The Supreme Court's ruling striking down a city of Chicago handgun ban
has sparked immediate, thoughtful online commentary about one of the country's greatest and oldest debates: that over gun rights -- or more specifically, the relationship among governments, gun access and public safety. Surge Desk has compiled a selection of some of the responses and dialogues coming from the blogosphere as a result of today's historic judgment.
Hans von Spakovsky, on the Heritage Foundation's blog, writes that this should have been an easy decision.
"It is hard to believe that anyone could rationally argue that the Second Amendment does not protect a fundamental right. Yet liberals on the Court, including Justice Stevens whose last day is today, could not even bring themselves to recognize this fundamental right because they don't like the result. They would never do this with other amendments in the Bill of Rights that lead to results they agree with. McDonald was actually an easy decision because, just like in the Heller case, the regulations in both Chicago and Illinois were little more than outright bans that prevented city residents from owning guns."
David Ignatius at The Washington Post says the court's decision moves the country one step closer to anarchy.
"After all, if I know that my neighbor is armed and preparing for Armageddon situations where law and order break down (as so many are -- just read the right wing blogs) then I have to think about protecting my family, too.
"That's the state-of-nature, everyone for himself logic that prevails in places such as Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. They've been struggling to establish a rule of law, where the police have a monopoly of force and militias are a thing of the past. How weird that we are moving in the opposite direction."
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey opines that gun bans are gone for good.
"In other words, the dissent to both Heller and McDonald appear to be 'incorporation for me, but not for thee.' Once the Court determined that the Constitution and its amendments became incorporated into limitations of state and local law, the 2nd Amendment goes along with it. That's not terribly difficult to comprehend, but Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor want to eat their cake and have it, too. They want to incorporate everything but the 2nd Amendment, and simply put, there is no intellectual basis for that reasoning that doesn't involve torturing logic on a virtual medieval rack.
"Gun bans will be tossed on the ash heap of history, where they belong."
Choire Sicha at The Awl asks a pertinent question: "When Will the Supreme Court Affirm the Constitutional Right Not to Be Shot?"
"But what about the states' rights, to do as they see fit? Clearly the owning of guns is not an issue regarding which we must protect our sovereign states from those meddlers in the Congress. And what about everyone's right to liberty -- our right to not be shot and stuff?"
At The Pirate's Cove, William Teach doesn't mince words.
"Good news for those who love the entire Constitution."
Jay Bookman, writing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, says the court has proved itself to be filled with "activist" judges.
"As Justice Stephen Breyer notes in his dissent, the rulings in Heller and McDonald strip power from state and local governments and place it in the hands not just of the federal government, but of the federal courts. In its centralization of power, its rejection of precedent and and its investment of legislative power in the courts, the court has taken a decidedly activist role."
Mary Katharine Ham at The Weekly Standard predicts that gun violence won't increase because of the ruling.
"Gun-control activists will resort to, as Alito might say, 'doomsday' predictions of the blood that will run in the streets of Chicago because of this ruling. But there is no lack of blood running in the streets, now, in this allegedly gun-free paradise. It's just that law-abiding citizens have no means of protecting themselves against the illegal firearms of the city's criminals. Fully 54 people were shot in Chicago last weekend ..."
... and adds that citizens will be safer.
"Otis McDonald having a gun will not make Chicago any more dangerous, but it will make Otis McDonald a lot safer, so that he can continue his work to make his neighborhood safer for everyone."
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center and Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued an optimistic statement.
"We are pleased that the Court reaffirmed its language in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment individual right to possess guns in the home for self-defense does not prevent our elected representatives from enacting common-sense gun laws to protect our communities from gun violence. We are reassured that the Court has rejected, once again, the gun lobby argument that its 'any gun, for anybody, anywhere' agenda is protected by the Constitution. The Court again recognized that the Second Amendment allows for reasonable restrictions on firearms, including who can have them and under what conditions, where they can be taken, and what types of firearms are available."
MadisonConservative asks an obvious question on Hot Air.
"How can a society be free when the criminals can get firearms to attack, but the citizens cannot get them to defend?"
But Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann gives a fairly straightforward rebuttal on The Huffington Post.
"More guns means more gun death. States with lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates consistently lead the nation in per capita gun death, while states with strict gun laws and lower gun ownership have lower gun death rates."