Tag Archives: Second Ammendment

Guest Post: Incorporation and the 2nd Amendment


Hi, this is a guest post from my blog, which I am reproducing here without any editing, save for this introduction and a short bit about who I am at the end of the post. Ryan was very kind to ask me to reproduce this here and I hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

More theoretical political thought, since the last post on American political history and thought was oh so popular! This one is on the recent extension of Incorporation to the 2nd Amendment. Of course, the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms – has been probably the most contentious of the Bill of Rights, and dutifully so. A very strong percentage of Americans, especially American liberals, believe that gun control is an important method of crime prevention, especially aggressive and violent crimes.

Due to the case of Barron vs. Baltimore, the Bill of Rights was not applied to state or city governments in the United States; therefore, according to constitutional precedent, while the federal government cannot unreasonably restrict the right of a person to bear firearms, the many state and municipal governments are not bound by that particular restriction. Many states and especially cities, therefore, established laws banning handguns and other restrictions. One of these cities was Chicago.
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Court Victory Over Chicago is ‘Call To Action,’ Says SAF

For Immediate Release: 6/28/2010

BELLEVUE, WA – Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the Second Amendment Foundation’s challenge of the Chicago handgun ban is “our call to action,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.

“This morning’s high court ruling clearly shows that the right of the individual citizen to have a gun is constitutionally protected in every corner of the United States,” Gottlieb stated. “We are already preparing to challenge other highly-restrictive anti-gun laws across the country. Our objective is to win back our firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”

In effectively striking down Chicago’s handgun ban, and incorporating the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms so that it applies to state and local governments as well as the federal government, the high court affirmed that a constitutionally-protected civil right cannot be arbitrarily regulated as though it were a privilege, he added.

Gottlieb announced that in recognition of SAF’s victory, the organization will host the 2011 Gun Rights Policy Conference in the Chicago area. The event will serve as SAF’s official celebration of today’s Supreme Court ruling.

“By that time,” he said, “we should have some exciting news about other actions we are currently planning.”

The ruling marks another important Second Amendment victory for attorney Alan Gura, who also successfully argued the Heller case in 2008. This time around, Mr. Gura represented SAF, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and four Chicago residents. The case was McDonald v. City of Chicago, named for plaintiff Otis McDonald.

“I’m glad the Supreme Court has ended the years of oppression of law-abiding gun owners by the City of Chicago,” added ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson.

“Thanks to the Supreme Court,” Gottlieb observed, “average Chicago residents like Mr. McDonald will now enjoy the same right of self-defense as a squad of bodyguards provides to Mayor Richard Daley. Now we can work to lower the deplorable violent crime rate in Chicago, something that the anti-gun mayor’s policies have been unable to accomplish.

“The Second Amendment Foundation is delighted to have worked with Alan Gura, who brought together the individual plaintiffs and organized this landmark case for us and our colleagues at ISRA,” Gottlieb concluded. “Today, it feels great to be the most effective community organizer Chicago has ever had.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.