American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
March 1st, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Chicago's gun ban battle

(CNN) – Chicago is the front line for a historic gun battle that's now being waged before the Supreme Court.

On one side, those who say their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms have been violated. On the other, parents and teachers who swear their city's handgun ban is saving lives on some very rough streets. Our Kate Bolduan has the report from Chicago's south side.

Filed under: Gun rights • Justice
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Ms. Bolduan's segment is very informative but misses the most crucial point in the bringing of this Supreme Court case. That is, it is a major test, not only of the traditional "militia v. personal" permission to possess firearms argument, but also of the much more far-reaching "extensibility of Federal law to states" issue.

    A decision striking down Chicago's laws by making them contrary to Federal law would mean that the Feds would not have to wait for the occurrence of "interstate commerce" to pounce, or to rely on threats to withhold funding to bend states to its will. It seems to me to be a States' Rights decision in somewhat sheep’s' clothing, if you can visualize an armed sheep. It could have immense impact on Federal influence over states’ prerogatives.

    Seattle Times, 2/27/10

    District of Columbia v. Heller applied only to federal jurisdictions because the Bill of Rights, as originally written, covers federal but not state and local governance.

    To expand the Second Amendment beyond federal boundaries, court conservatives must figure out what constitutional provisions allow them to do so. The 14th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, has been the standard tool for expanding other rights.

    It declares that states can't "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This due-process clause has been used previously to apply, or "incorporate," other Bill of Rights guarantees to state and local levels.

    However, the 14th Amendment also declares that "no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." An otherwise-obscure 1873 decision in what are called the Slaughterhouse Cases rendered this "privileges or immunities" clause toothless.
    If the court overturns the Slaughterhouse Cases and revives the privileges-or-immunities clause as a way to end Chicago's gun ban, a potential side effect might give future plaintiffs another basis to argue for expanding other rights.

    March 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  2. Al

    Very true. Guns do not people, it's the people who hold the guns that kill others.

    My father owns a firearm, is that by itself wrong? No. In my country, the Philippines, we have gun control laws, but did that stop the flow of firearms as well as people killed by others through the use of firearms? No. In fact, under the pretext of upholding these gun control laws, our authorities have gone by and raided law-abiding citizens who owned firearms to defend themselves. And our police would say that they possess illegal firearms, invoking these laws. If that's not enough, some in our civil society have been calling for tougher gun laws. Our gun laws only served to restrict the law-abiding citizen from owning firearms, and if they do own firearms, they are subject to state regulation.

    The US is blessed with its Second Amendment right, and that right to bear arms as an incident and/or necessity of self-defense should be defended vigorously.

    Enough of gun control laws and more of educating citizens about the responsibility of gun ownership.

    March 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm |

    I am very sympathic to the lady working so hard to defend and protect the neighborhood children. The simple truth of the matter is that the police cannot be everywhere to DEFEND AND PROTECT but individuals can. Everyone should be able to defend and protect THEMSELVES and their WIVES and their CHILDREN!
    Think about it–If you were planning to rob the man in the story by breaking into his house but you were not sure whether he had a weapon to shoot back–would you do it???
    In chicago and other cities with gun control laws, you are telling the criminal were to go to hunt,rape, rob and kill its citizens.
    The TRUTH is when law abiding citizens are armed-CRIME GOES DOWN. It is a clear matter of record.

    March 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  4. Betty Moore

    The only bumper sticker I ever really comtemplated putting on my vehicle stated "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." A succinctly stated FACT. Look for example at prohibition; what a wasted effort that was! And making marijuana and herion "illegal" certainly hasn't taken them off our streets. Outright banning of handguns will not work either. The people who will comply with a gun ban are NOT the ones we need to worry about!

    March 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Brad Seifers

    Read 'More Guns, Less Crime'. All the statistics show that when law-abiding citizens are armed, crime goes down... when they are disarmed, crime goes up. Always. Why can't people see that any kind of 'gun ban' has no effect on criminals. If they are on their way to commit a felony, the fact that they are carrying a gun (illegally) doesn't phase them in the slightest. I agree that the smart thing to do is to enforce the laws that are out there now. If a criminal uses a gun, throw him in jail; no bargains, no reduced sentences, no questions asked. Conversely, if a criminal believes there is a good chance that their victims will have the capability to defend themselves with leathal force, he will often consider a healthier 'career path'. Even if he continues his 'nefarious ways', when he is confronted with an armed citizen he usually has the sense to back down and run away. Why don't people grasp this obvious fact?

    March 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  6. whocares

    so people are saying that all the shootings in chicago are done with legally registered guns? that being the case it shouldnt be any problem solving these crimes.

    it is a constitutional right to own a gun more of a constitutional right than having health care. it is people that pick up the guns and shoot them . banning guns is not that simple then you only illegal guns so you have solved nothing. it is still the same people shooting other people you want to change that change the environment these kids are growing up in a city raises thugs they get thugs

    March 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  7. militia

    The Right of just defense of an individual is an unalienable Right from God, not man. You want my guns? Come and take them!!

    March 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  8. Jason

    Why are people in the US so willing to give up their rights? Is it because some idealist somewhere tells them they should? Is it because they are so willing to let other people think for them? Is it because they have complete faith in our lawmakers and politicians? As a proud American, I am not willing to give up any of my RIGHTS. They were given to us by our forefathers who actually lived in a place where "rights" were limited. Don't be so willing to give up what you have – first it is your guns, then your right to freedom of speech and then your right to vote and who know where it will end. FEAR THE GOVERNMENT THAT FEARS THE GUN!!!

    March 1, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  9. Matt

    When will people realize that GUNS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE?? PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE!!! I could lay a loaded weapon on the table and nothing would happen. The problem arises when I pick it up, chamber a round and fire it. Making crazy laws to make it next to impossible to legaly own on within city limits is stupid. Do you think these laws stop the criminal element from getting weapons and bringing them into the city? The best thing going is to make anyone that wants a weapon to take a 40 hour weapon saftey class, go to a range to show that they can handle the weapon, and then register it with the state. I am pro-weapon, but not pro-stupid. I've seen people go into the stores and pick up the biggest handgun in there and claim it's for self-home defense. I really do not need a hand cannon to protect myself when I could get a 9mm or a 45 and do the same thing. BUT if someone did want those type weapons, it should be their right to own them. But I'm sure the average person after firing a hand cannon will think twice when they feel the recoil of the weapon. Make saftey and education for the owner the priority rather than taking away their right to own on in their own homes. Lastly, make the current laws more stringent on the criminal elements. Stop allowing plea agreeements, make the mandatory sentences longer without parole, and take away the lengthy process of the death penalty if and when its awarded to some dummy. Make the criminals think twice and I'll bet that the rest of us would be safer in the end.

    March 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm |