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Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008, 9:53 am

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world

By Jeremy Gantz
Suburban Chicago handgun bans are being repealed faster than you can say "litigation." Yesterday, Evanston's city council nearly unanimously voted for the repeal, the goal of an NRA lawsuit filed following June's Supreme Court ruling that Washington D.C.'s handgun ban was unconstitutional. Here's Evanston alderman Steve Berstein on the repeal, in today's Chicago Tribune:

"I find the Supreme Court decision repugnant. [But] this city was facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses. We'll be better off getting [the ordinance] off the books... We don't want people to have handguns in Evanston, but right now the law is against us. This was pragmatic. We're being sued. It'd be nice to fight for principal but we don't have the money to fight."

Wilmette and Morton Grove have also repealed their handgun bans, although the latter is continuing to ban automatic weapons, grenades and BB guns (!), and Evanston officials say they hope to add restrictions later (when the legal smoke clears, I suppose).

Who does have the money to fight the Supreme Court? Chicago and Oak Park, that's who. Their likely argument? That the Supreme Court's decision only applied to an area under federal jurisdiction (D.C.), and should not apply to state municipalities.

I'm no legal scholar, but Chicago and Oak Park are looking pretty lonely on this.

Jeremy Gantz was the Web/Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012. His January 2011 cover story for the magazine, "Terrorist by Association," was selected as a finalist for the Molly National Journalism Award 2012. He is now a contributing editor to the magazine, focusing on labor issues.

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