UPDATE, 2:30 pm: A lawyer who argued the case, Alan Gura, tells me, “This is a fantastic day for freedom in America. This is going to save lives. This decision is good nationwide... People will be able to rest easily knowing they can access firearms if they need to defend themselves.”
Otis McDonald tells me he plans to have a handgun in his home as soon as he can: “I have a handgun, but it’s out-of-state. As soon as I get the paperwork straightened out, I’ll bring it in.”
“I thank the Lord for giving me the strength to do this, and the people to do it with…”
The Supreme Court just ruled that the Second Amendment is an individual right. Justice Alito wrote in the majority opinion and concluded:
“The 14th Amendment incorporates the 2nd Amendment right… to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.”
In 2008, the Supreme Court decided in DC v. Heller that the Second Amendment gives individuals a right to keep and bear arms, but that case only applied to DC, and other federal property. This new case, McDonald vs. Chicago, challenged all gun bans. On my FBN show last week (video here) I interviewed Otis McDonald, the plaintiff suing for his right to own a gun in Chicago, and his attorney Alan Gura.
“Common sense tells me that we should be able to defend ourselves,” Gura told me. “Government cannot take away your right to defend yourself with the tool… most commonly used for that purpose.”
But Chicago's Mayor Daley said that if his gun ban is struck down:
"Access to guns will destroy America faster than any other war. Take Europe. Take Japan and other countries that don't have access to guns. They don't have the amount of killings."
They don’t. But they also have different cultures. Just look at Switzerland, where all men are expected to keep a machine gun at home -- they have a far lower murder rate than the United States.
Comparisons across countries aren't very helpful, because there are many reasons why crime rates differ. It's more important to look at what happens before and after bans.
Here's what happened after DC passed its handgun ban:
And after it was repealed:
If experience is any guide, Chicago’s crime rate will now go down – not up.