Freedom Is Still Breathing
As found in the Washington Post, as well as a plethora of other places, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on MacDonald V Chicago moments ago. For anyone that doesn’t know, the case was brought after the Heller decision affirmed, at least in Federal jurisdictions, such as Washington DC, that the government can not strip individuals of their Second Amendment rights, or place undue burdens on the ability to exercise that right, such as excessive regulations that while not outright banning them, makes it practically impossible to do so.
What was still left undecided after Heller, however, was whether that ruling applied only to Federal jurisdictions or to the States and Local governments as well. Today, we found out.
Writing for the court in a case involving restrictive laws in Chicago and one of its suburbs, Justice Samuel Alito said that the Second Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
The court was split along familiar ideological lines, with five conservative-moderate justices in favor of gun rights and four liberals opposed. Chief Justice Roberts voted with the majority.
This ruling is good for the freedom of nearly all Americans. I’m one that is largely in favor of less regulation across the board, especially when it comes to firearms ownership. The Founders put the Second Amendment in for several reasons, including defending one’s self, one’s family, and one’s property from those who would try to take it, be they simple criminals or the government itself.
This is not to say there should be no restrictions whatsoever on that right. Criminals convicted of violent felonies, for example, have correctly had several rights suspended or revoked, but by due process of law. The same holds true for other rights, including free speech; if one uses free speech to incite violence or other crimes, that right can be taken from that person. It should not be restricted from all, however, on the basis that one might abuse the right.
I will be reading the entire decision and dissent soon, and will likely add thoughts to this as they come to me.
Let Freedom Ring!