Firearms are not the inherent evil that some gun control advocates claim, but as New Yorkers we have a common-sense understanding that the easy availability of everything from pistols to assault rifles is part of the fear and insecurity that we live with on a daily basis.
Monday’s Supreme Court decision in a case involving Chicago’s ultra-strict handgun control law doesn’t overturn gun laws in New York and elsewhere, but it will clearly open the door to legal challenges of those laws.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has already announced it is preparing lawsuits challenging local gun laws around the country based on Monday’s High Court decision — and New York’s relatively strict gun laws are in the powerful lobby’s cross hairs.
It is disturbing that the justices seemingly agreed with the notion that the right to own firearms trumps other rights — including the rights of cities to take reasonable steps to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It is disturbing that a gun movement that is heavily rural has succeeded in adversely affecting the security of millions of residents of America’s big cities. Clearly, the interests of Bozeman, Mont., and Manhattan are very different when it comes to unrestricted gun ownership. And it is disturbing to see the unchecked extremism of the pro-gun movement that seems to believe there is the Second Amendment — and then there’s the rest of the Constitution, mere padding.
As the Anti-Defamation League pointed out in its statement, the decision and the lawsuits that are sure to follow could also make it significantly harder for state and local officials to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and their supporters.
Mainstream Jewish groups have long supported strong gun control laws, based on a rational belief that the lack of prudent limits is a major factor in deadly urban violence.
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