a lot like the pea under the shell game that some carny would be playing, doesn't it? "Pay close attention, but pay no attention . . . " Read the full story here.

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