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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Remember the man who took Daley to court over the 2nd Amendment

Pastor Kenn Blanchard let me know earlier today that Second Amendment hero Otis McDonald was admitted to the ICU at a Chicago hospital. He was admitted for a cerebral blood clot. Mr. McDonald has been a fighter all of his life but this may be his toughest battle.

Kenn didn't know Mr. McDonald's current condition but requested prayers for him. I second that and would add that we need to keep his family in our prayers as well
Otis McDonald, the man for whom the landmark 2010 Second Amendment victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, essentially nullifying the Chicago handgun ban, will be a headliner at the upcoming Gun Rights Policy Conference, sponsored by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.

This year’s event, to be held at the Hyatt Regency located in the airport terminal complex at Orlando, Fla., is co-sponsored by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

McDonald was one of five individual plaintiffs in the historic case, which incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. That case, filed by SAF almost immediately after the 2008 high court ruling was announced in District of Columbia v. Dick Anthony Heller – affirming that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual civil right – was joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb confirmed to the Examiner that McDonald will be at GRPC, which runs Sept. 28-30. There is still time to pre-register for the free event, and on Tuesday, SAF and CCRKBA staffers in Bellevue were busily packing five full palates of books and other giveaway materials that are in transit to Orlando.

McDonald is a soft-spoken gentleman of the proverbial “old school.” Profiled in a 2010 Weekly Standard article, the 78-year-old McDonald epitomizes the "American story." Born in the Deep South, he migrated north to Chicago when he was a 17-year-old and pulled himself up from a starting job as a janitor to the position of maintenance engineer. He married, bought a home on Chicago’s far South Side, and began raising a family. And now his name is permanently etched into the framework of U.S. history; not bad for a teenager who started out with virtually nothing but a work ethic and some dreams that all teens seem to share.

It was only after his home was broken into and he was threatened once by a neighborhood thug that McDonald traveled to Springfield for a gun rights rally and was transformed from a neighborhood activist into a future gun rights icon. All he wanted was a gun to defend his home and family, and what he encountered was a city ordinance that essentially mandated that he and his neighbors resign themselves to victimhood.

SAF learned about McDonald and went to work with attorneys Alan Gura in Virginia and David Sigale in Chicago. It took two years for the case to reach the Supreme Court, with Gura arguing for the plaintiffs. The court also heard from attorney Paul D. Clements, representing the National Rifle Association, which had a similar case against Chicago.

Last year when the GRPC convened in Chicago, McDonald, with his proud family looking on, was honored with the CCRKBA Lifetime Achievement award. The standing ovation was the kind reserved for genuine heroes.

Since its Supreme Court victory, SAF has been very busy, filing lawsuits all over the map and so far racking up a fair number of wins in the lower courts. There have been wins in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina and in a follow-up suit in Chicago over that city’s new handgun ordinance, and that just scratches the surface.

SAF, CCRKBA and NRA teamed up to strike down the attempt by Seattle to ban firearms in city parks, solidifying Washington’s model preemption statute on gun regulation.

In the legal arena, SAF might be likened to the Little Engine that Could; an organization with a very small staff and good attorneys that just keeps chugging and winning. Gottlieb believes a major reason for this is because “We find good plaintiffs and good causes.”

They also put together a good conference, now in its 27th year. This gathering brings together many if not most of the “Top Guns” in the firearms community for a weekend of panel discussions and networking with grassroots activists from all over the country. Many will be coming just to meet McDonald and shake his hand. He was willing to take on one of the most powerful city halls in the country, and win. ...

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