By Ben T. Briscoe
The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in what will be a landmark case for the Second Amendment: McDonald v. Chicago. A ruling is expected this June.
A bit of history is in order. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gun rights in Heller v. The District of Columbia. The basis for Heller was that Washington, D.C. prohibited ownership of a handgun. The Court ruled that a federal enclave (D.C.) could not, through legislation, deprive law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights. The ruling was a major victory for gun owners, the Constitution, and personal liberty.
Since the 2008 case prohibited restrictive gun ownership only in Washington, D.C., Americans living under state and local rule prohibiting the right to bear arms were motivated to present a sister case contesting the constitutionality of legislating away a right. So McDonald v. Chicago was filed, the basis being that McDonald wanted to legally own a handgun for protection in the city of Chicago, where handgun ownership is illegal.
I don’t have a single issue political litmus test, but if I did, it would be how a candidate or elected official stands on gun control. And I’m passionate about this political issue for the following reasons: The right to bear arms is paramount to our liberty, and nothing solidifies that more for me than its location at the beginning of our bill of rights.
The Second Amendment was penned not for the benefit of hunters and recreation (although that is a great by-product), but to ensure personal protection and the last line of defense against a rogue government. The framers of our Constitution had recently experienced the oppression of a tyrannical government, and they wanted to ensure that future citizens would have the freedom to bear arms and that future governing bodies would well understand that those they rule have leverage at the ballot box first — and if that process is ignored, then with a firearm second.