Keep states sovereign

Mar 022010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

CSU may be in the business of bad gun policy as of late, but the U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to make one of the most critical gun control decisions in the history of the country.

The court heard oral arguments on McDonald vs. Chicago Tuesday, a case that will decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms against local and state gun regulation.

The case pits Chicago’s handgun ban, which has stood since 1982, against those who say the ban violates the Second Amendment.

As is the case with any gun policy battle, the ideologues on both sides are out in force –– gun advocates arguing that gun possession is an inalienable right vital for personal protection and gun control folks arguing that guns are an unnecessary social evil.

But, while the Collegian editorial board feels that the Chicago handgun ban is bad, restrictive policy, the case brings up the larger issue of state sovereignty.

In 1833 the court affirmed that the Bill of Rights applied only to the relationship between individuals and the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment, passed in 1868, seemed to buck that decision.

Unable to ever garner the five votes it needed to apply the Constitution to the states wholesale, courts have since taken a piecemeal approach to the issue, applying most, but not all, of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments over time.

Gun control is one issue the court has not touched and one it should leave alone. The federal government has impinged on the states’ rights too much already and taking away their right to regulate public safety and health issues would be a travesty.

 Posted by at 4:53 pm

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