< ISRA Alert 03/15/2009: Illinois State Capitol Commentary

Posted: 03/16/2009

Capitol Commentary
by Todd Vandermyde
March 15, 2009


On Monday, March 16th, the Chicago Tribune is scheduled to publish an editorial in support of HB-48. Nothing really new here. The Trib has supported every manner of gun control one can conceive of over the last two decades.

While some may wring their hands at this; it doesn't matter. The Chicago Tribune is largely irrelevant in the debate over gun control. It's not anything the “gun guys” did. Nothing the big bad NRA, ISRA or other facet of the “gun lobby” bought with campaign cash. No this was a self inflicted wound by the editorial board itself.

Last summer right after the Supreme Court issued their decision in the DC gun ban case i.e. Heller, the Trib issued an editorial on June 26th calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. This august body of free thinkers, whose own Statement of Principals from their website says:

“The Tribune believes in the traditional principles of limited government; maximum individual responsibility; and minimum restriction of personal liberty, opportunity and enterprise. It believes in free markets, free will and freedom of expression.”

So much for ‘limited government and personal liberty'. Not just gun control, not more red tape for law abiding people who want to own firearms, no they called for the repeal of an enumerated constitutional right, naturally it wasn't the First Amendment which protects their freedom of the press.

It really shouldn't be that surprising that after supporting any number of bans on semi-auto rifles, shotguns and handguns, longer waiting periods, and any manner of regulation, they would now openly call for the repeal of the constitutional protection to an enumerated right. They said:

“Repeal the 2nd Amendment
No, we don't suppose that's going to happen any time soon. But it should.”

That was the opening shot at gun owners – pun intended. But they went on:

“We can argue about the effectiveness of municipal handgun bans such as those in Washington and Chicago. They have, at best, had limited impact. People don't have to go far beyond the city borders to buy a weapon that's prohibited within the city.

But neither are these laws overly restrictive. Citizens have had the right to protect themselves in their homes with other weapons, such as shotguns.”

Not overly restrictive? This was the very issue that the court decided, where the majority said:

“It is no answer to say, as petitioners do, that it is permissible to ban the possession of handguns so long as the possession of other firearms”

“As the quotations earlier in this opinion demonstrate, the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right. The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of “arms” that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose. The prohibition extends, moreover, to the home, where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute. Under any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights, banning from the home “the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep' and use for protection of one's home and family,” would fail constitutional muster.

Few laws in the history of our Nation have come close to the severe restriction of the District's handgun ban.”

‘Few laws in the history of our nation come close' and they say it's not overly restrictive, give me a break.

What the Tribune elitists did was to take themselves out of the debate. Marginalizing themselves as a fringe element of the gun control movement and cheering section. Instead of a call for an open discussion about what can be done to actually keep guns out of the hands of criminals without trampling on the rights of Americans, they went in the opposite direction. They choose to say this pesky thing called the Bill of Rights is in our way so let's gut it like a fish.

Instead of acknowledging the “right to keep and bear arms” they lambasted it. Rather than embrace the ruling as protection of an enumerated constitutional right, compared no less than four times with the First Amendment in the Court's ruling, they chastised it.

In doing so they added their voice to those who would ban, confiscate, and regulate a right out of existence. Something the Court said could not be done.

So with their little tantrum, they are on the sidelines. Their continued call for more bans and regulation to be discarded in the trash for what it is. The shrill screech of a fringe group who are not interested in solutions, but rather the systematic destruction of an enumerated constitutional right by a group of people who just hate guns and gun owners.

Webmaster's notes:  Look for another update this weekend.
Here is a link to the editorial:
Repeal the 2nd Amendment