McDonald v. Chicago

This case is an interesting one, because it seems to pit two conservative principles against each other. The city of Chicago has very restrictive gun control laws, some of the strictest in the nation. A man sued for the right to keep a firearm in his house, and the case has been appealed until it is now being ruled on by the Supreme Court.

On the one hand, the Second Amendment, or the right to keep bear arms is being threatened. But if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Second Amendment applying to states, they are in essence asserting more control over state and local government, something that conservatives have traditionally detested.

I have always believed that in theory stronger state governments and weaker federal government would be ideal. There would be more control over local policies and what happens to tax dollars. It would just seem to be more efficient. But several indicators seem to point to the fact that bad things happen when state governments get too big. I had a friend from New York remark to me, “You think the federal government is corrupt? Try New York!” Joseph Smith and the early Saints realized that the Constitution had no teeth to stop persecution, rendering the federal government unable to help. The people generally believed at that time that the Bill of Rights only applied to the federal government. So I am torn on the issue. I would like to see stronger state government, but I don’t know if in the end it would be a good thing or not.

It seems on this issue, conservatives have an important choice to make.

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