January 5, 2011
Now that the Supreme Court agrees that there's a Second Amendment, the one about how the right to keep and bear arms shan't be infringed, lower courts are feeling free to load this constitutional ammo as well.
Ohio's Supreme Court just ruled 5-2 against Cleveland's requirement for registering handguns and against a ban on assault weapons, upholding a state law banning onerous gun control.
The losing side argues that the Ohio law violates the home rule rights of municipalities. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says, "Our inability to enforce laws that are right for our city flies in the face of home rule and takes power away from the people at the local level."
If some mugger with a gun is lurching at you in a dark alley, and you've got no gun -- or if some armed lunatic is shooting into a crowd, and you've got no gun -- you may wish you had one. And probably would not find consoling the thought, "Well, at least these local victim-disarmament laws are 'right for the town.'"
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Ohio's anti-victim-disarmament law "does not unconstitutionally infringe on municipal home rule authority."
Yes. If constitutional protections of individual rights could be countermanded at will, not only the 2nd and 14th Amendments but also all other explicit and implicit constitutional protections of our rights would be dead letters whenever any burg says so.
But there can't be a constitutional right to ignore constitutional rights.
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge and Citizens in Charge Foundation, which sponsors both Common Sense and Paul's weekly Townhall Column. The opinions expressed in Common Sense are Paul Jacob's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Citizens in Charge or Citizens in Charge Foundation.