In the wake of last week’s Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, a piece in The Atlantic acknowledges what Second Amendment activists have known for a long time: Democrats are “championing…gun reform” in Congress and state legislatures all over the map.
At the same time, a different report in the New Yorker reveals just how fearful liberal anti-gunners seem to be about a new case accepted last week by the U.S. Supreme Court by observing that this will be the first opportunity for freshman Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh “to begin building what promises to be a disastrous pro-gun legacy.” Rights activists might ask writer Amy Davidson Sorkin just what is so “disastrous” about a Supreme Court that upholds a cornerstone amendment in the Bill of Rights.
The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York. It is supported by the National Rifle Association.
In his piece for The Atlantic, author Dick Polman, notes that there are some 35,000 gun-related fatalities annually, but doesn’t break that down between homicide and suicides. It’s about a 2-to-1 ratio with suicides accounting for roughly two-thirds of the firearms deaths in any given year. In Washington State, that rate is even higher, approaching 75-80 percent by some estimates.
Still, all of those fatalities are routinely lumped together by anti-gunners to create the impression there is a criminal bloodbath in progress, and this false portrayal may be partly responsible for maintaining support for additional gun controls.
That may be why rights advocates including Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, have championed a project to reduce suicides in the Evergreen State, while still fighting vigorously to defend their rights as gun owners under both the state and federal constitutions. After all, underscoring Polman’s observation in The Atlantic, Washington’s Legislature is dominated by a Democrat majority in both the House and Senate, and there’s an anti-gun Democrat in the governor’s office, and another serving as attorney general.
The more conservative majority on the high court could use the New York case, which challenges New York City’s prohibition against traveling outside the city with a registered handgun, to expand gun rights nationwide, Sorkin laments in the New Yorker. The obvious question that the justices will have to answer is whether a law-abiding gun owner should be barred from taking his/her sidearm outside the city. The gun is, after all, private property. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was incorporated to the states via the 14th Amendment in the 2010 McDonald ruling.
How can the government prevent someone from taking their private property outside the city?
What level of scrutiny must a gun law meet before it is held to be constitutional? If strict scrutiny becomes the standard—which appears to be a concern of the Left—suffice to say a lot of local gun laws are likely to be in jeopardy, and that seems to frighten the bejeezus out of the gun prohibition crowd.
After all, it is not and never has been “gun reform” that left-leaning Democrats support but gun control, which amounts to a campaign to demonize guns and gun ownership, and create layers of bureaucracy solely designed to discourage anyone from wanting to own a gun. And they do this with straight faces while proclaiming their “support of the Second Amendment…but.”
Those who exercise their Second Amendment rights every day see this alleged “support” as a flimsy sham. They are hoping that a third vacancy comes up on the Supreme Court while Donald Trump is still in office and Republicans have a majority in the Senate. Strengthening the conservative majority on the high court may be the only chance that gun owners, and the Second Amendment, have left.