The state of Maryland’s assault weapon ban is at the center of legal action. It’s not the first to be challenged in the courts, but it’s the first to be challenged since the current Supreme Court makeup has taken hold. That means there’s a good chance such a ban may not survive the challenge.
Yet the state’s attorney general is tasked with defending the ban, and he’s apparently trying to do just that.
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Friday defended the constitutionality of the state’s ban on semiautomatic assault-style weapons against a U.S. Supreme Court challenge by gun rights advocates who say the prohibition violates the right to keep and bear arms.
In papers filed with the justices, Frosh urged the high court to deny the advocates’ request that it review and overturn a lower court ruling upholding the ban as promoting the state’s goal of ensuring public safety without encroaching on what the Supreme Court has held to be the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to possess handguns in their home for self-defense.
The advocates, in their petition for review, said the Second Amendment right makes no distinction between handguns and the assault-style weapons – an argument Frosh stated the Supreme Court should not even consider in light of the more than 200 people killed nationwide since 2012 in mass shootings committed with the firearms.
Yep. That’s actually the argument Frosh makes. However, there are problems with that argument.
For one, 200 people over the last 10 years amount to about 20 people per year killed with so-called assault weapons in mass shootings. If you look at the total number of even firearm-related fatalities, these numbers look more like statistical noise than a pressing issue.
Especially since handguns–a weapon Frosh seems to agree is explicitly protected by the Heller decision–are used in far more fatalities.
Plus, frankly, I find the entire argument that we should ignore the Constitution because something is just that bad especially problematic. After all, in 2020, more than 68,000 people died from opioid overdose. Almost 92,000 died from drug overdoses in general. Using Frosh’s argument, people’s Fourth Amendment rights don’t matter because so many people die.
After all, the fatalities related are orders of magnitude greater than so-called assault weapons, so why not?
The reason why not is because the Constitution doesn’t exist to constrain government except when the government really, really doesn’t want to be constrained.
That’s simply not how any of that works.
My hope is that this does get to the Supreme Court and they agree to take the case. I then hope they smack this one down with all the respect it deserves, which is none.
Frosh’s argument is ridiculous on the surface and doesn’t get any better when you delve any deeper. As such, it needs to go and he should be ashamed of himself for making such an idiotic argument.
Unless, of course, he knows the ban is BS, is required to defend it, but doesn’t want to defend it particularly well.
That’s the only explanation I can find.