Wow! Where to start…
On Feb. 13, 2014, the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals (9thC) produced a monumental decision on gun rights in Peruta, v. San Diego County, CA. I have had many bad thoughts about the 9th circuit and some of their decisions, however this time they hit one out of the park in favor of Liberty. The quantity of legal decisions just keeps growing in support of the fundamental right to keep and to bear an arm.
This decision reflects powerfully on Illinois, since we have had very similar unconstitutional restrictions. Illinois unfortunately remains the worst for the present. Let’s look at some of the good stuff.
- · “Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.” (Heller).
- · “The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case.”
- · “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” (Heller)
- · “It was this inherited right of armed self-defense,” according to Heller, that “by the time of the founding [was] understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.” (Peruta)
- · “American edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries, id. at 594, St. George Tucker, a law professor… “The right to armed self-defense, Tucker insisted, is the “first law of nature,” and any law "prohibiting any person from bearing arms” crossed the constitutional line. (Heller/Peruta)(Bold is mine)
- · The 9thC reemphasizes, the Heller case “settled” two key elements, first the Second Amendment (2A) “has always” secured an individual right to keep and to bear an arm; second, that the right is, “and always has been, oriented to the end of self-defense.” (I shortened and paraphrased in part) “Any contrary interpretation of the right, whether propounded in 1791 or just last week, is error.” (Peruta p. 21).
- · The 9thC emphasized Heller, “[C]onstitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them. . . .” A law that “under the pretence of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right” would not pass constitutional muster “[u]nder any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights.” Put simply, a law that destroys (rather than merely burdens) a right central to the Second Amendment must be struck down. Id.”
- - “Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court [or ours] to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” (Peruta/Heller). Nor may we relegate the bearing of arms to 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 into the Due Process Clause.” (McDonald).
These are just a few of the gems pulled out of the decision by the 9th circuit. I would argue that in light of the last quote, that the courts definitely treat the 2A different than all other rights in spite of what they said in the last quote. For example if you were to limit speech in any significant way as to where you can talk, what you can say and when you can say it, then it would be struck down. Same is true with most religious issues among others. Then they allow limitations as to where you can carry and what style, as to open or concealed, etc.
I ask now, as I have asked any number of times before, “Will any criminal bother to get a concealed carry license?” No. He will carry anyway. The greatest travesty in Illinois is the FOID card. There is no criminal who will bother to get a FOID card. The only advantage this gives to government is they can control retailers in the distribution of ammo and new guns to Illinois citizens. It does not control ammo distribution to out of state persons.