Quote of the day–Joe Waldron

The Supreme Court prefers to work in “baby steps,” changing the law slowly. The Heller case was a very carefully and cautiously crafted to open the door to further Second Amendment jurisprudence. Had they attempted to overturn 20,000 gun laws all at once, all nine Justices would have run out of the courtroom with their robes pulled up over their heads, screaming. Step one was Heller, to get the SCOTUS to acknowledge that the Second Amendment was written to reaffirm and protect the right of the INDIVIDUAL citizen to keep (not necessarily bear) arms for personal defense, inside the federal enclave known as the District of Columbia, where there is no state constitution, just the US Constitution..

Step two (McDonald) is to extend that acknowledgment to the states. Why McDonald?” Because the Chicago handgun ban is a duplicate of the DC ban. If the DC ban is unconstitutional, so must the Chicago ban be. But Chicago is part of a state, not a federal enclave.

Once that occurs, we start knocking down the “house” of gun control laws, one brick at a time.

Heller is the alpha. not the omega. We’re decades away from that. But we’re working on it. We didn’t get to the point of 20,000 gun control laws all at once, and we’re not going to get free of them all at once. It ain’t a “once and for all” system, much as we might like to see it that way.

Joe Waldron
October 1, 2009
Re: Supreme Court to hear Second Amendment Foundation challenge to Chicago gun ban
wa-ccw: Washington State Concealed Weapons Discussion
[People who are pessimistic (see also here) about the status our gun laws have forgotten or weren’t of an age to be aware of how things were in the mid 1990s (see here, here, here, and here for some clues). Those were very, very dark days. The turning point may have been the 1994 congressional elections with the anger over the 1994 “assault weapon ban” playing a big role (I find it very interesting that the Wikipedia articles on this and Tom Foley don’t mention this) or perhaps here.–Joe]


2 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Joe Waldron

  1. The editorial opinion in LA Times, WAPO, Chicago Tribune and NYT has been uniform that incorporation is assumed. WE won that battle.

    I found it interesting that Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas chose McDonald as the vehicle of incorporation. The reason seems to be that they want to revisit Privileges and Immunities that was eviscerated in the Slaughthouse cases of 1874.

    Now most of our civil liberties have expanded under the doctrine of Due Process. But that progress has stopped. Many of us have condemned the progress of nanny laws enacted under local and state governments. This has lead to a diminishing of our freedoms to do certain things or take risks both commercially and privately.

    However if we get to use Privileges and Immunities against local and states then we can expand or push back against all these laws designed to save us from ourselves.

  2. I’ve been reading the constitutional law blogs too, and what I am getting from them is that Liberal Progressives see this as a good thing too. It means that they can push for expanding issues under Privileges and Immunities. The new Federalism = States Rights be dammed.

    This blog: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2009/week40/index.html
    (Skip down to September 30th where they discuss this case) posted the opinion of one of the Seventh Circuit Court judges (well worth the read).

    A couple more links with some analysis:


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