Supreme Court Decides
Guns are Individual Right
by Mark Liberator (e-mail: [Updated July 12th, 2008]

     The Supreme Court entered judgment concerning a second amendment case (DC v. Heller). Here is the brief story and the interesting repercussions to it.

     A Washington DC security officer wanted to be able to use his gun at home to protect himself. He was denied the right. He took the fight to court, which made it to the Supreme Court. With a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court said the second amendment did entitle all of us to an individual right to use guns.

     The right was not unrestricted. Owners were not automatically entitled to concealed usage, nor could they be used by felons or those who have mental illness. They cannot also be brought in or near schools.

“When Marion Barry signed the DC ban in 1976, he shockingly said, 'What we are doing today will not take one gun out of the hands of one criminal.'”

     As a result of this high court ruling, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago became outraged. He equated the ruling to a throwback to the Old West, implying it would raise crime in the city because shootings would run rampant. Chicago’s Police Superintendent indicated the ruling would make law enforcement more difficult, citing 75% of city murders are done with guns (Oliphant and Coen, 2008).

     This has been the mantra heard over and over by gun-banners; yet, the Washington DC data indicates otherwise. In 1976, 63% of the 188 murders were gun-involved. While in 2006, 81% of 169 murders were gun-involved (Dugan, Nov. 18 2007). During DC’s ban, this city dealt with staggering, gun-related murders. In 1991, there were 482 homicides, which was over triple 1985’s rate (Dugan, Nov. 13 2007).

     When Marion Barry signed the DC ban in 1976, he shockingly said “What we are doing today will not take one gun out of the hands of one criminal" (Dugan, Nov. 13 2007).

     The data clearly indicates a number of negative indicators. City-wide bans have not quelled crime. They also do not prevent guns from entering and being used in these cities. Therefore, these bans only restrict law-abiding citizens from using them to protect themselves.

     It is no wonder why bans are being fought in Chicago and its suburbs (Ahmed, 2008). Citizens want the right to protect themselves in their own homes. They are essentially refuting the failed claims made by mayors that banning guns is good for citizens.

Resources Used

  • Ahmed, A. (2008) NRA sues Chicago, 3 suburbs to repeal their firearms bans. Accessed from The Chicago Tribune.
  • Dugan, P. (November 18th, 2007) Effectiveness of D.C. gun ban still a mystery. Accessed from The Boston Globe.
  • Dugan, P. (November 13th, 2007) Crime Data Underscore Limits Of D.C. Gun Ban's Effectiveness. Accessed from The Washington Post.
  • Oliphant, J. and Coen, J. (2008) Daley vows to fight for Chicago's gun ban: High court throws out D.C. law. Accessed from The Chicago Tribune.
  • Other Resources

  • Chapman, S. (2008) How gun control lost. Accessed from The The Chicago Tribune.
  • Jones, S. (2008) Repeal the Second Amendment? Accessed from The Cybercast News Service.
  • Millard, H. (2008) Local man shoots and scores with Supreme Court gun ruling. Accessed from The Mountain Xpress.
  • n.a. (n.d.) John Stossel Links Gun Control to Higher Crime Rates. Accessed from YouTube.
  • Similar Resources at The Liberator

  • Graham, K. (2002) Handguns - A Moral Imperative.
  • HarryUSA. (2000) Judge Trashes Chicago's Gun Lawsuit.
  • Liberator, M. (2000) Small Arms, Big Issues.
  • Liberator, M. (n.d.) Gun Control: Act Now Before a Valuable Constitutional Right is Lost.
  • McElroy, W. (2003) War May Redefine Gun Control.
  • Powell, M. (2005) To Whisper or to Howl?: Subjects of Prostitution Regulation Debate Oppression.

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