Many people are debating exactly what will change with Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upholds the right of citizens to keep and bear firearms.
McDonald v. City of Chicago expands on a 2-year-old decision that knocked down a District of Columbia ban on handguns. This time the ruling was more direct, noting that the Second Amendment “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
Politicians had different reactions.
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, saw the ruling as a victory for the Constitution.
“This is a ruling that is deeply rooted in the traditions of this nation and makes certain that no individual has this right taken from them by repressive local governments,” Schock said.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., focused instead on what the ruling did not do.
“Much will be made of the Supreme Court’s finding today that Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live. But the Court also found that the right to keep and bear arms is not an unlimited right. In fact, the Court’s decision gives local officials, like Chicago’s Mayor Daley, the authority to establish common sense handgun regulations to protect public safety,” Durbin said in a release.
“We have an obligation to keep gun laws on the books that are both consistent with the Second Amendment and consistent with our duties to protect our citizens from the deadly effects of gun violence. I will continue to work with Mayor Daley, Governor Quinn and my colleagues in Washington to ensure that governments at all levels pursue reasonable and constitutional policies to regulate gun use and to prevent misuse,” Durbin said.
Congressional candidate Bobby Schilling, a Republican running in the 17th District, saw it as a positive.
“Today’s decision was a victory for law-abiding citizens, and it was also a victory against those who want to trample on the United States Constitution,” Schilling said. “Our founding fathers gave us these liberties for a reason, and we must continue to hold them close to our hearts.”
It should be noted that both of the gun rights cases have been 5-4 rulings. This Supreme Court is not a cohesive unit on this or many other issues.