Op-ed seeks to make SCOTUS feel guilty about Bruen

Op-ed seeks to make SCOTUS feel guilty about Bruen
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

The Bruen decision changed the Second Amendment landscape, probably for generations to come. It not just ended subjective may-issue laws, but also laid the groundwork on how Second Amendment cases should be decided going forward, one that ends intermediate scrutiny for good.


No one was surprised at how people disagreed with it, though.

While our side of the debate loves it, the other side hates it just as passionately.

Yet now it seems that an op-ed is trying to make the case that Bruen “damages” survivors.

I have lived since the age of 2 with the damage inflicted by a gun death.

My father was killed while serving in the U.S. military in late 1945 by another soldier test firing his souvenir Luger in a barracks. I can still feel the powerful reverberations of that shot. It immediately threw the life of what remained of my family onto a much more difficult trajectory – less upwardly mobile, much less happy – than it had been on before.

My mother, though she remarried for a time and bore additional children, never knew sustained contentment and took her own life at the age of 60, three decades later. I struggled through an emotionally fraught childhood into a prickly young adulthood. Only years of psychological therapy and finally finding love in my 30s made it possible for me to break with my anger and melancholy.

The damage of gun violence is a spreading blight on American society. It affects not only the victims themselves but also their survivors, who must live with emotional loss and psychic trauma indefinitely.

In refusing to consider how to balance the Second Amendment’s right to gun ownership with the right of other citizens to live without the constant threat posed by ubiquitous weaponry, the court is contributing to the deterioration of the United States as a civilized society.


I understand the author is coming from a place of loss, yet I find this appeal to emotion to be extremely problematic.

Oh, it’s not all he said, but we’ve debunked the rest of that nonsense repeatedly, including claims that our Founding Fathers were unaware of the possibility of repeating firearms–never mind the Puckle Gun existing at the time–and that they clearly just meant single-shot weapons when they said “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” even though there’s not a hint of that anywhere in anything they’ve ever said.

But here he’s trying to leverage survivors, those who have lost someone to gun violence, and it pisses me off.

See, he’s talking about people like our own Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter at Parkland, or me who lost one of my dearest friends in the Cafe Racer shooting in Seattle. He’s trying to speak on our behalf, as well as himself.

The problem is that laws cannot and should not be driven by emotion. The Bruen decision was a matter of law and to claim that any “psychic trauma” should change that is asinine, to say the least.

Especially when he does nothing to acknowledge the “psychic trauma” of those who have been hurt because they didn’t have a gun when they needed one. He pretends that’s not even a thing.


Further, he doesn’t seem to get the possibility that more widespread use of guns by lawful people could prevent countless more people from experiencing such “psychic trauma” that goes along with being the victim of a violent crime.

All of this is nothing more than an appeal to emotion, an attempt to try and make people feel guilty for supporting gun rights or making gun control supporters feel more righteous.

It’s not even a particularly clever appeal, either, because it’s just so easy to poke holes into.

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