It’s about to get easier to shoot people in Chicago, says Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. Actually, it’s about to get easier to shoot — and be shot by — people in the rest of the country, too. The Supreme Court left no doubt about that yesterday, the majority making clear that they will strike down the 28-year-old ban on handguns in Al Capone’s town. The only questions are: Which legal theory will the pro-gun majority use to arrive at the outcome it desires, and which class of arms will it allow Americans to bear next?
The outcome was preordained since the Heller decision in 2008 struck down a similar ban in Washington, D.C. Chief Justice John Roberts told James Feldman, Chicago’s attorney, that the five-member conservative majority in that case knew just what the Founding Fathers had in mind more than 200 years ago. “I don’t see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment, whether you want to label it fundamental or not, was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant,” Roberts said. A majority of the court is preparing to take the issue away from state legislators and put it in the hands of unelected judges — the very definition of judicial activism, Milbank says.