With the passage of the United States Supreme Court's ruling on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the National Rifle Association has taken their cue from Shakespeare; "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!"
But Chicago isn't the first stop for the NRA, nor the only stop, as they begin a campaign of legal battles to have restrictive anti-gun laws overturned and erased around the country. The city of San Fransisco finds itself "under the gun" by the NRA and others over their ban of handguns in public housing, on the basis that the ban is unconstitutional and relegates those who live in public housing to a separate class of citizenship than the rest of the citizens of the city. San Fransisco, and other cities that are suddenly finding themselves facing lawsuits, are digging in and preparing to fight, despite the Supreme Court ruling this week.
But officials here and in other cities where gun restrictions are now being challenged took a defiant stance. As the lawsuit was being filed, San Francisco officials held a news conference in the city’s hardscrabble Western Addition neighborhood to announce a series of antigun measures. Mayor Gavin Newsom said the timing was coincidental, but apt.Obviously Mayor Newson has never heard of the town of Kennesaw, Georgia.
Mr. Newsom, who said he suspected that the rifle association might also sue to overturn a local ordinance requiring trigger-locks, challenged N.R.A. officials to come to his city and spend time in public housing developments, which he said were often overrun with weapons.
“We don’t happen to believe that it’s good public policy in public housing sites where guns and violence is the highest in our city and, for that matter, respectively, in cities across America, to say ‘Hey, come on in; let’s everybody get guns,’ ” said Mr. Newsom, a Democrat.
The San Fransisco suit, interestingly enough for a city with a reputation of ensuring the rights of it's gay citizenry, was filed by a gay man living in public housing after being denied a handgun permit for the purchase of a firearm to use in self defense from potential hate crimes. According to NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre, denial of a certain population of the city based upon where they live, stating “It can’t be walled off by the political class. It would be the equivalent of saying you can have a right to free speech, but you can’t have a right to free speech in public housing.” The suit was filed against San Fransisco within hours of the release of the Supreme Court decision. San Fransisco virtually banned handguns within the city in 1982 when it passed ordinances in which no new handgun permits would be issued.
Officials in Chicago and New York City, two more cities that have restrictive gun laws, remain convinced that the high court ruling won't have any immediate effect on existing gun laws. Georgia's Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, on the other hand, has asked a Republican state senator to form an exploratory committee to determine which of Georgia's state statutes are in violation of the Supreme Court ruling. Cagle, a Republican as well, is a gun ownership advocate.
A city of about 725,000, San Francisco has 12,000 residents living in public housing, all of whom are required to sign a lease that forbids a broad variety of weapons, including pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, automatic rifles, BB guns, as well as nunchucks, brass knuckles and stun guns. This blanket ban was begun in 2006, and the penalty for violation of the lease is eviction.In 2005, a city-wide ban was enacted, and overturned by the California State Supreme Court. Last year alone, there were 42 gun related deaths in San Fransisco, and residents of the city's public housing neighborhoods state that they hear gunshots on a daily basis, despite the ban on weapons in public housing.
In the case filed on Friday, an anonymous gay man said that stipulation had deprived him of “any effective means of self-defense.
When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man