The fight to preserve Second Amendment rights continually shifts among local, state and federal legal fronts. Local governments led by officials opposed to personal gun ownership and spurred by knee-jerk reactions to outlier events love to enact laws greatly restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Ultimately, federal courts continually affirm city officials cannot enact Draconian laws designed to stifle the rights of local gun owners.
Even state courts are agreeing local governments cannot enact laws that go against the Second Amendment. The latest example is Pittsburgh, where a mostly anti-gun city council saw its knee-jerk reaction thrown out as violating the Second Amendment.
The city’s council knew it could not outright ban certain firearms, but they thought they could skirt the Constitution by instead banning the use of the AR-15 and other “assault rifles” (their words). It voted 6-3 to make it illegal to have a loaded military-style rifle or fire one within city limits.
The council said sure, owning an AR-15 is alright, but do not engage in target shooting or use one to defend yourself, your family, or your home. That would be where citizens break the law and commit an illegal act. Apparently Pittsburgh officials think its ok to defend your home against an attacker using a handgun, but the minute someone does so with an AR-15 or similarly styled firearm you go to jail no exceptions.
The council was reacting to the Oct. 27, 2018, mass shooting that killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
The temple-goers were unarmed and in a “gun-free zone.” The killer did not abide the honor system and go elsewhere like the council thinks will happen if they ban manly looking guns.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed the measure and told reporters: “If we didn’t challenge laws, women wouldn’t be able to vote.” Apparently, he likens the destruction of a civil right – the right to bear arms – with giving women the right to vote.
Such a view shows the massive distortion through which anti-gun politicians view the Second Amendment. Instead of enabling people to protect themselves and preserve life, anti-gun politicians view gun ownership as an existential threat to civilized society.
The Second Amendment and firearms ownership are fundamental building blocks of our nation and its highly civilized society. High gun ownership rates make for a polite society.
The United States and gun-owning citizens affirmed the importance of firearms when rebelling against a tyrannical colonial overlord in the UK. There, firearms were not allowed, and mostly are not today.
An armed populace that is well-versed in the use of firearms is one capable of defending homes as individuals and communities as part of organized militia, military or law enforcement.
Anti-gunners in Pittsburgh and similar locales prefer an unarmed populace that is vulnerable to criminals and wholly dependent upon the government for protection. The courts, thankfully, won’t let that happen—at least not yet.