Gun prohibitionists have wasted no time chest thumping the inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court on restoring the Second Amendment by rejecting all ten gun rights cases that had been pending in hopes of being accepted for a hearing.
The Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility was quick with a statement declaring a “HUGE victory” for gun control.
Anti-gun-rights Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson quickly issued a self-aggrandizing statement on Facebook that has elicited overwhelmingly negative reactions from the citizens he supposedly represents.
“I’m often asked whether my bills restricting access to assault weapons and limiting high-capacity magazines are constitutional,” he writes. “They are. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed this today by declining to hear several challenges to firearm restrictions in multiple states. These decisions leave in place multiple lower court decisions upholding limits to magazine capacity, and bans on the sale of assault weapons. These are meaningful reforms that enhance public safety and combat mass shootings. It is past time for Washington to join other states and reform its firearms laws.”
According to some rights activists, however, Ferguson is all wet because the Roberts Court’s decision to not hear any cases doesn’t translate to the challenged gun laws being upheld. It only means the court didn’t want to hear the cases, a situation heavily criticized by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in his spirited dissent.
In a scathing criticism published at Reason.com, constitutional law Prof. Josh Blackman complains about being in the same place a dozen years after the 2008 Heller ruling.
Just days before the High Court did nothing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “renewed her call for gun control measures to mark the four-year anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.,” as noted by The Hill. That as much as signaled the gun control crowd is up for placing more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.
The email blast from Seattle’s Alliance blustered, “This decision leaves in place crucial restrictions on assault weapons, concealed carry licensing, and other lifesaving gun responsibility laws.”
While it does leave existing gun control laws in place, there is scant, if any, evidence that any of those laws have prevented a single tragedy.
In 2015, the first full year following passage of Initiative 594, the “universal background check” measure, there were 209 murders in Washington State including 141 involving guns, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. In 2016, according to FBI data, the numbers dropped to 195 total murders including 127 with firearms. The next year saw the murder total jump back up to 228, including 134 involving guns, and in 2018, the most recent year for which FBI data is available, Washington saw 232 slayings, including 138 with firearms.
In Seattle, where Ferguson gets most of the votes and where the Alliance calls home, Seattle Police data shows 24 murders in 2015, another 18 slayings in 2016, and 27 murders in 2017. In 2018, the murder number jumped to 31 and last year there were 27 homicides.
The Seattle City Council in 2015 adopted a “gun violence tax” on firearms and ammunition ostensibly to reduce the body count. It hasn’t worked, according the above numbers.
Something else Ferguson and the gun prohibition lobby never acknowledge in their zeal to ban so-called “assault weapons” is that the FBI data consistently shows rifles of any kind are used in a fraction of all murders in any given year. In 2015, there were 258 slayings with rifles and another 272 with shotguns. In 2016, the FBI data says 374 murders involved rifles of any kind and 262 involved shotguns. The next year saw 403 rifle-related slayings and another 264 with shotguns, the FBI data says, and in 2018, there were 297 murders with rifles of any kind and another 235 involving shotguns.
More people are killed with knives and other cutting instruments in any given year than the combined totals of rifle and shotgun related killings, yet anti-gunners have zeroed in on semi-auto rifles in an effort to ban them.