Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The Supreme Court declared the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right. But we all know fundamental rights can be infringed (can’t yell fire in a crowded theater). The question is: what’s the test to decide whether a government regulation affecting a fundamental right is valid or void?
The Illinois city ordinance banning ‘assault rifles’ is staking out a “rational basis” test. If the regulation is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, it stands. That’s the test we use for zoning ordinances, or speed limits. That’s the least protective of citizens’ rights.
In contrast, the test for freedom of speech is “strict scrutiny,” which is a much harder test for the government to pass. That’s why a crucifix in urine, nude dancing, flag burning and Citizens United’s right to show a film critical of Hillary Clinton are all protected by the First Amendment.
These tests are all made-up rules adopted by the Supreme Court, which hasn’t stated the test it will apply to gun rights cases. It’s absolutely critical Second Amendment supporters keep the pressure on politicians and the courts to make certain the right to defend yourself with arms is as vigorously protected as the right to defend yourself with words.
The good guys have been on a fifteen year winning streak. Some have gotten complacent.
It’s time to change that.