In recent years, gunfire has killed dozens of Chicago schoolchildren. The city received a potential PR setback in its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics when four people were shot?one fatally?downtown July 3 as a crowd of more than 1 million dispersed after the city?s Independence Day fireworks show.That's hardly relevant to an article on the legal issues of the 2nd Amendment. Somewhat better is their discussion of the three precedents the city plans to rely on:
I don't think this case will be very helpful to Chicago's side. We're talking about a racist mob violating the civil rights of black citizens. It would be unconscionable to uphold an openly racist precedent in the face of contradictory precedents for the other amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. This case is also trivially distinguishable from the current situation because private actions infringing a civil right (ie, the mob) are not the same as state or local laws doing so.
In the seminal 1875 case, United States v. Cruikshank, the court vacated the convictions of members of a white mob accused of depriving blacks of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Though cryptic in its reasoning, the court left no doubt that the amendment was the wrong tool: ?This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government.?
Miller v Texas won't be helpful, because Heller doesn't challenge felon-in-possession and the vast majority of people in Chicago aren't felons. Presser is even less helpful because the Chicago laws are a complete ban on possession, not merely a ban on firearms carried in public. If those are the only cases in Chicago's quiver they will likely lose... barring an Obama presidency and judicial retirements. The ABA gets fair credit for accepting that in the article, although they use the point to bring up how DC responded to keep restrictive laws in place following their loss in Heller.
City lawyers also are keen on Presser v. Illinois, where the court in 1886 held that the amendment didn?t prevent the state from prohibiting a parade of 400 armed men through the streets of Chicago. Similarly in 1894, the court, in Miller v. Texas, affirmed a state law forbidding a murder defendant from carrying a weapon.