The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld strict gun control ordinances in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, Ill., setting the stage for a Supreme Court battle over whether the 2nd Amendment and its protection for gun owners extends to state and municipal laws.
In a 3-0 decision, the judges said they were bound by legal precedents that held the 2nd Amendment applied only to federal laws. Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, in January joined a three-judge panel in New York that came to the same conclusion. Last week, activists cited that decision in calling her an "anti-gun radical."
Surprisingly, the three judges who made this ruling were not your typical liberals who oppose gun rights.
Tuesday's decision in the Chicago case was written by Judge Frank H. Easterbrook and joined by Judges Richard A. Posner and William J. Bauer. All three were Republican appointees.
What it means is eventually the Supreme Court will have to decide whether the 2nd Amendment and its protection for gun owners extends to cities and states. But meantime, what about Chicago? Does the gun ban help or hurt the situation there? Because Chicago is one of the most violent cities in the country, should guns be made more easily available? Would that help the lawful citizens protect themselves?
My opinion is no, more guns would only make matters worse. Of course there are situations in which a gun could save the day, but the problem is this. Today, criminals in Chicago, gang members and such, have to arrange for their weapons to be brought in from other states, where the gun laws are lax. If Chicago relaxed its gun restrictions, those same criminals would have easier, faster and more economical access to the weapons they need. Violence would increase, far outweighing the benefits of arming the lawful.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.