In a 2-1 ruling today, the Federal appeals court for Illinois ruled that the “assault weapons ban” in Highland Park — enacted just days before a new preemption law went into effect banning exactly that kind of law — is constitutional. The majority opinion written by Seventh Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook relies heavily on the idea of “home rule” for the majority of its rationale, but buried in the text is the true reason why this court believes that infringing on the right to keep and bear commonly used firearms is legal: it makes people feel safe . . .
From the opinion:
[i]f a ban on semi‐automatic guns and large‐capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that’s a substantial benefit.
Those of us with a little logic left in our brains understand that there’s a huge difference between feeling safe and being safe. In fact, I wrote an article about that damn near a year ago. What the court is saying is that it’s more important to protect the feelings of a vocal minority of people, giving them the perception of safety than it is to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens. Emotions trump reality.
Expect an appeal. The question is, will the Supremes take the case?