I don’t go to The Atlantic to get quality information on guns, the Second Amendment, or really much of anything to do with much of anything. It’s a progressive periodical that tends to push that agenda.
And, sure enough, in the post-Bruen world, they’re definitely tripping over themselves to stay on brand.
Since the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade ago, America has seen hundreds more mass shootings, a sharp rise in gun deaths generally, and an alarming turn toward gun-glorifying political extremism. Yet we still depend on hundreds of laws that keep guns out of crowded public places, stop teenagers from buying handguns, and prohibit criminals from arming themselves with assault rifles. Now, because of a recent Supreme Court ruling, many of these remaining regulations are in danger of being dismantled. As bad as America’s gun-violence problem is, it could be about to get much worse.
Nothing hysterical about that paragraph at all, now is there?
It doesn’t get any better.
Less than two years after the appointment of President Donald Trump’s third pick for the U.S. Supreme Court created a 6–3 conservative supermajority, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. The Court could have issued a narrow decision and directed New York to be more lenient in issuing concealed-carry permits. But as in the Dobbs v. Jackson decision on abortion, which came a day after Bruen this year, the conservative majority seized an opportunity not to adjust precedent incrementally, but to destroy it completely.
Except the writer is blatantly ignoring the legal landscape that surrounded Second Amendment issues as well as the more recent gun cases we’ve seen.
Had lower courts actually adhered to cases like Heller, it’s unlikely the Supreme Court would have ruled as they did. Even if they’d stuck with strict scrutiny as they do with other constitutionally protected rights, the Court might have ruled differently.
Yet we’ve seen how those lower courts handled those narrower rulings. Despite the “common use” test laid out in Heller, assault weapon bans were upheld by lower courts because they decided to use intermediate scrutiny, which in essence balanced government interests as superseding the rights of individuals.
In other words, that narrow ruling the author laments not getting would have been pretty much ignored, especially by the state of New York.
Let’s remember that the ruling itself is fairly narrow. It finds that we do have a right to carry a firearm outside of our homes. That’s what the case itself was about and all it did was basically overturn may-issue laws that used an arbitrary and subjective standard. You could still use objective criteria to deny a permit, for example, and you could well continue to heavily restrict where people could carry.
Where things got interesting was in the standard laid out in Bruen, which is a text and history standard for determining the constitutionality of a law. It makes sense and should be applied to all constitutionally protected rights, in my opinion.
Anyway, The Atlantic goes on to argue that Bruen will destroy a number of gun control regulations and thus make us less safe.
Which might be an interesting point if it wasn’t total bull.
Criminals are still prohibited from owning guns lawfully. They’re still prohibited from buying guns lawfully.
What’s happening here is fearmongering. They want people afraid so they’ll demand Congress do something. The problem is that Bruen is a done deal and nothing is likely to change that anytime soon.