Otis McDonald’s Legacy Should Never Be Forgotten in Chicago

Otis McDonald’s Legacy Should Never Be Forgotten in Chicago

Otis McDonald and J. Coyden Palmer One of the greatest moments of my journalism career was getting to tell the story of Otis W. McDonald, a Black man from the Morgan Park community who took the City of Chicago all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. McDonald’s victory on June 28, 2010 is the reason why citizens in Chicago have a right to own handguns for self-defense in their homes. The court ruled Chicago’s handgun ban, which had been in place since 1982, was unconstitutional and violated both the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. This ruling led the way for gun law changes in Illinois that now allows for those who qualify, to obtain a concealed carry license, where they can also carry a gun for protection outside their home. You would think a man like this deserves a statue, a commemorative street sign, a school named after him, hell, just an acknowledgment by African American lawmakers in Chicago. Instead, many have no clue who he was and those that do, may not see him as a hero. But make no doubt about it, McDonald was a true American hero. Shortly after his victory in court, I had the honor of meeting McDonald in person as he granted me an interview at his home. That one interview has spawned a relationship with his family that lasts to this day. Even as McDonald’s health began to fail him in 2014, we still kept in touch. I was the […]

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