Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crazy Editorial & My Reply Re: McDonald vs. City of Chicago

Below is an editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal, June 30, 2010 regarding the Supreme Court decision announced Monday, June 28, 2010 on the Second Amendment case of McDonald vs. City of Chicago in which the court again upheld the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was an individual right which had to be respected by the states. It is incredible to see the outrageous attempts to try to distort historical reality to which these elitists will use to further their attempts to destroy our freedoms. Emphasis below are supplied by myself.

Editorial | Crazy about guns
June 30, 2010

The phantom right of individual gun ownership got another boost Monday from an activist U.S. Supreme Court majority that seems intent on making law out of conservative orthodoxy.

Writing for the majority in a 5-4 ruling that split along familiar philosophical lines, Justice Samuel Alito took a bad ruling of two years ago and gave it even broader impact.
The 2008 case, District of Columbia v. Heller , resulted in another 5-4 ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess guns in the District of Columbia, crippling a tough local gun-control ordinance in a city that is largely under federal jurisdiction. In the current case, McDonald v. Chicago , the Court said that the Second Amendment's supposed guarantee of an individual's right to bear arms is binding on state and local governments.
The good news for anyone who seeks a saner American approach to guns is that the Court didn't seem to know exactly what it hoped to accomplish. Indeed, it didn't even strike down the gun-control measures in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., that were at issue in the case. It sent the matter back to lower courts to determine whether those cities' strict ordinances, which basically ban possession of handguns, are allowed under the Second Amendment.
Moreover, Justice Alito again made clear that gun ownership is not an absolute right, though it is unclear what gun limits the Court majority will accept. At a minimum, one hopes that bans on military assault rifles; tougher regulations regarding gun shows, licensing of dealers and background checks, and restrictions on guns in schools, bars, government buildings and other public places remain possible.
The disturbing part of the ruling is that the Court relied on a selective reading of American history and constitutional development to hand the gun lobby a ruling it will use across the nation to challenge even the tamest local gun measures.
It brushed aside that the single sentence of the Second Amendment ties the "right to bear arms" with the need for state militias and the "the security of a free state," while making no mention of individuals (or, for that matter, guns).
It focused on two cherry-picked historical situations -- the young nation's vulnerability after it revolted successfully against British rule and the Civil War and its violent aftermath in the South -- to identify an enduring individual right that may neuter contemporary communities' abilities to respond effectively to epidemic levels of gun violence.
The reality today, as noted in dissent by Justice Stephen Breyer, is that guns cause 60,000 deaths and serious injuries in the United States each year.
Does anyone believe that's what the Founding Fathers or the Civil War's victors had in mind?

It is hard to comprehend how supposedly educated and (?) intelligent people can cram so many falsehoods and misrepresentations in a few paragraphs as you managed with your “Crazy about guns” editorial of June 30, 2010. The very first sentence calls our individual Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms a “phantom right”, in spite of the very simple and straightforward wording, used in several locations in the Constitution, defining that right clearly as “the right of the people.” What you call “conservative orthodoxy” is the accurate application of the clear and unequivocal intention of the writers and adopters of the Bill of Rights. You say the court “brushed aside” a sentence which you (inaccurately) claim ties the Right to Bear Arms to “state militias” and (unintentionally on your part) to “the security of a free state.” The clear and obvious intention of the writers of the Second Amendment was to provide for free citizens to have the means to preserve a “free state;” free from the despotic and tyrannical intrusions of an overreaching government supported and encouraged by elitists such as your editorial board, making that Right an essential factor in assuring that we would indeed always have the means to be truly “free.” People who have the Right to Bear Arms denied them are not free citizens, they are subjects.
In addition, you apparently totally deny the reality which has been clearly documented through actual legitimate scientifically designed studies as well as the experience of most of the nation where some reasonable level of access to weapons by honest citizens is preserved, that the presence of guns in the hands of honest citizens is an undeniable factor in a lowering of the incidence of violent crime. Jurisdictions with the most restrictive gun laws, essentially disarming the honest citizens, have, without exception, far higher levels of violent crime, including gun related crime, providing obvious proof that restrictive gun laws, rather than increasing safety and security, have exactly the opposite effect. It is equally obvious that such laws have nothing to do with “communities’ abilities to respond …to gun violence.” Legitimate response to “gun violence” is to prosecute criminals, not demonize an object. Guns do not “cause 60,000 deaths and serious injuries” (a grossly inflated figure, and mostly gang and drug related) annually in the United States. Criminals (and to a trivial extent, carelessness) “cause” those events. Guns are used over 2.5 million times annually to deter or stop criminal threats.
Your description of this decision (McDonald vs. City of Chicago) as coming from an “activist” Court majority is ludicrous. The majority ruled in a way that is absolutely and totally consistent with the language of the Constitution and the well documented intent of the framers of that document. This view of the Second Amendment was so well accepted that no one even thought to challenge it throughout most of the history of our nation. Far from being “activist,” this court ruled very narrowly and entirely consistently with the Constitution as written and understood from its creation. It has only been in the last several decades that the distorted view of the Right to Bear Arms only being related to a militia was even brought forward. The “militia” at the time of the writing consisted of the entire body of “the people.” This ruling (unfortunately) allows local and state jurisdictions to continue to tamper with our rights until further challenges are ruled on. The saddest part of this latest reaffirmation of our Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms is that there are four justices on the Supreme Court who place their personal opinions above the clear language of the Constitution and the obvious and well documented intent of those who wrote, debated, and approved that document. That is a frightening reminder of how fragile our freedoms really are and how crucial it is that we elect persons who take their oath to protect and defend the Constitution seriously enough to only consider candidates for the bench who are equally committed to that oath, placing it above any personal opinion or political pressure.

Ronald D. Weddle, MD
4004 Mary Jo Blvd.
Bardstown, KY 40004
502-348-0515 (Home)
502-275-6090 (Cell)

1 comment:

  1. Courier-Journal refused to publish my reply because it exceeded their arbitrary 300-400 word limit. I edited the letter as much as I could while trying to preserve rational commentary on the gross distortions and untruths in the original editorial.