Even a simple guy like me can figure out these words from the U.S. Constitution: ‘‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’’ That’s contained in the Second Amendment. So why did four Supreme Court justices this week vote to infringe on the right to bear arms?
The court ruled 5 to 4 that 76-year-old Otis McDonald, an African-American Democrat who lives in Chicago, can own a handgun. McDonald, a retired working-class guy, sued the city for taking away his right to protect himself. McDonald was blunt: He said his neighborhood is full of thugs who threaten his well-being and the city cannot control the situation. So he has to protect himself from harm.
But Justices John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg basically told McDonald to take a hike. They opined that guns cause a lot of damage to society; therefore, if a city wants to ban them, it can. But that is a policy belief, is it not? Where in the Constitution does it say that if guns become a menace to society they can be banned? Where does it say that?
The Founding Fathers well understood the need for individual protection. Under King George, British soldiers routinely threw Colonial families out of their homes using a bogus law called the ‘‘Quartering Act.’’ Also, the colonists had little protection from harm because there was no federal authority and state governments were in their infancy.
The founders also recognized that armed rebellion was a possibility even after we threw the British out. So they allowed the new American citizens the right to ‘‘bear arms’’ as protection and, indeed, wanted the folks to form ‘‘militias’’ in case of emergency.
A smart fifth-grader understands all that, but apparently four Supreme Court justices do not.
If these liberal jurists really cared about gun control, they would urge Congress to pass a law making all gun crimes federal offenses with mandatory prison sentences of 10 years. That would mean that any thug who carried a gun illegally or used one to commit a crime would be facing a 10-year stretch on top of whatever else he or she had done. You want bad guys with guns off the streets? That’s the way to do it.
My opinion on gun control changed drastically when I saw the chaos in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Armed bands of looters in boats cruised the city taking pretty much anything they wanted because the local police presence had collapsed. If you had remained in town in order to protect your property, you would have been at the mercy of these looters unless you had the firepower to ward them off. That is why all Americans have the right to bear arms.
It is depressing to think that the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs of this world do not care a whit about the welfare of Otis McDonald and other Americans who find themselves at risk. For Ginsburg, it is all about her liberal philosophy — not what benefits the American people.
The Supreme Court is just one justice away from giving Ginsburg and her leftist crew the power to completely usurp the Constitution. Be very afraid.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show ‘‘The O’Reilly Factor.’’