The man behind McDonald v. Chicago confirmed that 2nd Amendment rights apply to every state in the union
Indianapolis, Indiana - A number of issues and legislative battles were discussed at this year's Annual Meeting of Members in Indianapolis. Michael Bloomberg, Eric Holder, the 2014 elections and more. But one presentation truly touched thousands in the Sagamore Ballroom that day — NRA President Jim Porter's reflection of Otis McDonald.
McDonald is the McDonald behind the Supreme Court Case McDonald v. Chicago. It was his belief that he had the right to defend his home and family with a firearm. Here's a quick recap from Wikipedia:
"The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states."
Mr. McDonald passed away on April 6, 2014. Below is President Porter's remembrance:
I recently had the great privilege of attending the funeral services of Otis McDonald in Chicago. It was a moving experience and an honor to represent you and the NRA and being among those who paid tribute to such an extraordinary man.
I don’t use the word courage lightly, but physically in his fight for the right to keep and bear arms, Mr. McDonald’s life was in danger.
He braved death threats from gang bangers and drug dealers in his once peaceful South Side Chicago neighborhood. He laid his life on the line for the right that those who don’t live in crime ridden zones take for granted. He simply wanted to keep a handgun in his home for the protection of his family and his property.
But in Chicago, when Otis McDonald began his fight, handgun ownership was a crime for ordinary, decent citizens. With his presence in the fight, as a spokesman for liberty, and with his death, a remarkable shift occurred in the Chicago media.
They actually listened and reported what this man said and what he believed in.
In his obituary, the Chicago Tribune wrote:
(h)e was also driven by a force much deeper. Mr. McDonald felt strongly that he had a duty to stand up for the rights that had been taken away from African-Americans during slavery … He had come to understand more about his ancestors and the "slave codes" enacted in Southern states during the Civil War that prohibited slaves from owning guns.
The Tribune then quoted Mr. McDonald.
"I could feel the spirit of those people running through me as I sat in the Supreme Court."
When the nation remembers the civil rights movement that removed barriers of law that kept full citizenship from many Americans because of race, Otis McDonald’s presence must be recognized as a Civil Rights leader in the truest sense.
The NRA's 143rd Annual Meetings & Exhibits took place from April 25-27 in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more about the speakers, seminars and events at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting, visit their website at nraam.org