Since Monday the 26th, the news cycle has been dominated by the announcement that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Second Amendment related case. When I say dominated, I’m not misspeaking. Just tooling through one of the news aggregate sites I frequent, I found about four articles screaming from the mountains about the impending doom that shall fall upon the land because of the NYSRPA v. Corlett case.
In a crazed pious manner, warnings from the anti-freedom caucus are abound. Locusts are about to cover the United States and consume all that is good and holy. Wells will dry up and cows will no longer birth calves. Our land will be like that village in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. And of course, soon Times Square will look like the “Wild Wild West.” Everyone on the anti-freedom side needs to just get a grip on themselves. The question presented concerning the possession of firearms outside the home is one that shouldn’t even be up for discussion. After years of infringements though, many states have adopted the very policy that New York State and a few other anti-gun holdouts find to be blasphemous.
There are currently just a handful of “may issue” states in the country, the most restrictive of which are California, New York, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Hawaii (to an extent Massachusetts). The “may issue” mentality is only embraced by less than 20% of the states, though they contain about 25% of the country’s population.
Even places with restrictive gun control laws like Illinois and the District of Columbia are “shall issue,” though it took court cases for us to get there. Why did Illinois or DC not appeal the cases fighting against them? Because they were fairly certain they’d lose if the Supreme Court ruled on their laws, so they dropped their appeals and adopted “shall issue” policies instead. New York could have done the same, but the Democrats in charge decided to bitterly cling to the power to deny the average citizen the right to carry a firearm in self-defense, and now gun control advocates are freaking out over it.
Take this recent article from Rolling Stone entitled “The Supreme Court Is Set to Make America’s Gun Death Epidemic Worse”. The article is full of so much misinformation and false statements that the writer might as well have said that “trigger happy gun nuts are already at it and blood is running in the street just because this was announced”. For example:
While President Biden has taken modest steps to address what he calls the “international embarrassment” of gun violence in this country, and Congress does nothing because of Republican intransigence and the Senate filibuster, this week the Supreme Court stepped into the fray. But rather than do anything to limit further gun violence, the conservative court took a major step in the opposite direction — one that will lead to increased gun violence in the future.
The filibuster that is in place right now is the same measure that’s “protected” the Left from scary things like concealed carry reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act. Had the filibuster not been respected during the first two years of Trump’s presidency, this conversation would be close to moot, as any legal citizen that would want to carry a firearm anywhere in the country would be able to do so with the aid of a concealed carry permit issued from any state. The suppressors that are being targeted by a NJ senator right now would also be legal across the land. So this filibuster talk should end. Right of center politicians did not ram-rod down every single policy they wanted to when both chambers and the White House were under the control of the Grand Old Party. How’s about showing some mutual respect and admiration.
For the writer to continue by saying that this challenge to the permitting law would lead to “increased gun violence” is beyond crazy. Need I remind every single gun grabbing citizen that the criminals have already granted themselves the right to carry without a license? Overturning may issue would simply level the playing filed for those that wish to exercise the right. Don’t like guns? Not a problem. Don’t buy, own, possess, or carry one.
More from the article:
It’s been a long time since the Supreme Court has ruled on gun rights. In 2008 and 2010, the Court issued two rulings that radically changed the Second Amendment in this country. In those two cases, the court held that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to own a gun for self-defense at home. For decades prior to those rulings, the Second Amendment was largely seen as allowing for reasonable restrictions on gun ownership.
This is true, it has been a long time since the High Court ruled on gun rights. No, this is not an indication that “the Second Amendment was largely seen as allowing for reasonable restrictions on gun ownership.” Rather, it took decades for laws that have racist roots to finally come to an end. For decades persons of color had fought for their rights through the courts, and continue to do so today in many other ways. Any claim that an infringement of rights is “okay”, just because there were decades of a status quo that did not respect said right is just flat out ignorant. To paraphrase a quote from prominent Second Amendment advocate Tony Simon’s recent podcast:
Just because the pictures we see (or remember seeing) of Martin Luther King Jr. were all in black and white, does not make him and his cause ancient history. There was color photography in King’s day.
While SCOTUS hasn’t ruled on any Second Amendment cases since McDonald, that doesn’t mean it was uninvolved in Second Amendment cases. There is the mooted NYSRPA case from last year. When the case involving people being able to transport their firearms out of the boroughs of New York City (unloaded, in a case, locked in the trunk of a car) was accepted by SCOTUS, the same chicken little antics prevailed. Well, here we are, nearly a year later since New York State changed the law, and has anyone’s “public safety” suffered from the law change? No.
Another often ignored case is the Caetano v. Massachusetts, involving the Bay State’s prohibition on stun guns and tasers. The court did not rule on the case, but it was remanded back to a lower court with very strict instructions, with the most notable line in the judgement text being:
The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,”
SCOTUS has had a less than savory record concerning taking on Second Amendment cases, however, what they have touched, to date has sided with freedom.
There is one last gem from Rolling Stone that I want to zero in on:
However, now that Justice Barrett is on the Court, it has taken the first gun case to come its way. Presumably, the change is because the Court’s conservatives now believe (or even know) that she will provide the fifth vote to find that the Constitution protects the right to have a concealed-carry permit.
This statement is completely false. Bearing Arms has reported several instances in which the Supreme Court has declined Second Amendment cases since Barrett has been on the bench (I think the number is three cases to date). Bearing Arms Editor in Chief Cam Edwards even expressed some mild doubt in a recent episode of Cam and Company, that things might not be as promising as we’ve been thinking. David S. Cohen, you just have your facts wrong.
The media will be discussing and writing about this case for weeks and hopefully years to come. More and more half-truth/outright lies will be spewed to the masses. Getting the truth out is quite important. Rhetoric like the kind spewed by Rolling Stone is just dangerous garbage. How’s about telling the truth for once?
Should SCOTUS side with freedom, hopefully the progressives will come to the end of their grieving process and move onto acceptance. Many that are on the pro-freedom side which embraces civil liberties are stating NYSRPA will be the next Heller. The only thing that is remotely disappointing to that idea is it just won’t roll off the tongue the same way “Heller” and “McDonald” does. We’ll manage though. What’s more awkward is being stripped of our freedoms.