Not since 1934 has there been such a concerted attack on gun rights as is currently ongoing today. The left holds a majority in the House and Senate, while the gentleman taking his mail at the White House has a proven record of enthusiastically attacking gun rights. Only the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) retains any modicum of respect for guns and the U.S. Constitution. We are currently one bill away from irrevocably transforming the gun culture in America.
The Left, Supreme Court & Ongoing War on Guns
Our opponents openly hate us; a cursory review of the language used in the media bears this out. They don’t understand our quirky little world at all, and it frightens them. When the folks making the rules haven’t a clue what they’re regulating that is a reliable recipe for chaos.
Under similar circumstances the left pushed through an Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, but it had an automatic 10-year sunset clause. They will not make that mistake again. If Schumer, Pelosi, Harris, and Biden pull this off, you will never buy another new-production AR-15 from a gun store.
The Bad Guys don’t care. They don’t typically obtain their guns through lawful commerce. Also, any firearm used in a crime is by definition already illegal — hence the term “criminal.”
Mass Shootings & Real Stats
Mass shootings make for undeniably compelling talking points. Bloody schools and shopping centers touch a visceral chord in all normal people, myself included. However, emotion isn’t a sensible foundation for public policy. In 2019 there were 364 Americans killed with rifles of all sorts. In a nation of 328 million people there is an issue of scale.
That’s 364 unimaginable tragedies. However, compare that to 480,000 American dead from cigarettes (41,000 of whom are innocents killed by secondhand smoke), 1,476 from knives, 600 from fists, and 397 from clubs and hammers (statista.com). It’s not the body count. They’re not doing this for the children or for the public good. Rifles only account for around 4 percent of American gun crime, yet scary long guns are the perennial focus of the leftists’ ire.
These proposals will never substantively enhance public safety. There are more than 20 million modern sporting rifles already in circulation among some 400 million firearms of all sorts. That goal cannot be reasonably accomplished via legislative fiat.
The left applies a simply profound double standard between the Second Amendment and everything else in the Bill of Rights. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once opined, “The Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court.”
Imagine if you had to pay a special tax to attend church or apply for some onerous government permit to vote. What if religious congregations of 50 people or less were considered acceptable but anything greater than that was forbidden? How about if we levied a tax on cell phones and tech platforms to help offset the societal costs incurred by rioting precipitated via social media? Each of these proposals is absurd on its face, but such restrictions are applied wholesale to the Second Amendment already.
A SCOTUS Ruling
While the left salivates over “high-capacity” magazines and criminalizing the loan of firearms between friends, SCOTUS stands ready to ponder different things. The Supreme Court has not considered a Second Amendment case in more than a decade. The 2008 Heller decision determined that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right applicable to all Americans, not just those in the National Guard. However, the specific details of the case meant that the ruling only applied within the home.
Two years later the SCOTUS ruled in the McDonald case that Second Amendment protections pre-empted state and local restrictions. As most crime doesn’t take place in a suburban living room, the next question is whether a law-abiding American can possess the means of self-protection while out and about; that is what the SCOTUS will likely address soon.
Carrying Across America
My home state of Mississippi is one of 18 constitutional carry states. Any adult Mississippian with a clean criminal record can carry a concealed firearm without asking the government’s permission. We don’t seem to have mass shootings or riots, either, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. However, in places like New York, New Jersey, California, and Washington D.C. a concealed carry permit, while theoretically possible, is just not available to us normal folk.
Most of these places demand that you show a “Special Need for Self-Defense.” In most cases that just means you have to know the guy who signs the permits. Exploring how wrong that is would take way more than 1,000 words. Nobody knows what, if anything, the SCOTUS will take up as regards gun rights this next session, but most court watchers agree that the current conservative majority is ready to provide further clarity to the nation’s myriad conflicting rulings on guns.
It is fascinating to appreciate the yin and yang of this thing. Two branches of government are engaged in the most concerted effort to strip law-abiding gun owners of their constitutional rights in nearly a century, while the third seems inclined to pull in the precise opposite direction. The end result could be a simply epic showdown.
Final Thoughts on the Supreme Court & Guns
I grow ever so weary of hearing Kamala Harris and her pals denigrating AR-15 rifles as “weapons of war having no place in American society.” The Second Amendment was specifically contrived to ensure that law-abiding Americans retained access to weapons of war. The founders knew that government grows like a contagion consuming all in its path. Only an armed populace could stand as a reliable and timeless hedge against despotism. The left clearly hasn’t a clue as to the true nature of man.
Freedom is undeniably messy. Right alongside child abuse, crack cocaine, and genocide, mass shootings represent one of Satan’s darkest triumphs. However, you can’t really enjoy the benefits of unfettered freedom without enduring the dark side as well. Such stuff can and must be minimized, but liberty comes at a cost. North Korea has essentially zero crime, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
Admittedly, nobody needs an AR-15 rifle. However, nobody needs a designer handbag, Spotify, talk radio, or a car that will travel faster than 70 miles per hour, either. When it comes to guns, the Supreme Court is our final failsafe, but whether we remain a truly free people turns on the U.S. Senate. We live in perilous times.