Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee and gun control activists are engaged in a full-throated effort to portray Judge Amy Coney Barrett as an extremist with some crazy ideas on the Second Amendment, and on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we take apart some of their more outrageous claims with some stone cold facts.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein was the first to bring up the Second Amendment as questioning of Barrett got underway Tuesday morning, and the California Democrat was quick to vocalize her objection to gun ownership by mournfully describing the record-high gun sales that we’ve seen over the past six months.
Here's Feinstein admitting that uncertainty and chaos in the streets has led to 2 million guns purchased in March.
"The second-highest month ever for gun sales."
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 13, 2020
Feinstein went on to blame those legal gun sales for the rise in homicides and shootings that have taken place in cities from Seattle to New York City. The problem with Feinstein’s claim is that there’s no evidence that the two are connected, and no one in law enforcement is seriously claiming otherwise. In August, a report by the Council on Criminal Justice suggested four factors at work; changing in policing strategies, communities pulling back from police, loosening lockdowns, and seasonal effects. Increased gun sales and the embrace of the Second Amendment by more than 5-million law-abiding Americans didn’t come up.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin was the next to grill Barrett on her view of the right to keep and bear arms. I wrote a separate story about Durbin’s bizarre accusation that ACB would be fine with a felon buying an AK-47 but not with that same felon voting, which I would encourage you to read in its entirety, but Barrett ably responded to the asinine question.
“Senator, what I said was that the Constitution contemplates that states have the freedom to deprive felons of the right to vote; it’s expressed in the constitutional text. But I expressed no view on whether or not that was a good idea or whether states should do that. And I didn’t explore in that opinion, because it was completely irrelevant to it, what limits, if any, there might be on a state’s ability to curtail felon voting rights.”
Durbin then asked why Barrett identified the Second Amendment as an individual right, while classifying the right to vote as a civic right. Honestly, while most Americans probably don’t understand the difference, Durbin as a U.S. Senator should know the answer. I don’t think he had a clue, but Barrett capably explained why the Second Amendment is treated as an individual right.
“That’s consistent with the language and the historical context, the way the briefs described it, and it was part of the dispute in Heller; of whether the Second Amendment was an individual right or a civic one that was possessed collectively for the sake of the common good. And everybody was treating voting as one of the civic rights.”
Amazingly, Durbin then somehow tried to compare restoring a non-violent felon’s right to own a firearm with denying a felon’s right to vote. I’m honestly still not sure what he was trying to say, but you can watch the entire exchange below.
So far, Barrett’s done a very good job of explaining her decision in Kanter, as well as providing some quick lessons on the Constitution for those senators like Dick Durbin who clearly are in need of a refresher course.
The hearings will continue tomorrow, and I expect there’ll be more attempted attacks on Barrett and the right to keep and bear arms. On tomorrow’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation will join me as we talk about the Barrett hearing and the future of the Second Amendment at the Supreme Court.