Chicago gun ban challenge – the right thing to do

Americans by a significant majority support the individual right to keep and bear arms —- as definitively recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller decision last summer, which held that the Washington, D.C. gun ban was unconstitutional. Predictably, many anti-gun advocates in the nation’s capitol and elsewhere are refusing to recognize the high Court’s ruling, and continue to thwart efforts by law-abiding citizens to defend themselves by possessing a firearm. 

This is one reason the pending court challenge to Chicago’s gun ban – very similar in scope to the one stuck down in Washington, DC this year — is so important; and why so many smart state attorneys general have signed on in support of the challenge led by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Georgia’s Attorney General Thurbert Baker, currently a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, has joined the NRA’s challenge.

Baker, and virtually every other candidate in next year’s gubernatorial race in both major parties, understands that Georgia is not Chicago; and that any statewide candidate who might even impliedly support a gun ban as exists in the Windy City, would be severely disadvantaged in an electoral contest here.  As the sitting state attorney general, however, Baker is in a position to do more than simply lend moral support. As he did prior to last year’s Supreme Court decision in Heller, Baker has lent his name and his office to a friend-of-the-court brief.  This is a smart and timely move.  While this decision alone will not move the attorney general ahead of former Governor Roy Barnes, the decided front-runner in the Democratic Party race, it does remind voters that Baker’s support for the fundamental, Second Amendment right is consistent and sincere.

Baker and his fellow gubernatorial candidates, including John Oxendine, Nathan Deal, Roy Barnes, and Karen Handel, all apparently understand, as people such as Chicago Mayor Richard Daley do not, that possession of firearms is a fundamental right, as well as a very practical means of self-defense.  Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense., for example — more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.  Let’s hope a majority of the justices on the nation’s highest court understand this as well; and rule that a local government cannot deny such a fundamental and vital right.

53 comments Add your comment

Rhonda Atlanta

December 2nd, 2009
6:26 am

Mr Barr.
The biggest defender of gun rights in the race for Governor as well as private property rights is Senator Jeff Chapman and you didn’t even mention him.

Marc Richardson

December 2nd, 2009
7:45 am

I have an issue with your mathematics Mr. Barr, if I might be so bold. The statistics that I have show over 16,000 homicides in the United States and just over 11,000 of them being gun-related. That is about thirty (30) gun related homicides per day. If you take the Kleck study of defensive gun use (DGU), which I personally believe is the most accurate, as you state above, that’s 2.5 million DGUs per year, or 6,849 per day. Over 91% of which, the gun is not fired.

That means that DGUs per day exceed gun-related homicides per day by a factor of 228, not 80. Unless I can be proven incorrect, I’ll stick with the two hundred twenty eight times (228X) figure.

Richard Gambrill

December 2nd, 2009
8:29 am

To Marc Richardson:

The numbers are irrelevant. The majority of guns used in gun related crimes were purchased illegally anyway, so an all out ban on guns would only disarm people following the law. A black market would still exist to arm those same criminals.

Chris Broe

December 2nd, 2009
9:34 am

“impliedly” I love it!

Common Sense

December 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

“From My Cold Dead Hands !”

Chris Broe

December 2nd, 2009
9:50 am

I forgot. Did they have guns in the novel “1984″?

Jon Leopold

December 2nd, 2009
10:27 am

It’s Richard Daley, not William. And his full title is “His Highness, Richard Daley the Second, Corrupt Patronage Lord of the City of Chicago.”

Common Sense

December 2nd, 2009
10:28 am

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government” Thomas Jefferson

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good” George Washington

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” Alexander Hamilton

Stu Strickler

December 2nd, 2009
10:31 am

It is a fundamental right to own and carry a firearm for personal protection. It has been proven in our colleges, churches, city halls and military bases that *gun free zones* are *killing zones*! Carry that firearm and smile. You will be safer and happier!

Carl from Chicago

December 2nd, 2009
10:55 am

Mr. Barr:

Thanks for covering this important issue. But I wish to point out something you’ve miscommunicated … this “effort” against Chicago’s infringment upon gun rights is not being led by the National Rifle Association. As you well know, the court did NOT grant certiorari to the NRAs case led by Halbrook … they granted cert exclusively to the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association case led by Gura.

I understand that the NRA has “name recognition”, but you are doing a disservice by stating that the NRA is leading this case against Chicago. It simply is not, and nor did it, of course, lead the case against the District.

Cutty

December 2nd, 2009
11:11 am

Good for Baker to throw his name on that amicus brief. However, the problems with guns in Chicago is far different from that of Cordele, Ga. There has to be a compromise to satisfy the needs of both urban and rural settings.

Jim

December 2nd, 2009
11:27 am

Cutty, You are all wet !! We don’t compromise any of our rights, defend them all our lose them all !!

Rational Person

December 2nd, 2009
11:29 am

I see that there are still people who believe Gary Kleck’s nonsensical 2.5 million DGUs per year. The National Institute of Justice has published a paper pointing Kleck’s figures’ improbability at http://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/165476.txt. That and studies by NCVS have pointed out that there is simply not enough crime in the first place for Kleck’s figures to work. His number of criminals shot by righteous citizens is equal to the number of people shot in all circumstances. His number of rapes prevented by armed women is greater than the number of rapes that occurred.

Other statisticians have proven that Kleck’s calculation don’t work. Indeed, when asked to produce his data, he simply did not have it. He blamed it on a disk crash, i.e. “The dog ate my homework.” Apparently, he never heard of making a backup disk. Kleck had to leave the academic world and go to work for a right-wing think tank because of his sleazy methods.

And just consider what 2.5 million is: that’s 6,844.63 per day or 285,18 per hour or 4.75 per minute. If Kleck’s figure were true, we’d be hearing about DUGs all day every day, and we’re not.

jconservative

December 2nd, 2009
11:29 am

See supremecourtus gov

“08-1521 MCDONALD V. CHICAGO DECISION BELOW:567 F.3 856 CERT. GRANTED 9/30/2009 QUESTIONS PRESENTED: Whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is incorporated as against the States by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities ”

From the 14th Amendment”… No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…”

Oral arguments are set for Tuesday March 2, 2010.

This is going to be a fascinating case.

ken

December 2nd, 2009
11:39 am

If you are anti gun, place a sign in front of your house the reads “No Firearms in this house “. Defend your FREEDOM.

Hillbilly Deluxe

December 2nd, 2009
12:39 pm

It’s sort of like prohibiton and traffic laws. People that want to have a gun are going to have one, no matter what the law says. Me, I’d rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

Bryant Green

December 2nd, 2009
12:40 pm

We need sane firearms laws. Period.

Oldshooter

December 2nd, 2009
12:51 pm

For Rational Person: To apply a bit of “rationale” here, you must consider that if a gun is used to stop a rape (or other crime), then the crime did not occur and is therefore not reported in the crime statistics. In fact, most incidents of defensive gun use involve no firing of the weapon, and the majority of these go unreported altogether. When I thwarted an attempted carjacking (by a guy with a knife), I drove off, stopped a police officer in a patrol car and reported the incident. He offered to file a report if I “really wanted to,” but pointed out that it would do no good as the perp would be long gone by then, and there would be nothing the police could do. He also pointed out that, if they somehow picked up the perp, I might successfully be accused of “brandishing,” especially since the perp was black and I am white and wear western dress – suggeting that I am a “redneck” (and therefore suggesting that I am racially prejudiced). Apparently “playing the race card” is a not unusual form of street revenge in such situations. In that case, there being no evidence that he threatened me with a knife, while I am admitting in my report that I threatened him with a gun, I might well be convicted and, among other things, lose my license to carry. I thanked him for his time and did not file a report. And you’ll notice that I was initially INCLINED to report the event. Many people won’t even be so inclined in the first place. If it happened to me again, I certainly wouldn’t be. Whether or not you agree with Kleck’s 2.5 million DGU estimate, the DOJ has estimated “over 1.5 million annually.”

HRPufnstuf

December 2nd, 2009
12:57 pm

We HAVE sane firearms laws. Period. Criminals DON”T OBEY THEM!

More laws, taking more rights away from law abiding citizens, sure as heck won’t gain more compliance from criminals. A gun in their face will.

Truth

December 2nd, 2009
1:02 pm

All law abiding citizens that own guns are always harassed by cronies like Daley and his like will “God Knows” how many convicted felons who carry firearms support these same politicians…. or are bailed out, and spoon fed by organizations like the Chicago machine!

neo-Carlinist

December 2nd, 2009
1:18 pm

the 2nd Amendment was written when We the People were busy fighting (literally) for independence, and erradicating the eastern states/colonies of the indigenous population. While I do not doubt the sincerity of the Founding Fathers in their embrace of gun ownership rights; as the saying goes, that was then and this is now. Big Brother will allow us (NRA, municipalities, citizens) “debate” this issue via the courts, but don’t think for a minute any of enjoy the true “right to bear arms”. look no further than the “war on drugs” (search and seizure), the Patriot Act (free speech, assembly, etc.) to see the subjective or situational applications of our “inalienable” rights. again, these “he said/she said” debates no different than any other “issue”. we don’t have a dog in the fight because we are the dogs in the fight.

Jake

December 2nd, 2009
1:25 pm

We only need one gun law and that is The Second Amendment. The talk of sane firearm laws is great in theory, but look where gun laws have lead us , when state and local think if more laws are made, they will be safe. Some people live in a prison state and cant defend themselves from the criminals. Firearms have been restricted and restricted … and now it is time to burn all of the useless paper the laws are printed on. God created all men but The Second Amendment and Sam Colt made all men equal. Daley with many others need to get out of our country our framers intended it to be. I bet they would fit right in with Hugo Chavez

jconservative

December 2nd, 2009
2:06 pm

If I may enter the discussion on gun control. Here is a quote from Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in Heller that may shed some light on what can & cannot be done.

From Heller: ” Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill…”

“…not unlimited…” So what are the limits?

I am confident the McDonald decision will extend the 2nd Amendment to the States. What strings, if any, the court attaches is a wait & see. And remember, in this country, the Constitution says what the Court says it says.

Rational Person

December 2nd, 2009
2:07 pm

Oldshooter, you go to a lot of trouble to miss the point: Kleck’s figures are completely out of the ballpark.

NIJ gives the much plausible figure of 108,000 DGUs per year.

BTW, I am a gun owner. I just don’t carry it around with me or make it the object of my devotion.

Sunshine and Thunder

December 2nd, 2009
2:54 pm

“BTW, I am a gun owner. I just don’t carry it around with me or make it the object of my devotion.”

Why not?

That single, hand-held device puts you on equal footing with every thug on every street corner in every city in America. While God created men and women it was Samuel Colt who made them equal.

Rational Person

December 2nd, 2009
3:46 pm

I realize now that I conflated the sleazy Gary Kleck with the even sleazier John Lott. My mistake.

Sunshine, I don’t carry a gun because (a) it’s dangerous to me and to others and (b) it’s generally useless.

Fun fact: 20% of all cops who are shot get shot with their own gun or their partner’s.

Jefferson

December 2nd, 2009
5:08 pm

You can protect your home and family with a 12 ga pump shotgun. Why do you need a handgun?

Sunshine and Thunder

December 2nd, 2009
5:34 pm

Rational:

“I realize now that I conflated the sleazy Gary Kleck with the even sleazier John Lott. My mistake.”

Calling these men sleezy betrays your anti gun phobia. They developed statistics that the left doesn’t like.

“Sunshine, I don’t carry a gun because (a) it’s dangerous to me and to others and (b) it’s generally useless.”

It’s dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to use it. You should learn. It’s just as useless as that fire extiquisher you have (or should have) in your kitchen. It just sits there for years and then one day…

“Fun fact: 20% of all cops who are shot get shot with their own gun or their partner’s.”

The maybe cops shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns or have partners. Where’s your source?

Sunshine and Thunder

December 2nd, 2009
5:35 pm

Jefferson:

You don’t need a handgun for home protection if you have a shotgun. Handguns are good for concealed carry. It’s difficult concealing a 12 gauge.

Sunshine and Thunder

December 2nd, 2009
5:37 pm

Jefferson.

Handguns are useful for concealed carry. It’s hard trying to conceal an over and under.

Sunshine and Thunder

December 2nd, 2009
5:39 pm

Sorry for the double post. The software on these blogs is the worst I’ve ever seen.

Jefferson

December 2nd, 2009
5:54 pm

Why not just take the shotgun with you if you are worried about the world we live in ? Plus you have the visual …

anonymous_coward

December 2nd, 2009
6:00 pm

Rational Person:
The NIJ link you gave states that 1994 National Survey of Private Ownership of
Firearms (NSPOF) reproduced Kleck’s survey and got 3 million to
“1.5 million defensive users. This estimate is directly comparable to the well-known estimate of Kleck and Gertz,”

NSOF is listed throughout the NIJ report so I guess the NIJ trusts it.

Your own link makes you a liar.

“Defensive gun uses

NSPOF estimates. Private citizens sometimes use
their guns to scare off trespassers and fend off
assaults. Such defensive gun uses (DGUs) are
sometimes invoked as a measure of the public
benefits of private gun ownership. On the basis of
data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data,
one would conclude that defensive uses are rare
indeed, about 108,000 per year. But other surveys
yield far higher estimates of the number of DGUs.
Most notable has been a much publicized estimate of
2.5 million DGUs, based on data from a 1994
telephone survey conducted by Florida State
University professors Gary Kleck and Mark
Gertz.[13] The 2.5 million figure has been picked
up by the press and now appears regularly in
newspaper articles, letters to the editor,
editorials, and even Congressional Research Service
briefs for public policymakers.

The NSPOF survey is quite similar to the Kleck and
Gertz instrument and provides a basis for
replicating their estimate. Each of the respondents
in the NSPOF was asked the question, “Within the
past 12 months, have you yourself used a gun, even
if it was not fired, to protect yourself or someone
else, or for the protection of property at home,
work, or elsewhere?” Answers in the affirmative
were followed with “How many different times did
you use a gun, even if it was not fired, to protect
yourself or property in the past 12 months?”
Negative answers to the first DGU question were
followed by “Have you ever used a gun to defend
yourself or someone else?” (emphasis in original).
Each respondent who answered yes to either of these
DGU questions was asked a sequence of 30 additional
questions concerning the most recent defensive gun
use in which the respondent was involved, including
the respondent’s actions with the gun, the location
and other circumstances of the incident, and the
respondent’s relationship to the perpetrator.

Forty-five respondents reported a defensive gun use
in 1994 against a person (exhibit 7). Given the
sampling weights, these respondents constitute 1.6
percent of the sample and represent 3.1 million
adults. Almost half of these respondents reported
multiple DGUs during 1994, which provides the basis
for estimating the 1994 DGU incidence at 23
million. This surprising figure is caused in part
by a few respondents reporting large numbers of
defensive gun uses during the year; for example,
one woman reported 52!

A somewhat more conservative NSPOF estimate is
shown in the column of exhibit 7 that reflects the
application of the criteria used by Kleck and Gertz
to identify “genuine” defensive gun uses.
Respondents were excluded on the basis of the most
recent DGU description for any of the following
reasons: the respondent did not see a perpetrator;
the respondent could not state a specific crime
that was involved in the incident; or the
respondent did not actually display the gun or
mention it to the perpetrator.

Applying those restrictions leaves 19 NSPOF
respondents (0.8 percent of the sample),
representing 1.5 million defensive users. This
estimate is directly comparable to the well-known
estimate of Kleck and Gertz, shown in the last
column of exhibit 7. While the NSPOF estimate is
smaller, it is statistically plausible that the
difference is due to sampling error. Inclusion of
multiple DGUs reported by half of the 19 NSPOF
respondents increases the estimate to 4.7 million
DGUs.”

what me worry

December 2nd, 2009
6:57 pm

Im`pli´ed`ly
adv. 1. By implication or inference.

Magnafan

December 2nd, 2009
8:15 pm

Do you want to see gun control in action? Visit Canada. As an American residing I want you to know that Canada’s gun laws are dangerous to the law-abiding.

Concealed carry is illegal. Open carry is illegal. Your guns at home must be unloaded and locked up. The only place you can take your handgun is to the range: trigger locked, case locked, trunked, ammo separate. The result? Violent crime in the U.S. is dropping three times faster than in Canada.

In Toronto, a city of 2,600,000, home invasions are not unusual–done by armed criminals who do not obey the gun control laws. Carjackings happen every day–by armed criminals. Gang shootings happen almost every day–on the street, in clubs, in homes and apartments. Every year, hundreds of Canadian women simply cannot protect themselves from rapists, assault, or murder. Yet, most Canadian politicians think that is just fine. Atlanta, make sure that this is not your future.

M1ashot

December 2nd, 2009
11:30 pm

Well I hope it is the anti gun people who have their daughers found in the river or “a shallow grave’ My daughter is armed and trained to kill in her home. Of course we are not smart enough or is she to determine who is a threat, everyone is dumb except liberals. I guess I would have to kill anyone that harmed my childeren, and my children know I would. Whats wrong with you people hope it’s you daughter not mine. 800-1000 yds SMK 175 bullet in chest works for me. No appeals Muslim Law You know ha

Common Sense

December 3rd, 2009
12:26 am

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

DDS -- NRA Life Member

December 3rd, 2009
8:48 am

“Cutty” above seems to suggest, as do many on the left, that our rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment vary depending on the jurisdiction we happen to be in. Would they be agreeable to Utah “varying” 1st Amendment freedom of religion by establishing the Mormon faith as a state religion? Would they be agreeable to any state in the former confederacy “varying” the 14th Amendment prohibition of slavery? I think they would not. So I believe they need to explain why they hold the right to keep and bear arms as a special case. Or they need to give up on the “variable rights” argument and find some other way to harass America’s law abiding gun owners. I hold no hope that they will ever stop with that.

Chris Broe

December 3rd, 2009
8:52 am

Chicago gun ban? I wonder if Al Capone had to deal with crazy ideas like that? What happened to the Chicago Way? There was only one way to get Capone: Ambush him outside a movie theatre with a doll in a red dress. No, that was bonnie and clyde. Dammit, I always get my 2nd amendment poster children mixed up!

Dave Blackmon

December 3rd, 2009
9:20 am

“You don’t need a handgun for home protection if you have a shotgun. Handguns are good for concealed carry. It’s difficult concealing a 12 gauge.”

Hmm…$20.00 for a pistol grip and about 5 minutes with a hack saw and file…easily concealable 12 guage.

Freedom Line Blog » Morning Links

December 3rd, 2009
9:24 am

[...] New York Tax Revolt Washington Examiner – Time to Corral ‘Sheriff Biden’ Rep. Bob Barr – The Chicago Gun Ban Challenge WSJ – Weekly Jobless Claims [...]

Sunshine and Thunder

December 3rd, 2009
10:52 am

“Hmm…$20.00 for a pistol grip and about 5 minutes with a hack saw and file…easily concealable 12 guage.”

You could also carry a grandfather clock instead of a watch.

Minnesotan

December 3rd, 2009
11:18 am

Statistics and more @#%&# statistics. Doesn’t mean doodle squat. If someone enters your home uninvited shoot him. Who cares how many times it happens in the rest of the world. Once is enough in my world.

Chicago, Milwaukee, DC passes laws that say if you shoot someone in self defense the criminal goes free and you go to jail because you are holding the gun some zipperhead politician has made illegal. Where is the sense in that? That is the true issue.

How many of you trust car salesmen? You are trusting a swarthier lot with your 2nd amendment right. Daley? Bloomberg? Obama? Clinton? Emanuel? The countless czars? C’mon. How many would buy a used car from them? We know their voting records. They speak for themselves and cannot hide from miscalculation. We are talking politicians against arming seamen off the coast of Africa. Hopeless.

The Supreme Court? McDonauld vs Chicago outcome doesn’t bother me. It’s the lower courts that bother me. We can’t vote the dumb a$$ lower court judges out. Yes the Supreme Court in DC vs Heller established an “individual” right. What good did it do? To carry in DC it takes big $$$$, major permit delays, ammunition restriction, limited purchase, cop carry approval….lower court laws.

Forget it. Defend home, self, and family and join the criminal ranks. They have more rights than we do anyway. Personally. I will deal with it in my own way. My daughter is worth a 1000 Obama’s or a 1000 laws telling me I have to call a cop while she is raped. I’ll shoot the **** and worry about it later.

Minnesotan

December 3rd, 2009
11:26 am

@DDS – NRA LM
That would be the 13th amendment for the slavery issue. No Biggy. I’m a member too.

StJ

December 3rd, 2009
11:50 am

Imagine how low the crime rate would be if the government paid cash rewards to citizens for shooting the thugs instead of harassing them.

Foo Bar

December 3rd, 2009
12:55 pm

The mayor of Chicago is Richard M. Daley. His father was Richard J. Daley.

William Daley was a Secretary of Commerce under Clinton.

Walter

December 3rd, 2009
8:44 pm

Rational Person never attempted to report a crime.. Unless there is a political benefit, law enforcement generally is indifferent to crime. I had a shed broken into and over $1k in tools stolen.. They made me come to the police station to make a report. No investigation was done. I recently was defrauded of $2k online.. The CA atty general’s office sent a letter to the perp and then closed their file because the perp didn’t respond to their letter. There are no accurate crime statistics because most people no longer bother involving law enforcement..I’ve twice had to run to my car because thugs persued me in bad neighborhoods.. RP must live in a gated community. Is your real name Rosie O’Donnell?

Minnesotan

December 4th, 2009
9:25 am

@Foo Bar
Don’t know if you did that intentionally. But it’s FUBAR. ****** UP BEYOND ALL REPAIR. I’m with you. Retired Air Force.

Hard Right Hook

December 4th, 2009
10:39 pm

Jefferson

December 2nd, 2009
5:08 pm
You can protect your home and family with a 12 ga pump shotgun. Why do you need a handgun?

Because I want a handgun. It is my business, not yours,

If you own a pencil, why do you need a pen?

Minnesotan

December 7th, 2009
9:20 am

Hard Right
I’m with you. It is no one’s business. A little old lady needs a hand gun. A farmer can blast with a 12 gauge. You and I have a hard right fist. If the fight is fair it is time to change your tactics. Hang in their big shooter. Dan