Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The experiment has been tried, and it failed (miserably)

Damon Root has a couple excellent recent articles in Reason Magazine and the Wall Street Journal about the upcoming McDonald v. City of Chicago Second Amendment incorporation case to be heard in the Supreme Court on March 2nd. Read both of them, if you haven't already, but the Wall Street Journal article strikes closer to the point I'm trying to make here, so let's take a look at it.

In it, he quotes former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who in 1932, argued in favor of state and local governments' power to rule without federal interference.

"It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system," Brandeis wrote in his dissent in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, "that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory, and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country."
Obviously, that's just the kind of argument that would appeal to anyone opposed to incorporation of the Second Amendment, and Chicago has not failed to notice:
That's where Brandeis comes in. In Chicago's view, the Second Amendment should have no impact on its vast gun control regime. As the city has argued to the Court [ed. note: in their brief in opposition to the granting of Certioriae (pdf file)], "Firearms regulation is a quintessential issue on which state and local governments can 'serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.'" Thus, Chicago claims it should enjoy "the greatest flexibility to create and enforce firearms policy."
Anyway, Root does a good job of pointing out why deprivation of Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human rights of the individual is not a legitimate area of "experimentation," so I'll leave that to him.

What I want to talk about instead is the perceived need for this "experiment." Chicago's near-total ban of handguns dates back to 1982. Twenty-eight years would seem adequate time to judge the effectiveness of the experiment, would it not? In making such a judgment, one should probably be aware that Chicago has spent much of that time duelling with Washington D.C. (which until recently had its own, similar ban) for "murder capital of the U.S." Violence in Chicago is so bad that Chicago hospitals have trouble keeping enough blood on hand.

You've tried your little "experiment," Chicago. It failed.