by Charles Mombo
If you ask a person to name a city with one of the strictest gun laws in the nation, most likely, Chicago will be the last city to come to mind. It is illegal for gun stores to operate in Chicago or for gun owners to step on their porches with a handgun. Despite the city's strict gun laws, it has the notorious distinction of being one of the deadliest city in the nation.
Since 1982, Chicago has outlawed hand guns in the city, even for law-abiding residents who sought to keep one at home.
In March 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments against Chicago's handgun ban. The case was filed by Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old Chicago's Morgan Park residence along with others. McDonald's case was sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association. Lawyers for McDonald and others argued that their clients have the right to keep and bear arms as set out in the 2nd Amendment which is "incorporated" into the 14th Amendment and thereby applies to states and localities. The court ruled in favor of McDonald.
Although the city agreed and accepted the court's rulings, they played hardball by creating series of obstacle courses in discouraging law-abiding citizens from applying for guns. In addition to making it illegal for gun stores to operate in Chicago and illegal for gun owners to step on their own porches with handgun, the city significantly increased the price for gun permit, firearm safety classes, and insurance.
In a recent case, Michael Moore and Mary E. Shepard v. Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois, 12-1269, 12-1788, a federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down an Illinois law banning most people in the state from carrying handguns in public, calling the restriction "arbitrary" and "unconstitutional."
The court stayed its ruling for 180 days to give Illinois lawmakers the opportunity to amend the measure and create a less sweeping ban on guns outside the home. Writing for the majority, Judge Richard Posner said such a limit was impermissible because "the interest in self defense extends outside the home."
"A woman who is being stalked or has obtained a protective order against a violent ex-husband is more vulnerable to be attacked while walking to or from her home than when inside," Posner wrote.
"She has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress. But Illinois wants to deny the former claim, while compelled [by a 2010 Supreme Court ruling] to honor the latter." Posner called the different treatment under Illinois law "arbitrary," declared the measure unconstitutional and banned the state from enforcing it.
While the State of Illinois is clamping down on responsible law-abiding citizens, illegal gun operation by gangs and felons are thriving on the black market – leaving only the “bad guys” with gun to run amok while shooting aimlessly, hitting innocent people including children.