Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Upstream, I listed the wins we've had since the McDonald decision. My intention was to get everyone thinking about the road we are traveling by highlighting where we are now.
It goes to the strategy of being very selective at picking the "low hanging fruit" to achieve specific wins and creating the proper precedent for future battles.
When the Heller decision came down, many of us were jumping with joy. Just as many however, were telling us that this decision was weak and meant nothing.
When the McDonald decision came down, we went through the same things.
We are now at a cusp.
We have a plethora of carry cases, all designed to get recognition of one thing. The Court in deciding Heller, determined that the second amendment was a personal and individual right. It utterly destroyed the "collective right" issue. All 9 Justices agreed on that front. Where the disagreement came, was in just how far that right reached.
The majority reasoned that the very core of the right was the right to keep and bear functional firearms, in case of confrontation, for defense of self, family, others and perhaps most importantly, our home.
That because of the nature of the requested relief, the specific holding was that the government could not ban handguns, in the home. But this does not negate the general holding, as I expressed just above.
The McDonald case was fought over whether or not this was a basic and fundamental right, that applied everywhere in the US. We won that fight, also. The opening words, penned by Justice Alito, should be instructive. "Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller (citation omitted), we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense," notice that in this opening statement that "in the home" is absent?
In all the carry cases, the defendants and lower courts have, for the most part, repeated the mantra of the specific holding of Heller all the while ignoring the general holding that preceded the specific finding.
What the carry cases are doing is to get the circuit courts to recognize that public carry, in whatever regulated form the State chooses, is part of the core right of self defense. Barring that recognition, then on to the Supreme Court. This, because that is who these cases are really aimed at. It is why the briefs by the plaintiffs are worded the way they are.
It is only when the right is recognized, can we begin to dismantle the truly onerous permitting systems. That's another fight, on another level.
Another part of this prong of the attack, is the idea that lawful resident aliens, who are citizens of a State, may not be treated differently than other citizens, just because of a lack of US Citizenship. This does not apply to unlawful aliens, nor to temporary alien visa's. This is all in accord with US immigration law and subsequent court cases, which generally grants resident aliens most of the same rights and status as US Citizens.
There are other cases that are chipping away at other facets of self defense and who is entitled to that right.
Bottom line? We didn't lose all of this in one day, and it may take a while to restore it. Have some faith, because as slow as it may seem, we are winning.