To the Editor:
On November 6, 67,351 or 67.1 percent of voters approved a non-binding referendum making Madison County a "sanctuary gun county."
Many adults observe an erosion of personal freedom in America. Some fear a ‘politically correct’ Illinois General Assembly, led by a few powerful upstate legislators, might unduly limit gun possession. Why?
Recent Supreme Court decisions show governments overstepping their bounds. These include; District of Columbia vs. Heller (2008), McDonald vs. City of Chicago (2010), and Caetano vs. Massachusetts (2016).
In Heller, Washington D.C. governments’ ridiculous legal acumen didn’t allow law abiding citizens of their crime riddled city handguns. The Supreme Court of the United States held that “the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense.”
The 74 year old McDonald, lived in a deteriorating neighborhood run by gangs and drug dealers while Chicago government prohibited handguns. Seems ridiculous McDonald couldn’t own a handgun, but the thugs that ransacked his apartment five times could do so easily and unlawfully. Fortunately, the court held “the right of an individual to keep and bear arms, as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the states.”
In Caetano, records show Ms. Caetano carried a ‘stun gun’ for protection after a boyfriend beat and then stalked her. Massachusetts arrested her for carrying an unauthorized weapon not covered by the Second Amendment. Despite Massachusetts’s ridiculous legal position it was no laughing matter for Ms. Caetano. The court held; “if the fundamental right to self - defense does not protect Caetano, then the safety of all Americans is left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned with disarming people than about keeping them safe.” Sound like Illinois?
The Second Amendment remains a check on government. It reads; ‘the right to bear arms will not be infringed’. Bearing arms, remains a ‘God given’ or ‘natural right’. If there was no Second Amendment the ‘right to bear arms’ would still exist! The people have spoken. Congratulations Madison County!
Philip W. Chapman, Madison County Board member