Email this article to a friend

The ITT List

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008, 9:53 am

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world

By Jeremy Gantz

Email this article to a friend

Suburban Chicago handgun bans are being repealed faster than you can say "litigation."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Wilmette and Morton Grove have also repealed their handgun bans, although the latter is continuing to ban automatic weapons, grenades and BB guns (!), and Evanston officials say they hope to add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 is a contributing editor at the magazine. He is the editor of The Age of Inequality: Corporate America's War on Working People (2017, Verso), and was the Web/Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he worked as a reporter for The Cambodia Daily in 2007. After graduating from Carleton College in 2004, he lived in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright scholarship, studying the intersection of ethnic politics and public education. His articles have also appeared in Chicago-area newspapers, Alternet and the Onion’s A.V. Club.

View Comments