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McDonald v. Chicago: Eyewitness Report

Mar. 1, 2010 (Late)

[Bawky hotel computer connection -- excuses for bad format, reserve the right to correct quickly made word choices etc.]

I'm back in my hotel, having endured the weather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, anticipating oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago in the a.m., the case that will decide the standing of our Second Amendment rights in the 50 states.

Well, people are lining up allright. Young people who can withstand it.

It's bitter cold with a 20 MPH wind, but if you've decided to come here for the latest most seminal gun-rights case imaginable that's not going to stop you.

At 5PM when I arrived (night before the oral argument) there were eight people awaiting seats for tomorrow's McDonald v. Chicago 14th Amendment/Second Amendment case. By the time I left, with my feet too numb to feel, there were thirteen people trickled in, including a GW law-school student and her Mom who brought an air matress and a comforter. When I cell-phoned some of the stalwarts later, before beginning this draft, I was told there were nearly 50 people there, including 15 or so high-school students who decided to rough it and see a landmark case at the Supreme Court. Only 50 are guaranteed seats, so the window of opportunity is pratically closed. The Marshall's office expected the crowd to develop in the a.m., looks like they'll be SOOL. Coulda been worse -- for Heller, the line started TWO days ahead of time. This night-before stuff is child's play. But it's COOOOOLD.

As usual, the hale and hearty on line are more knowledgable about this case than most of the public (and the media -- Wash Post made their above-the-fold front-page story today a referendum on Justice Scalia, read like an unsavory biography (they don't like the guy!), instead of the merits of the case; what facts Court reporter Robert Barnes did provide were out of whack, thin, misleading, pretty standard for that rag. Guess what they chose for an illustration -- a picture of Chirs Broughton carrying his AR-15 at the Obama rally in Phoenix!! I kid you not. That makes sense, right? The Wash Compost's idea of a gun image is a months old piece of discriminatory controversy, not something depicting basic human rights).

We had dynamic chats on the street about the premise of the case (the Post barely touched it), constitutional realities, the unknowns, the likely outcomes, the vote -- Mike the blogger, incredibly knowledgable and with past cases at his fingertips with such detail and a tongue too fast even for me to follow, predicts a 9 -0 result -- the Court will not overrule its Heller jurisprudence, and even hopelessly anti-gun-rights Ginsburg will forgo her hatred of 2A to reintstate 14A, or so he believes. Robert Cumberland flew in from Californai and is first in line -- and he knows his stuff. This case affects him more than even Heller -- that case set the groundwork, but this is the one that might actually force reinstatement of his abrogated rights, and he wants to be here to see it.

The carnival atmosphere is definitely lacking, there isn't a single camera crew set up -- at Heller there were dozens at this point, but no doubt there will be some tomorrow. Yet this case stands to have more net effect than Heller, it just doesn't break ground in the same way. Dick Heller was out there after I left (phone tips from the folks I met, seven men and one woman), chatting up the crowd, enjoying his 15 years of fame, his nephew plans to be on line to see the proceedings, some guy named Robert is holding a place in line in the freezing cold for a party unnamed, at $20 an hour. Dan Schmutter, attorney for JPFO dropped by to see what's up, this is definitely the hot ticket in town -- all seats in Chambers are reserved, save for the precious few for the rabble (what we call the public).

Perhaps the most telling perspective came from a British theology professor visiting here, met in a bar on the frigid way home -- he thinks the only rights you legitimately have are those the government gives you. You can have a gun if government "allows" it, with no ammo, locked in a locker, and this is freedom. If he was on the Court we'd be doomed. I'm not making this up.

Exhausted, need to pack, will observe tomorow and provide my observatiosn soon. Real soon.

The Wayback Machine

Aren't Hillary and Bill still married? Why don't we see them together anymore? Where are the exposes on their exploits as they globe trot the world? Is there some difference between their vacuous marriage and that of Angelina and Brad? Doesn't the lack of morality and marital vows merit coverage like Tiger gets? Or even more, since Bill and Hill are slightly higher on the food chain? Curious minds want to know.
Is ACORN still funded? Both houses of Congress passed a defunding bill, to enormous fanfare and hand-wringing recriminations. But both houses still need the president's signature, right? And bills can have sections amended out later, right? And an announcement of closure hasn't been made, has it? Actually it was, but then a NY State federal district judge ordered Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury to "disregard" the bill and reinstate funding.

Now that's power. She wondered, "whether the Constitution allows Congress to declare that a single, named organization is barred from all federal funding in the absence of a trial." ACORN argues the measure is a bill of attainder, banned by the Constitution. So for now, ACORN still gets taxpayer money by the boatload. Does the president want to keep ACORN funded, since they're his loyalists? Ask your local "news" outlets what happened. If YOU don't personally keep your local media's email addresses handy -- you should. And send copies to me, I'll put them to good use.
What are the U.S. czars up to? Mr. Obama put dozens of them in place, outraging Americans everywhere, and now they're just there, doing whatever it is they do. FOX, the only "news" outlet to cover the situation with any zeal, hasn't used the word czar in recent memory. What do the czars do now that they're in place? How much money are they controlling? How much harm are they doing to The American Way? How many of their leftist lackies have they put in positions of power? Curious minds want to know.

Cause For Hope

Although it's easy to get discouraged and feel powerless, with the government juggernaut rolling over the will of the people, do not lose sight of the fact that, when action is coordinated and determined, it is supremely effective:

The McCain-led attempt to pass amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens under president Bush died an excruciating death and has remained dead, due to public outrage.

The McCain-led attempt to ban gun shows back in 2001 was demolished by a popular uprising and has remained dead so far (McCain renounced his effort years later).

Hillary Care, with all its hoopla and new-president infatuation, died a horrible death in 1992 and stayed dead until recently. True, they've enacted bits and pieces, proving we must remain eternally vigilant.

Real ID was a done deal, until the public rose up, state-by-state with an outcry so loud the states themselves revolted, and Real ID died. Oh, it's not dead dead, and federal bureaucrat tyrants have every intention of renewing it, but the will of the people forced the death of that bad plan.

The Health Care takeover, intended to be passed quickly in February of last year (2009) -- remember when Obama wanted it done in weeks? -- it has languished and now lies, broken and morally bankrupt on its death bed. Yes, they're still trying, but we the people have the power to halt bad laws even if we can't seem to wedge the perennial Congresscritters out of their seats.

Even gun rights, which Obama and his minions were determined to violate and extinguish, remain untouched due to the tangible pressure they feel in the wings from we ammo hoarders and massive gun buyers and new gun buyers. He's not done, and he's working international treaty schemes to avoid Congress and representative government, but the will of the people still carries weight.

Keep the faith baby. If we set our minds to it we can crush the bad feds in their tracks.

Cooper Defines Hoplophobe

Breaking News!

Feb. 12, 2010 -- I have just obtained an original definition of hoplophobia from the term's creator, Jeff Cooper, through his daughter, Lindy Cooper Wisdom. She writes:

"In Fireworks (copyright 1980), Chapter 3 is titled, 'Open Letter: To a Legislative Hoplophobe.' In it, Dad defines hoplophobia and puts a date to this definition of 1966.

It reads as follows:

HOPLOPHOBIA. (1966) From the Greek __ (weapon) plus __ (terror).

An unreasoning, obsessive neurotic fear of weapons as such, usually accompanied by an irrational feeling that weapons possess a will or consciousness for evil, apart from the will of their user. Not equivalent to normal apprehension in the presence of an armed enemy. Hoplon also means instrument, tool or tackle, but it is the root of hoplite (man-at-arms, gendarme) and thus principally signifies "weapon" in English derivations."

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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