Victorious McDonald v. Chicago plaintiff challenges Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera to debate

Many Americans are by now aware of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic 2010 decision of McDonald, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al. and it’s application (incorporation) to state and local governments of the Second Amendment’s protections against government infringement of fundamental rights. The individual plaintiffs from Chicago were Otis McDonald, Adam Orlov, and David and Colleen Lawson, respectively, of Chicago. (FPC member Second Amendment Foundation was an organizational plaintiff representing the interests of American gun owners throughout the United States. The case was helmed by attorney Alan Gura.)

In a January 5 broadcast on Fox News, Geraldo Rivera outlined and argued for his own gun control proposals, which included a national registration scheme and an outright ban of common self-defense firearms like semi-automatic rifles (except, of course, for the political elite). Rivera was supported on the air by Brady Campaign executive director Dan Gross.

In a letter responding to the broadcast and Rivera’s Orwellian vision for the treatment of civil rights, McDonald plaintiff David Lawson challenged Rivera to an “on or off the record” serious discussion on Second Amendment rights. Mr. Lawson kindly gave us permission to share that letter here, which reads as follows:


I just saw your report where you were discussing gun control and your NRA membership.

I’d like to have a serious conversation with you, on or off the record, regarding gun rights and gun control. My name is David Lawson. My wife and I reside in Chicago and were two of the plaintiffs in the landmark McDonald v. Chicago lawsuit that ended Chicago’s handgun ban.

I’m troubled because your propose very radical gun control proposals that not only unreasonably infringe upon the core self-defense rights protected by the Second Amendment but also are poor public policy.

If an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine is not suitable for civilian ownership, why is it suitable for law enforcement use? Persons such as Gross of the Brady Campaign castigate these items as “weapons of war” that “only belong on the battlefield” and only suitable for killing large numbers of people. If that is the case, why does law enforcement need them? They also use front grips, which Gross avers are only for the purpose of “spraying bullets” from the hip. If so, why are they on rifles used by law enforcement?

We had an incident near my house where a neighbor briefly held his own 18-year-old daughter hostage in his home with his hunting rifle. Chicago SWAT showed up carrying AR-15 rifles with 30 round magazines. If these are safe for law enforcement to use in an urban residential setting, why aren’t they safe for persons such as myself to protect my home in that same setting?

Given the Second Amendment, don’t you think it is incumbent upon government to prove that any proposed gun control laws have an actual benefit before they are allowed to infringe upon the rights of the millions of law-abiding citizens?

As I stated at the outset, I am eager to have a serious discussion.


David Lawson
Chicago, IL