First off, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Bearing Arms. I think I can speak for all of the writers here when I say thank you for your support throughout the year. Posting will be light today, but we’ll still be updating the site with fresh content throughout the holiday weekend, so come back and check us out as often as you can.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a few things to be thankful for this year, here are five things gun owners and Second Amendment supporters can celebrate this Thanksgiving weekend.
The Supreme Court
We don’t know for sure what the Supreme Court is going to do with the pending challenge to New York’s “may issue” carry permitting laws, but the fact that the Court even accepted the case is a positive sign given its reluctance to hear any litigation dealing with the Second Amendment for most of the past decade. And with a solid conservative majority on the bench, expectations are high that the Court will declare the state’s carry regime to be unconstitutional, as well as providing lower courts with clear guidance on the proper standard of review that should be used when considering the constitutionality of other gun control laws around the country.
We’ve seen five states adopt Constitutional (or permitless) carry laws this year, and we’re likely to see several more follow suit in the coming months. No other right requires a government permission slip, and by this time next year more we could see more than half the country decriminalize the possession of a firearm without a license, which would be a huge step towards full recognition of our right to keep and bear arms.
The growing unpopularity of gun control
The gun control lobby was pinning its hopes that rising violent crime rates would lead Americans to believe that the answer involves restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Oh sure, Democrats are still largely on board, but support for new gun laws is dropping even faster than Joe Biden’s approval rating among independents and Republicans. Americans don’t want to ban guns. They want to buy them. Which leads us to…
The explosive growth in gun ownership
By all measures, 2020 was a banner year for new gun owners, but 2021 isn’t far behind. There are millions of Americans who’ve embraced their Second Amendment rights for the very first time over the past two years, and the fact that many of them don’t fit the media stereotype of a middle-aged rural white guy with a belly and a ballcap has been incredibly gratifying for those of us who’ve been fighting to ensure that a right of the people can be exercised by all law-abiding people in this country. The Second Amendment isn’t a right of the Right, or a right of the White, but a fundamental civil liberty that every one of us should be able to exercise without fear of government persecution.
The right of self-defense
You won’t find the right of self-defense enumerated in the Constitution, but you’ll find it in law in all fifty states and in federal statutes, much to the disappointment and anger of Democratic mouthpieces like Stephen Colbert. As we’ve seen in both the Rittenhouse trial and the trial of Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Daniel, the law of self-defense isn’t a blanket grant that enables someone to kill another person in cold blood. Instead, the law surrounding self-defense generally (the law may vary from state to state) recognizes the right to protect your own life or another with the force appropriate (including deadly force) to the threat. That right is sacrosanct. Even a felon illegally possessing a gun doesn’t lose his right to self-defense if he reasonably believes that he was protecting himself from an unlawful threat (though he’s still going to have to deal with the issue of illegally possessing a gun).
It might seem weird to be thankful for something so basic, but there are plenty of people around the world who don’t believe in self-defense at all and would love to see it criminalized, so I have no problem including the right of self-defense among the many blessings I’m counting this year.