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Wednesday
Sep302009

Supreme Court to Examine Chicago Gun Ban

The Chicago Sun-Times and just about every other news source in the country is reporting the Supreme Court decision to hear a challenge to the city of Chicago's ordinance barring handgun ownership (McDonald v. Chicago, No. 08-1521).  The debate over the ordinance and the case is ostensibly one about rights, but those rights are, as the majority opinion in Heller indicated, to be balanced with concerns about public safety.  Just what public safety requires, though, is precisely what cultural cognition predicts people will disagree over.  And, sure enough, as the headline in the Chicago Sun Times (surely intended to generate outrage and rejoicing in different communities) states: "Gun advocates predict drop in crime if gun ban is lifted."  McDonald, Heller, and their progeny may strike a compromise that appeals to a broad spectrum of the American public, or they may inflame cultural passions further.  Only time will tell.  But in the meantime, you can read up on the debate and the role cultural cognition plays in it here: 

 

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