America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 12

P R E S I D E N T ' S
by

C O L U M N

James W. Porter ii, President

AP PHOTO/HARAZ N. GHANBARI

Remembering A Modern
Civil Rights Fighter

Otis McDonald, plaintiff in the case
McDonald v. City of Chicago which
successfully overturned Chicago's
28-year gun ban, passed away on
April 4, 2014, at the age of 80.

"A long time ago
when I was a child,
my mother used
to teach me about
values. And she
would always wind
up saying this
phrase: 'Otis, if you
don't in life find
something that you
would give your
life for, you really
haven't lived."'

T

hose are the words of
Otis McDonald, the elderly
grandfather and veteran-who
braved death threats from
gang-bangers and drug dealers
in his South Side neighborhood and simultaneously fought intimidation by his city
government-all to successfully challenge Chicago's 28-year ban on handguns. At
age 80, Otis McDonald succumbed to cancer April 4, 2014. He was an nra member.
The June 2010 u.s. Supreme Court decision that bears his name as lead plaintiff,
McDonald v. City of Chicago, did so much more than strike down Chicago's onerous law.
That historic decision wedded the 14th Amendment to the Second Amendment, thus
ensuring the right to keep and bear arms for every American and extending the 2008
landmark Heller decision to protect against infringement at state and local levels, not just
by the federal government.
Upon his death, a transformation took place with the Chicago media. Perhaps
Otis McDonald's clear, simple arguments for the most fundamental civil right-armed
self-defense-may have opened minds that were closed before he began his remarkable
fight. I hope that's the case. He was truly eloquent in defense of liberty and civil rights for all.
In its obituary, the Chicago Tribune wrote, "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 'black
codes' that kept guns out of the hands of freed slaves."
The Tribune quoted him as saying, "I could feel the spirit of those people running
through me as I sat in the Supreme Court."
McDonald, who came to Chicago in 1951 after serving in the u.s. Army, was born

NRA OFFICERS

PRESIDENT
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
SECRETARY
TREASURER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
GENERAL OPERATIONS
Christopher W. Cox EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
James W. Porter II
Allan D. Cors
Pete R. Brownell
Wayne LaPierre
Edward J. Land Jr.
Wilson H. Phillips Jr.
R. Kyle Weaver

and raised in Louisiana where his parents
were sharecroppers. In his hard-fought
efforts to achieve a better life, he moved
his family in 1971 to what was a peaceful
middle-class neighborhood.
In 2012, then speaking for passage
of the Illinois concealed carry law,
McDonald told a Peoria naacp audience,
"There had come a time when the
neighborhood got really bad. My house
had been broken into five different times.
... The drug dealers and gang bangers
decided to take it out on me personally
because I was calling the police on them."
His life threatened, he wanted a
handgun in his home for protection.
Of course, handgun ownership for
law-abiding citizens was a crime.
McDonald stressed in an earlier
interview that "something had to be done
... surrounded by what I was surrounded
by and seeing on the news what's
happening to people my age. And then to
go down there [to the city government]
and they say, 'No you can't have a
handgun.' I just wanted to protect myself,
my family and my property."
"There was so many people in the city,
so many people in the state that's being
victimized by gun laws that only apply to
the law-abiding citizens. How can that be
right? It can't be right."
And so he fought, all the way to the
Supreme Court.
Because of Otis McDonald's tenacious
belief in the basic human right of
armed self-defense, every free citizen
of these United States is more secure in
their liberty. We all owe this humble,
courageous man a debt of gratitude.
And we send our heartfelt condolences
to his family.

For news about legislation and your NRA, visit: www.nraila.org, www.nranews.com and www.nra.org.
10

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June 2014


http://www.nraila.org http://www.nranews.com http://www.nra.org

America's First Freedom - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - June 2014

America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 5
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 6
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 7
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 8
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 9
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 10
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 11
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 12
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 13
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 14
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 16
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 17
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 18
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 19
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 20
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 21
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 25
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 26
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 27
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 28
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 29
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 30
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 31
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 33
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 34
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 35
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 36
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 37
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 38
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 40
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