Our Mobile App
and get our latest news and featured videos instantly
COMMONDREAMS.ORG – August 21, 2019 - In the wake of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the biggest obstacle to effective gun control may not be President Trump, Mitch McConnell or even the National Rifle Association (NRA) but the United States Supreme Court.
It’s been a long time since the Supreme Court considered a major Second Amendment case. Eleven years ago, the court delivered a landmark victory to the gun-rights lobby in District of Columbia v. Heller—a 5-4 majority decision written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia that ruled, for the first time, the Second Amendment protected an individual right to own and bear firearms.
Heller broke with the great weight of prior scholarship and legal precedent, including the Supreme Court’s 1939 decision in United States v. Miller, which held the Second Amendment protected gun ownership only in connection with service in long-since antiquated state militias. And while Heller was technically limited to gun ownership in the nation’s capital and other federal venues, the court extended its individual-rights analysis to the states two years later in McDonald v. Chicago, via a 5-4 opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito.
When the court reconvenes in October, its docket will include a new Second Amendment appeal—New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York—that has the potential to rival or surpass Heller for its impact on gun rights and gun regulation.
At issue is a New York City ordinance adopted in 2001 barring residents from taking their guns outside city limits. The ordinance was challenged in a federal lawsuit filed by the NRA’s New York affiliate and three city residents, who argued the regulation was unconstitutional in light of Heller.
The plaintiffs lost at both the district court level and before a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a unanimous decision in February 2018 concluding the ordinance withstood Second Amendment scrutiny under Heller. The Supreme Court agreed in January to review the case.
Realizing it could easily lose before the Supreme Court, New York City announced in June it had amended the transportation ordinance and would henceforth permit licensed gun owners to take their firearms to second homes, businesses or shooting ranges outside city limits. In July, the city filed a formal motion with the Supreme Court, requesting that the case be dismissed because the ordinance was no longer in effect. The court is scheduled to consider the motion in its first closed-door conference of the new term on Oct. 1.
If the Supreme Court consisted of open-minded jurists committed to a fair understanding of the Constitution, the city would likely prevail. Indeed, the case might even offer an opportunity to repudiate Heller as a misguided application of “originalism,” the legal theory popularized by Scalia that posits the Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning for the Founding Fathers. [Read More]
Matching wits and guns with our military has guaranteed our freedom. Never, ever forget that.
Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for a ban on assault weapons: These “weapons are for war; they are not for sport. Assault weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest time possible.”
Well, yeah. The Admiral has a point. And that’s exactly the point.
Any spirited half-baked deer hunter can drop a buck with one round in a bolt rifle. He doesn’t need a 30-round magazine to do it, either. If necessary, most bolt rifles will provide a 3 to 4-round backup should additional shots be necessary to assure the critter doesn’t go off and expire somewhere out of sight.
So the question: Are ARs and AKs and all their other continuously emerging cousins made primarily for war? We say – primarily, of course – yes. And we look at it this way: Say today’s Democrats beat Trump into the 18th hole on one of his golf courses never to be seen again. And they send Mitch McConnell back to his old Kentucky home. House Republicans, lacking legislative muscle ne’er more, are told by Pelosi to go sit in the corner. The Dems take over Washington, DC and shortly thereafter, the whole country.
Now, let’s talk universal background checks. Hi-cap mags. Assault rifles. Red Flags. Forget reciprocity. Carry concealed is no longer available. New York City can re-install all the “don’t take your guns outside your house” it wants. Gavin Newsom can tax ammo to death. Gun retailers are ordered to sell guns – any guns – only to people over age 35 who are granted a federal license after they have satisfactorily completed a training course designed by Shannon Watts and John Feinblatt. (Google ‘em). [Read More]
Comment on any of the articles in GunProPlus on our Facebook page.