Upcoming Supreme Court case not about domestic abusers

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The Supreme Court is set to hear another Second Amendment case, and the usual suspects are already trying to frame this in a way to make people outraged if the current law isn’t upheld.


It’s all about presentation. In this case, they’re pretending it’s about domestic abuse.

Few people are comfortable advocating for perpetrators of domestic violence to have guns. So, with the upcoming case, it’s being presented as being about such people.

Take this example:

Should individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders be allowed to own guns? If you think the answer is a screaming, obvious “No,” you haven’t been paying much attention to the Supreme Court’s radical reinterpretations of the Second Amendment over the past 15 years. The court will be asked to decide the issue in United States v. Rahimi when it reconvenes in October.

At the center of the case is Zackey Rahimi, a 23-year-old with a history of violence and drug dealing. In December 2019, Rahimi beat up his girlfriend in a parking lot in Arlington, Texas, and tried to shoot a bystander who had witnessed the attack. Two months later, his girlfriend obtained a restraining order from a state court judge that prohibited him from harassing her, and barred him from possessing a firearm.

It didn’t take Rahimi long to resume his menacing ways. In August 2020, he was arrested for stalking his ex; in November, he threatened another woman with a gun. In December 2020 and January 2021, he participated in a series of five shootings in the Arlington area. Police in Arlington identified him as a suspect in the shootings and obtained a warrant to search his home, where they uncovered a .45- caliber pistol, a .308-caliber rifle, pistol and rifle magazines, additional rounds of ammunition, approximately $20,000 in cash, and a copy of the restraining order Rahimi had flagrantly violated.


First, let’s understand that there is no defense of Rahimi. By most accounts, he’s not a good person.

However, this case isn’t really about Rahimi. It’s about the law itself, and in that, Rahimi is simply the test case, not an example of all people who fall under domestic violence restraining orders.

See, the writer assumes here that Rahimi is, in fact, guilty of domestic abuse and presents this as an established fact. The problem is that Rahimi was never convicted in a court of law for any such crime.

Now, is it likely he committed the abuse? Considering his criminal history, most likely.

Yet issuing a restraining order isn’t the same as a criminal conviction, and that’s the heart of this particular issue.

Restraining orders are issued all the time, often on some fairly shaky evidence or even none at all beyond the claims themselves. Even then, sometimes they’re issued out of concern versus any actual threat. It’s so common that many divorces where no domestic abuse is alleged still see both parties hit with restraining orders.

Despite this, those same restraining orders strip people of their right to keep and bear arms.


While it’s entirely likely that Rahimi is the monster he was portrayed as, there are thousands of other people who have had such orders issued against them that aren’t, yet they’re also prohibited from owning a gun.

For anti-gun folks, though, none of those people matter. What matters is that they need people to see Rahimi as the textbook example of everyone who gets a restraining order against them. He’s not.

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