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June 8, 2009

Sound the Battle Cry of Radicalism

At my age I probably should not be—but constantly am—amazed at the things some in the pro-gun lobby will say in order to get a mention in the news. In a desperate attempt to fire-up the faithful, groups like Gun Owners of America (GOA) have accused Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor of being “an anti-gun radical” for joining a Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit opinion earlier this year that refused to incorporate the U.S. Supreme Court’s D.C. v. Heller decision on the Second Amendment at the state level.

In their shrill statement, the group charged that “Sotomayor, a politically correct lover of centralized government power (as long as she is part of the power elite), immediately went into counter-attack mode against the Heller decision” in the opinion mentioned above in the case of Maloney v. Cuomo.

As if to emphasize how detached from reality that rant was, this past week a panel of conservative judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, hearing a challenge to gun laws in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois, came to the same conclusion as the Sotomayor panel. “We agree with Maloney” read the unanimous decision written by the circuit’s Chief Judge, Frank K. Easterbrook, one of the country’s leading conservative jurists. “The Supreme Court has rebuffed requests to apply the Second Amendment to the states,” Easterbrook wrote. He was joined in the decision by the well-known conservative jurist Richard A. Posner and a third Republican-appointed judge.

Now, I have no idea of how Judge Sotomayor actually feels about the gun rights/responsibility debate. I truly wish that I did. However, I do know that the gun lobby has no more information than I do. That does not prevent them, however, from making outlandish and defaming statements to play to the media and attempt to raise more funds from the faithful. Nor does it bode well for an honest debate on the issues. Once again, the gun lobby adheres to the admonition to not let the salt of truth ruin the flavor of a good press quote.

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