Newsflash: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Two Supreme Court rulings were decided today, each by a 5:4 majority.

First, the bad news: The Chicago gun ban, in place since 1982, was overturned by McDonald v. Chicago. The Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.

Though there are pro-gun feminists, others note that firearms are the most common weapon used in intimate partner homicide and that the presence of a firearm increases fatality rates in abusive relationships. Esta Soler, president of The Family Violence Prevention Fund, had this to say about the decision:

Today’s ruling will likely result in more guns in the hands of more dangerous and abusive individuals in more states. It will result in more victims of abuse being injured and killed, and more of their children being victimized and traumatized.

In finding that ordinances such as Chicago’s gun ban are unconstitutional, the Court has effectively abridged the right and ability of states and localities–which better understand the dangers to their citizens–to regulate the sale and possession of handguns.

.. It is likely that the city of Chicago has appreciably lost its ability to keep lethal weapons out of hands of batterers.

And now the good news: The University of California Hastings College of Law’s non-discrimination policy was upheld in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  The Court ruled that the First Amendment rights of the Christian Legal Society, a student group, did not allow them to deny membership to LGBT and non-Christian students.

“The Court rejected the dangerous argument that anti-gay groups must be given a special exemption from non-discrimination policies,” said Christopher Stoll of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which represented Outlaw, the campus LGBT group that challenged CLS’s exclusive membership.. The NCLR argued that admitting students with different viewpoints will lead to dialogues about difference–the freedoms of speech and assembly at their finest.

The Supreme Court seems to have the First Amendment under control. Now if only they could get a grip on the Second.

Photo from Flickr user Steakpinball under Creative Commons 3.0.

Comments

  1. A well educated female who turned out just fine says:

    Funny how this article leaves out one important detail… the facts. According to the Chicago Police crime summary for the year 2009, the number of murders in the city totaled 458, of which 373 were committed with a firearm. Of that total 458, 6.7% of the time the victim was an intimate partner to the offender. That equals about 30. The number of robbery incidents totaled 15,867. Burglary incidents totaled 26,456. Now I don’t live in Chicago but personally, I think my odds are much much better that someone is going to break into my house than my husband going berserk and trying to shoot me. That is precisely why we keep guns (in locked storage) and why we both know how to use them.

    Side note, of the 458 total murders in the fine city of Chicago, 58.1% were gang related. You think all the gang members are shooting each other with long barrel shotguns? Looks like the ban didn’t keep the handguns out of criminals hands either!

  2. If the rate of firearm homocides goes down in Chicago after this ruling, will Ms. have the (excuse the expression) balls to say "Oops, we were wrong, apparently laws keeping firearms out of the hands of law abiding citizens and in the hands of those who don't obay the law aren't really such a good idea after all"

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