The founder of the Bellevue, WA-based Second Amendment Foundation – they are the group whose federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the Chicago handgun ban is currently being mulled by the U.S. Supreme Court – is marveling at recent events in the Windy City.
In the past eight days, two high-profile shootings by private citizens who armed themselves in defiance of the ban have, in Gottlieb’s words, “underscored the necessity of our lawsuit.”
Early Thursday morning, a criminal recidivist identified by the Chicago Tribune as Aaron Marshall, a man whose record includes felony convictions for drug and weapons offenses, was stopped by Chicago police for a traffic violation in the city’s South Austin neighborhood. What happened next is the stuff of a Dragnet scriptwriter’s wildest imagination.
Marshall’s criminal background includes a felony drug conviction in 2009 and a 2007 conviction for felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, court records show. He also is a gang member with a lengthy arrest record, police said.
Marshall boogied on foot, dropping “a large quantity of narcotics” in his wake, with the cops in hot pursuit. He ran to a nearby house and reportedly crashed through a window, and that’s when his luck went from bad to worse. Inside the home, one of the residents – who had a valid Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card grabbed a gun and shot Marshall once in the chest. An initial report suggested the gun was a handgun, but later reports seemed careful not to mention the type of firearm.
As in the case last week of an 80-year-old Korean War veteran who most definitely used a handgun to defend himself against a gun-wielding street punk named Anthony “Big Ant” Nelson, today’s shooter will not face any charges. As this column explained here, Illinois has a statute that protects private citizens who defend themselves with handguns when the incident occurs in a community where handguns are banned.
Armed citizens are doing more to fight violent crime than Daley has done in his entire time in office.”—Alan Gottlieb
How are these cases connected to Washington? First and foremost, Gottlieb’s group is headquartered here. Secondly, and more importantly, the SAF case (not to be confused with a similar lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association, although we guarantee reporters covering the Supreme Court ruling, when it comes, will almost certainly – and erroneously – call it an “NRA victory”) will have an impact on every state and community in the nation.
In McDonald v. City of Chicago, the high court is being asked to not only strike down Chicago’s handgun ban, but to incorporate the Second Amendment to apply to state and local gun laws. Crack gun rights attorney Alan Gura, who successfully argued the 2008 Heller case against the District of Columbia handgun ban that led to the court’s ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right, represented SAF and its co-plaintiffs, the Illinois State Rifle Association and four Chicago residents.
If the court does affirm that the Second Amendment applies as a limitation on state and local governments, as expected, municipal anti-gunners all over the map including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and members of the city council, are going to have to swallow their prohibitionist mentality and choke down the reality that forever after, they will not only have the state constitution, but the federal constitution and state preemption statute standing in their way. (A federal district judge, who almost certainly will be overturned on appeal in a case that many believe should never have been filed in the first place, declared earlier this spring that Seattle’s parks gun ban was constitutional.)
The homeowner in this morning’s incident, just like the 80-year-old Korean War veteran who fatally shot another thug last week, did the city a favor.”—Alan Gottlieb
Gottlieb said that SAF filed its lawsuit on the same day in 2008 that the Heller ruling was handed down, because of people like Marshal and Nelson, and to protect the rights of citizens like the people who shot them. The NRA case was filed the following day, and only the gods know why the Supreme Court accepted only the SAF case for review, but then allowed an NRA attorney time during the March oral arguments, again giving reporters the impression that McDonald is somehow the NRA’s case. Both cases have merit.
SAF and NRA are after the same thing: Nullification of Chicago’s ban and incorporation of the Second Amendment. Together, they sued New Orleans to stop gun confiscations following Hurricane Katrina. They are also partners on the Seattle parks ban lawsuit, which they won. They also cooperated to overturn San Francisco’s 2005 handgun ban.
As was once observed by this writer, if you were an anti-gun politician with a questionable law on the books, would you want to see attorneys representing NRA and SAF coming through the courtroom door arm-in-arm? That’s a question one might be asking a fair number of public officials in the months and years to come.
For more info: Second Amendment Foundation. National Rifle Association..
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