Gun Lobby Quickly Sues To Overturn Chicago Ban
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    Grand Poobah Gunco's Avatar
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    Postak Gun Lobby Quickly Sues To Overturn Chicago Ban

    The U.S. Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, and the ruling will likely invalidate the 26-year-old ban on handguns in the City of Chicago. In fact, the Illinois State Rifle Association has already filed a lawsuit challenging the Chicago ban. They filed the suit within 15 minutes of the high court's ruling. The National Rifle Association also plans to file lawsuits in Chicago and several suburbs, as well as San Francisco, challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.


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    White Cracker 4thIDvet's Avatar
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    I got sick when I saw Dianne Freakensteins name and quote in the article.
    Then I started laughing when the mayor said, "We have an epidemic of gun violence in the city of Chicago."
    How can you have an epidemic of gun violence, you friggen idiot, if no guns are allowed in Chicago??
    Are these people total idiots?? The sheep are tired of being slaughtered.
    "Only a few permits to carry are issued." Yeah the rich and famous and those who gave big money to the mayors campaign. WTF.
    "Man needs but two things to survive alone in the woods. A blow up female doll and his trusty old AK-47" - Thomas Jefferson 1781

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    Moderator ptannjr's Avatar
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    Gun Lobby Quickly Sues To Overturn Chicago Ban
    U.S. Supreme Court: Americans May Own Guns For Protection, Hunting; Ruling Casts Doubt On City's Decades Old Law
    CHICAGO (CBS) ― A U.S. Supreme Court decision has been the talk of the nation on Thursday. A handgun ban in Washington, D.C. has been struck down by the high court.

    As expected, strong reaction has been pouring in on both sides of this emotional issue.

    Gun control advocates like Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley were outraged, while gun rights activists have already sued to overturn a similar ban in Chicago.

    Tell us what you think of the ruling and gun control.
    Read Other Viewer Comments: Part 1 | Part 2

    Related: McCain Takes Aim At Obama On Issue

    The 5-4 ruling specifically struck down a ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. The court ruled that the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns is incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.

    The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, and leaves most gun laws intact, but could invalidate Chicago's.

    Chicago has a similar ban on handguns and within minutes of the high court's ruling, the Illinois State Rifle Association began the court fight to get Chicago's ban overturned as well.

    In Chicago, unless your gun was purchased before the ban went into effect in 1982, it is illegal to possess a handgun within city limits. Only police officers, aldermen and a handful of others are exempt from the ban. While other firearms can be registered, under current law, handguns cannot be registered and are considered illegal.

    But gun rights advocates hope to change that. The Illinois State Rifle Association filed a lawsuit with just that purpose in mind at 9:15 a.m.

    "We want to overturn this ban. It's pretty onerous. It takes the right of self-defense away from every Chicago citizen," said Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

    The National Rifle Association also plans to file lawsuits in Chicago and several suburbs, as well as San Francisco, challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

    Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard said at least one-third of the households in his hometown, Hinsdale, have guns, one of the highest percentages in the state. He hailed the Supreme Court decision, saying, "I think the ruling today is good news. The criminals have guns, but law-abiding citizens should not have their rights jeopardized."

    As pleased as Dillard and other suburban Republicans in DuPage County were with the Supreme Court ruling, in Chicago it was a very different story among top democrats.

    Mayor Daley, a proponent of strict gun control laws, wasn't happy about the Supreme Court ruling, calling it "a very frightening decision."

    "If they think that's the answer ... they're greatly mistaken. Then why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun, and we'll settle it in the streets if that's they're thinking."

    "It is frightening that America loves guns," the mayor said, "and to me, I think this decision really places those who are rich and those are in power, they'll always feel safe. Those who do not have the power do not feel safe, and that's what they're saying. If you're elected officials, you feel safe. You cannot carry a gun into a federal building. You cannot carry a gun into a federal court. So they're setting themselves aside, and really, they're saying to the rest of America that the answer to all the constitutional issues is that we can carry guns. And I just don't understand how they came to this thinking."

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich said, "the decision of Supreme Court today is very scary and it's a big blow to those of us who believe in common sense gun laws … so they ain't always right and on this case, they're wrong again."

    Some experts said the Supreme Court left room for local handgun controls in Chicago and suburbs such as Morton Grove and Oak Park, to survive, but only after a significant rewrite.

    Gun control activists Pam and Tommie Bosley hope strict gun control laws stay in place. They have been on a door-to-door anti-violence crusade ever since their 18-year-old son Terrell was shot and killed leaving a South Side church two years ago.

    "We doin' it for these guys, the little guys and for you all, that's why we're out here I can't bring my son back," Tommie Bosley said as he lobbied neighbors on the South Side.

    Pam Bosely said, "We protected him as much as we could, but as you say, he's not here, so with the guns out on the streets, there's no way you can save and protect your children."

    Tommie Bosely said, "I think what's going to end up happening ultimately is you're going to have private citizens who are not equipped to use handguns taking the law into their own hands."

    But gun rights supporters say that's exactly what some people are forced to do already -- defend themselves -- and guns can help them do that.

    Alan Gottlieb, of the Second Amendment Foundation in the state of Washington, told reporters that Chicago's handgun ban has failed to stop violent crime.

    That has been one of the mantras of the gun lobby.

    But a supporter of Chicago's law responded that facts are stubborn things, noting that murder and other gun violence here are far lower than a decade agoe, claiming Mayor Daley's stringent gun enforcement deserves much credit.

    Maria Ramirez couldn't agree more. She wears her son's picture close to her heart. It's all she has of him; 16-year old Matthew Michael Ramirez died in 2006 after someone pulled a trigger.

    "I don't want another mother to wake up like I do...look in son's bed, praying it's a bad dream," Ramirez said. "These guns that are gotten legally in the first place end up becoming illegal on the streets."

    Her black market sales fear was a concern for law enforcement, too. The people on the frontlines already respond to thousands of gun related calls every year.

    "If the result of this ruling is more guns on the street it's going to make it more challenging for law enforcement," Daley said, predicting an end to Chicago's handgun ban would spark new violence and force the city to raise taxes to pay for new police.

    Pearson said "I say that's probably untrue." Pearson said he believes crime only rises with gun laws like Chicago's "because criminal element knows people don't have a firearm for self defense."

    That's one reason he was prepared to fight for an individual's Second Amendment rights. "Sure, I think it's an uphill battle … freedom always is."

    Pearson predicted that the fight that began with the filing of a lawsuit against Mayor Daley and the city at 9:15 a.m. Thursday would take between 18 months and two years to resolve. He said that if the Illinois State Rifle Association loses its lawsuit, it would appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But Chicago's Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said the city shouldn't have to defend its gun law, because the Supreme Court's ruling doesn't apply here.

    "Our ordinance continues to be valid law. The Supreme Court did not say that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends to state and local governments and in fact, there's Supreme Court precedent that it does not."

    The U.S. Supreme Court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "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.

    The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, said the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

    In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

    He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

    Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.

    With an epidemic of gun violence in Chicago this year, Daley and other officials and activists have been lobbying for stricter state gun laws.

    But some defenders of gun rights say just the opposite of Mayor Daley, arguing instead in favor of the theories of economist John Lott, now of the University of Maryland.

    The onetime University of Chicago professor argued in his 1998 volume, More Guns, Less Crime, for a statistical correlation between laws allowing people to carry concealed handguns and a drop in crime rates. Lott theorized the crime rate dropped because criminals were deterred by the possibility of confronting an armed victim.

    Lott also claimed the Chicago gun ban was to blame for an increase in crime.

    Critics of Chicago's gun ordinance also say the law already aims to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to possess any firearm they desire.

    The Washington, D.C., gun ban was taken to the Supreme Court by way of the case of Dick Anthony Heller, 65, an armed security guard. He sued the District of Columbia after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection. His lawyers say the amendment plainly protects an individual's right.

    North suburban Morton Grove was the first municipality in the country to enact a handgun ban, in 1981, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago. The ban survived a court challenge, and the Chicago ordinance proposed by Ald. Edward Burke (14th) passed the following year, in the wake of assassination attempts on President Reagan and Pope John Paul II.

    Evanston passed a handgun ban later in 1982, and Oak Park in 1984, among other municipalities.

    Before Thursday, the last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. Constitutional scholars disagree over what that case means but agree it did not squarely answer the question of individual versus collective rights.
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