Thursday’s Bruen decision sent ripples throughout the world of gun politics. While the Senate voted on their gun control bill, all eyes were focused on the Supreme Court instead.
The decision is a landmark, one that likely sets the stage for the overturning of numerous gun control laws throughout the nation.
As such, no one should be surprised that some folks have feelings about that.
In one of the most consequential rulings on gun control in over a decade, the Supreme Court struck down a New York law Thursday requiring state residents to have “proper cause” to carry a handgun. Supporters of the Second Amendment have lauded the decision, while gun control advocates say it jeopardizes public health.
The now-unconstitutional law, part of a larger array of New York gun restrictions highlighted as some of the toughest in the nation, mandated that those applying to carry a concealed handgun provide a reason why they need the weapon, which officials then approve or deny.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul swiftly denounced the ruling, saying the Supreme Court “recklessly” struck down the law at “a moment of national reckoning on gun violence.”
Except, we don’t balance rights versus the claims of whether curtailing those rights might be beneficial. Our Founding Fathers already weighed those factors before ratifying the Bill of Rights, as Justice Clarence Thomas noted in his decision.
Hochul’s entire argument seems to be that rights only apply when it’s convenient to the government, and that should trouble everyone in New York.
She wasn’t the only one to take issue with Bruen, either.
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, counsel for Lambda Legal, recalled the Pulse nightclub shooting that left 49 dead in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, noting how LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by gun violence.
“We know that our community is not safe, so long as we cannot regulate and address the issue of gun violence in our country and by permitting unlawful, unreasonable regulations on who may carry firearms in public,” Gonzalez-Pagan told USA TODAY.
However, let’s also note that if anyone in the Pulse nightclub had been carrying a firearm, they might well have been able to put an end to that threat.
People who intend to harm others, particularly because they’re part of some minority group, will not be deterred by gun control laws. After all, look at Buffalo. The killer there explicitly broke New York’s gun control laws just so he could slaughter innocent people.
What Bruen does, though, is make it so people are free to fight back.
The criminals won’t be impacted. They’ve been getting and carrying guns for decades, so nothing in the decision will do anything to them.
But the kind of people who might frequent a Buffalo grocery store or might be around bars in Sacramento will have the means to resist such horrific acts of violence.
Perhaps more importantly, though, it allows people to choose for themselves whether or not to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, rather than putting that power solely in the hands of the government–the one entity the Founding Fathers expressly didn’t want making that determination.