A Second Amendment Victory

…for the most part.  Larry Bell, of Forbes, has the tale.

Federal Judge Edmond Chang, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, was blunt in his ruling:

Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms, and at the same time the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes that the ordinance tries to serve.  …the ordinances are declared unconstitutional.

Some of that evidence includes the homicide numbers for Chicago.  Last year, for instance, both Chicago led the nation in the number of homicides, and Chicago’s raw homicide numbers jumped 15% even though it has the strictest gun control laws in the US—still, after its ban on concealed carry had been struck down earlier.

Beyond that, 80% of the murders and non-fatal shootings in Chicago last year were gang-related, and very few of those members sought to buy the guns used in these endeavors openly and legally.

Chang did grant Chicago six months to draft a new gun sales law, but this new drafting will need to be closely watched.  Chicago City Attorney Drew Worsek wants the new ordinance to address robust regulations targeting illegal sales and transfer practices.  The city’s judgment concerning what the definition of illegal regarding guns has already been shown, repeatedly, to be suspect.

Chang did have one thing at least partly wrong in his opinion, though:

[C]ertain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment.

This is a misreading of the 2nd Amendment, which says quite clearly,

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

There’s nothing in there authorizing government to declare a purpose for a man to keep and bear Arms, only that his right to do so shall not be infringed.  Indeed, there are two things about this: one is that the government has no role in telling a man what his purposes are; government’s role is in protecting each man’s right to pursue his own ends, his own purposes, and limiting this right only by keeping a man pursuing his own purpose from infringing another man’s right to pursue his.  The second thing is that the history behind the 2nd Amendment, and of the Constitution itself, is the right of every man to protect himself, not only from other men, but from overweening or misbehaving governments.  That is the degree of “self-defense” addressed in this Amendment.

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