Op-Ed Claims SCOTUS Will Have 'Blood on Its Hands'

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The Supreme Court of the United States, (SCOTUS) ruled in Bruen that if a gun control law is going to be considered constitutional, then there needs to be some kind of parallel to the time of the nation’s founding.



I say roughly because there’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but what Bruen did was establish that gun control can’t be ruled constitutional just because the government really, really wants to restrict our right to keep and bear arms.

Which is kind of the point of the Second Amendment in the first place.

In short, SCOTUS clearly ruled correctly. However, at least one op-ed writer thinks the Court will have “blood on its hands” if it issues a pro-gun ruling in the Rahimi case.

Here’s an open question for the U.S. Supreme Court, which has taken a strongly originalist stance toward gun control: Do you want blood on your hands again?

That’s right, again. The nation’s highest court has sometimes issued rulings that led directly to killings, even murders. One was the infamous Dred Scott ruling of 1857, which held that the Constitution did not grant citizenship or rights to anyone of Black African descent. This led to the killing or recapture of numerous escaped slaves who had fled to so-called “free” states prior to the Civil War.

Or its much more recent 2022 ruling in the Bruen case that ended New York’s limits on concealed carrying of guns, the high court holding that since there is no multi-century American history of such regulations, they are overridden by the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

Now another gun control case, called U.S. vs. Rahimi confronts the court with questions of whether it’s legal to prohibit domestic violence offenders or those under restraining orders from owning firearms.

Right now, they can’t, under a federal law signed by former President Donald Trump. But the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals early in 2023 sided with gun rights supporters and held that law unconstitutional.

This did not end such laws in other appellate circuits, including the Ninth, covering California and most of the West. Indications from the public arguments over the Rahimi lawsuit indicate the justices might let the Trump-era law stand.

That would be good for California women, now protected under a 10-year-old state law. Said state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, “The data is clear. Domestic violence abusers should not have firearms. When an abuser has access to a firearm, it endangers the safety of those around them.”


The problem that the author is completely ignoring is that federal law actually prohibits convicted domestic abusers from owning guns. The Rahimi case, though, is about people who have simply had a restraining order issued against them.

Now, this might seem like a nothingburger for many, but the truth is that judges will often issue domestic violence restraining orders with very little evidence of actual domestic abuse. The judges often figure the stakes are such that the downsides of being wrong on not issuing the order are worse than being wrong by issuing one.

And, frankly, I get it. I understand where they’re coming from by reaching that decision.

In many cases, it’s a non-issue, too. The individual the order is issued against isn’t a gun owner so it’s no more than “keep away from your wife/girlfriend” and all is well.

But the issue before SCOTUS is about the right to keep and bear arms. It goes beyond whether someone feels better with an order issued.

And this isn’t exactly a fun case for them, I’m sure. Rahimi doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of person I’d want to hang out with, much less want my daughter involved with. However, SCOTUS isn’t supposed to take any of that into account. They’re supposed to rule on the law itself, and that’s got to be difficult


Yet I’m going to take issue with the claim they’ll have blood on their hands if they don’t rule the way the author prefers.

It’s the job of the Court to determine the constitutionality of such laws, and they’re not supposed to take anything but the constitutionality of such laws into account. After all, every bit of tyranny ever invented by man has been justified under some grounds or another of it being a benefit to society. Just look at the horrors of communism for one example.

While someone like Rahimi might well be armed lawfully because of a ruling–it should be noted that Rahimi was already armed despite the laws on the books, which a lot of people seem to be forgetting–how many other people have been disarmed under existing law despite having done nothing wrong?

I don’t know how SCOTUS will rule, though I’m fairly sure it won’t be as good of a ruling as Bruen from our perspective, but the only people who will have blood on their hands are those who actually carry out violent crimes.

Or, conversely, we can blame California for having blood on its hands for all the people who have died because they weren’t allowed to be armed.

Guess which number is going to be higher?

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