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Incorporating Your Rights: Was McDonald Really a Victory?

Corey Graff, Executive Director of Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. (WGO)You’ve no doubt heard all the talking heads in the media — and many within the gun rights movement — extol the recent McDonald Supreme Court case in Chicago as a landslide victory for the right to keep and bear arms, because it struck down Chicago’s city-wide gun ban. Well, it didn’t do that entirely, and not even proponents of the notion that it was a “step in the right direction” have much of an explanation for how the Mayor and other bureaucrats turned around and rammed a whole slew of new gun restrictions into place. But, while we’re glad to see Chicagoans rushing out to arm themselves, there’s a dangerous underlying precedent being established in the notion of “incorporating the Second Amendment to the States.” Everyone says it, few realize what nonsense they’re promoting. Fewer still see how this plays into the hands of those centralizing power.

Here are two reasons, pointed out to me by a good friend of mine, a Southern historian and PhD scientist, why both 14th Amendment and incorporation of rights arguments are both wrong assumptions built on incorrect assessments of history and ignorance of what constitutes one’s “rights.” Read on:

“…The problem with the 14th amendment was [it was] never properly ratified during the Reconstruction era[.]  It turned everyone into first and foremost US citizens rather than first and foremost being citizens of their respective states.  It redefined the body politic as the mass of the people nationally rather than the people represented state by state.  One effect was to turn the intent of the Bill of Rights upside down and apply it as restrictions to the states rather than as restrictions to the central government.  The NRA seems intent on keeping this mechanism in place, probably because she focuses on issues with a central jurisdiction mentality.  I believe this to be a problem across the board for most conservative causes today.  They want to use the power of the central government to force their agenda just like liberals do theirs (as they did with Roe vs. Wade).  I maintain the terrain of battle needs to be placed back at the state jurisdictions rather than the federal jurisdiction.  Even if a cause is the right one, enlarging centralized power will always be a ruinous strategy long term for conservatives.  History has and still is bearing this out.

“Furthermore, what government strings come attached with “incorporating” a non-entity such as a principle of law?  One can only imagine.  You know what happens to a church when it incorporates – it surrenders its sovereignty to the state and can get into a whole lot of trouble for speaking politics from the pulpit.”


If you’re tired of the broken system of compromise and access — a system which has netted gun owners only more gun control — we urge you to Join Wisconsin Gun Owners today!

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Filed Under: BlogWGO Blog

About the Author: Corey Graff is the executive director of Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. (WGO), a pro-gun activist, and a life-long gun owner from Wisconsin.

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