McDonald Quote of the Day

From Glenn Reynolds’s article on gun rights becoming normal:

For gun rights activists, that has both upsides and downsides. On the one hand, it means that some gun-control laws, at least, will now be found unconstitutional. Most of the work of doing this will be done by lower courts, which have traditionally been pretty dismissive of Second Amendment rights, but there’s some sign that lower courts are taking things more seriously since Heller, and this case is likely to reinforce things considerably. Chicago’s existing anti-gun ordinance is very likely to be struck down now, as it is virtually the same as the D.C. gun ban struck down in Heller. Other highly restrictive laws are also likely to fall.

On the other hand, if gun-rights activists sit back and expect the courts to do their work for them now, they will be sadly disappointed. If pressed with further cases (which Gura says he plans to bring), the courts will do some good. But the primary protection for gun rights up to now, and for all constitutional rights, really, is political. Judicial review was intended by the Framers to be a backup system, not the main source of protection. That was intended to come from the people — and realistically, because if people don’t stand up for their own rights, courts are unlikely to take up the slack for long. (Especially when, as here, the protection comes in a 5-4 decision).

Absolutely. This is not the time for us to just let the courts handle things. SAF is a fine organization, and is doing great work with their litigation strategy. But they are a 501(c)(3), which means they cannot participate in the political process to the degree NRA can. Both groups are important. Professor Reynolds concludes:

Nonetheless, the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment decisions have made a major difference. In particular, they have offset the gun-control community’s longstanding effort to “denormalize” firearms ownership — to portray it as something threatening, deviant, and vaguely perverse, and hence demanding strict regulation, if not outright prohibition. That effort went on for decades, and received much media support. Two decades ago, it seemed to be working.

But with the Supreme Court saying that it’s clear the Framers regarded individual gun ownership as “necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” that effort must be seen as a failure now. Gun ownership by law-abiding citizens is the new normal, and the Second Amendment is now normal constitutional law. It will stay so, as long as enough Americans care to keep it that way.

Read the whole article. Well worth your time. It’s almost hard to believe this is true, and when I first got into this issue I wouldn’t have believed it. But I’m increasingly believing it is true –they’ve lost this aspect of the culture wars. Now we just need to win broad protection for our rights.

3 thoughts on “McDonald Quote of the Day”

  1. There are many gun rights organizations fighting the good fight, but it’s time to stop the NRA bashing, and focus on the anti-gun bashing. I’ve been looking at news articles and doing a bit of research, especially at the time period from 1987 until the present – something us college professors do in our spare time – research.

    In 1987, Florida became the first state with a modern “shall issue” law for concealed carry permits. It wasn’t Vermont-style carry, but for the no-compromise folks, no other state then would even consider VT-style carry – not even Alaska or Texas.

    Since then we have seen state-after-state slowly produce more gun-friendly laws and the NRA has been there the whole time, even back when some of the NRA-bashing other gun rights groups were just beginning with no real influence.

    The NRA is not perfect, but to deny their affect on the continual progress for the second amendment is to deny reality. It’s to deny going from VT and one shall issue state to over 40 states allowing concealed carry, to deny all the states with castle doctrines and firearms freedom act. No, the NRA was not solely responsible for these, but they played a major role and continually helped elect gun friendly politicians.

    You can hate Harry Reid for his part in ruining this great country, but you can’t deny his favor of gun rights and using his position in the senate to get more federal pro-gun legislation passed since Obama took office. I’m sure Obama choked a bit when he signed the bill with the National Parks Carry amended to it.

    Here in Ohio, you can hate Ted Strickland’s running Ohio into the ground financially, but you can not deny the reality that he has signed more pro-gun legislation into law, two reduced restriction bills on concealed carry and a very comprehensive castle doctrine covering homes, cars and business; and has pledged to sign restaurant carry when it reaches his desk. I’m a long time Republican and currently the Ohio Republican Party is running a former congressman for governor that voted for the assault weapons bill under Clinton and a former senator for attorney general who voted for many federal anti-gun laws.

    The NRA has provided training, materials and grants to entities like our local 4H Shooting Sports club and Scholastic Shotgun team to training thousands of next generation pro-gun youth who will become pro-gun voters.

    The politicians are not scared of the GOA, or the SAF, or others; although they serve great purposes for gun rights. They are scared of the NRA. The GOA’s duties are to it’s members, the NRA’s duties are to it’s members. The Buckeye Firearms Association’s Duties are to it’s members.

    It’s time to band together, work towards our second amendment freedoms, and quit the in-fighting. The in-fighting among gun-rights groups is the only hope the Brady’s and anti’s have.Join the group you believe in. Put your time and money where you mouth is. We ARE winning in the courts, in the ballot boxes, in the minds of Americans.

    The fight for freedom goes on, but today I remember Monday’s victory, tomorrow I have 70+ youth in 4H learning about pistols, rifles, shotguns, muzzle-loaders, and archery…

  2. What may be most important here is that I hope others are taking note of the success of Gura/SAF/NRA. All three (and the others involved) have been crucial. A further, better triumph can be accomplished if their methods can be adapted to other issues such as taxes and regulation.

    It may simply be that the Second Amendment was the low-hanging fruit, especially after decades of NRA success. On the other hand, hopefully there are people out there in all areas looking to see what other fruit happens to be within arm’s reach at the moment.

  3. Wolfwood, that’s the root of Gura’s involvement. Guns were just a vehicle to attempt to revive PoI.

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