Friday, July 31, 2009

Do gun bans work?

Here is a link to a discussion on A few nights ago twelve people were shot in one night in Chicago, no one was killed. The police do not know who did the shootings. Illinois does not issue concealed carry permits, and Chicago does not allow handguns inside the city. The U.S. Supreme Court said in its Heller decision, that the Constitution of the United States of America recognizes an individual's right to keep and bear arms. After that decision, the NRA filed a lawsuit against Chicago, claiming that Chicago's ban on all handguns is unconstitutional, using the Heller decision as precedent. The appellate court upheld the lower courts decision that the Heller decision by the Highest Court in the Country DOES NOT APPLY to States and Municipalities. So they are saying that the rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the Supreme Law of the Land DO NOT APPLY TO STATES AND MUNICIPALITIES. If the second amendment doesn't apply then maybe the first doesn't apply either. What about the third, maybe this means that Chicago can quarter soldiers in private homes in peace time, or conduct searches in private homes without warrants, or hold secret trials against people without telling them what they are accused of or even who is accusing them.
Those are all guaranteed in the Bill of Rights to every American citizen, but any city can disregard them because this court says they can.
The article also goes through the story of every single victim, one by one. I think this must have been a major story, because the people reporting this are Television reporters, and their time is limited and valuable. I wonder why the decision was made to devote so much (and therefore money) to this one story? Is it because the media is liberal? Possibly, but I think it may be more likely that they are playing to their audience, trying to capture the attention of the public, hit them where it counts, draw their minds to the safety of their children. The tv station doesn't care if they are just fueling mass hysteria, or pushing people to give up their own rights to the government in exchange for a promise of a safer society for all. The politicians who also believe that Government Know Best then get elected, and because they are The Government, have no problem taking rights away from people. Hence the Chicago gun ban. The only problem is that, in this case, the politicians are wrong. A gun ban, by itself, will not stop gun violence. It just assures that people who are willing to obey the law will not have a gun. Just like the guy who was carjacked by 5 (5!) people. A gun may not give you a significant advantage against a single car jacker, but it would help level the playing field against five assailants. Certainly a gun with an evil "high-capacity magazine" is a better weapon against 5 people than a baton, a tazer, pepper spray, feet and fists, or a personal alarm/whistle. Police used to say that you should just cooperate with the bad guy and give him what he wants so he won't hurt you. What if they want more than your car? It doesn't seem smart to put yourself at the mercy of someone will commit a felony to get what they want.

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