McDonald v. Chicago.
Second Amendment IS a Civil Right
Northboro, MA. Monday, June 28, 2010. On Monday, June 28, 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States released a landmark civil rights decision in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. In the 5 – 4 ruling the Court’s decision was very simple, “…we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the states. We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller.”
“The citizens of Massachusetts should all be joining together in celebration over this ruling,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of Gun Owners’ Action League. “Both the lawful gun owner and those living in high crime areas will finally get relief from the misguided laws and policies regarding firearms in Massachusetts. This ruling will finally force the political leaders of the Commonwealth to give up on the failed social experiment of gun control. It will also force them to roll up their sleeves and start doing the hard work of going after the human criminal element, a job some have so far strove to put off.”
This decision represents a decisive blow to the opponents of civil rights. The majority decision reflected in Justice Alito’s opinion of the Court firmly denounced many of the tired arguments against treating the Second Amendment as the civil right that it is. In referring to the oppositions’ arguments, the Court stated the following:
“Municipal respondents, in effect, ask us to treat the right recognized under Heller as a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees that we have held to be incorporated in the Due Process Clause.”
“It cannot be doubted that the right to bear arms was regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner.”
“Unless we turn back the clock or adopt a special incorporation test applicable only to the Second Amendment, municipal respondents’ argument must be rejected. Under our precedents, if a Bill of Rights guarantee is fundamental from an American perspective, then, unless stare decisis counsels otherwise, that guarantee is fully binding on the States and thus limits (but by no means eliminates) their ability to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values.”
For nearly four decades, since the Commonwealth v. Davis decision, Massachusetts government has acted under the premise that the Second Amendment does not apply to the citizens of Massachusetts. All of the laws, regulations and policies regarding firearms have all been crafted under that premise. Today’s Supreme Court decision should now force a complete role reversal in the Commonwealth.
It is now the law of the land that the right to keep and bear arms is indeed a civil right. This means that any laws, regulations or policies regarding a lawful citizen’s ability to exercise that civil right must meet the highest level of scrutiny. It is no longer the citizen’s need to prove ourselves “suitable” to exercise our rights. It is now up to the government to prove its case against us. With the highest level of scrutiny and the absolute failed social experiment of “gun control” it is doubtful they will be able to.
Over the upcoming weeks GOAL will be further studying the decision and conferring with our civil rights allies across the nation on the best course of action to reverse four decades of civil rights abuses and failed public safety policy. As GOAL has been saying for years, it was always about Civil Rights and Public Safety, two separate and important issues.
Gun Owners' Action League is the official state firearms association in Massachusetts. We are an association of law-abiding citizens who believe in the basic right of firearms ownership for competition, recreation and self-protection.
Click here for a statement by NRA Executive V.P. Wayne LaPierre
Click here for a statement by SAF's Executive V.P. Alan Gottlieb
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GOAL is the Official State Association of the National Rifle Association