Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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Supreme Court Gun Ruling Not End of the World

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It certainly was no surprise to me that Sen Jim Webb released a statement yesterday praising the Supreme Court decision in the Chicago gun ban case, McDonald v Chicago. The 5-4 decision declared Chicago's ban on handgun ownership in the city unconstitutional.

"I support today's decision of the Supreme Court in the case of McDonald v. Chicago. With this decision, the Court has ruled that wholesale, sweeping bans and restrictions on firearm ownership cannot be enacted by state and local governments...I joined a number of my colleagues in filing an amicus brief in this case, in support of a gun owner seeking to overturn Chicago's handgun ban," Webb said.

The ruling doesn't immediately end the handgun ban in Chicago. It simply sends the case back to a lower court for a new ruling. It will be up to that U.S. District Court to re-hear the case and issue directives on exactly what the city can regulate about handgun ownership. The handgun ban was passed in Chicago in 1982, following the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Of course, Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the National Rifle Association and a guy who started his political ventures as a legislative aide for the late Democratic Del. Vic Thomas of Vinton, wasn't satisfied because city and state officials retain, according to Justice Samuel Alito, the right to place "reasonable restrictions" on gun ownership.

I personally don't think LaPierre would be satisfied even if he somehow could turn the United States into an armed camp, a place where every citizen could get whatever firepower was available, regardless of the right of the rest of us not to be bullied by armed intimidation. (The NRA even opposes any ban on so-called "cop-killer" ammunition or on any restriction on civilians owning military automatic weapons.)

Terrorists Can Buy Guns Say Republicans

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Anyone on the FBI terrorist watch list can be prevented from getting on an airplane, but he definitely can buy a gun, even an AK-47 assault weapon, without restraint say Congressional Republicans, according to a column by Gail Collins in today's New York Times, where she says "There seems to be a strong sentiment in Congress that the only constitutional right suspected terrorists have is the right to bear arms." She quotes  Senator Lindsey Graham (SC, R), who spoke in opposition to a bill offered by Senator Frank Lutenberg (NJ, D) which would allow the government to stop gun sales to people on the watch list, just as it can already do to people with felony convictions.  

State and national Republican legislative idiocy

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This will be short.  I do not consider it sweet.

In Virginia, the Governor can propose amendments to legislation as part of his vetoing or approving a bill and returning it to the veto session of the General Assembly.  Gov. McDonnell has proposed requiring that the gun safety instruction in the elementary schools be required to use the curriculum of the National Rifle Association.

In Washington, Republican Senators have introduced legislation to block the White House from requiring federal agencies to consider climate change data in environmental impact statements.

I will provide more information below the fold.