Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spelled out why the Second Amendment is a critical issue in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. (YouTube)
Three days of sometimes clown act confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court revealed the stark contrast between those who adhere to the Second Amendment and those who wish to destroy it.
The two definitive “moments” involved Texas Republican Ted Cruz and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein. In the firearms debate, they could not be farther apart, representing the polar opposites of a conflict that played a critical role in the 2016 presidential election – gun owners descended on the polls in Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan; at least two of those states that Hillary Rodham Clinton foolishly took for granted while Donald Trump took them to the Electoral College – and promises to be a major issue again in November.
Where gun owners are concerned, Sen. Cruz’ opening statement represented the high point, where he said this toward the end:
“And finally, let’s take the Second Amendment. In the presidential debates, Hillary Clinton explicitly promised to nominate justices who would overturn Heller v. District of Columbia.
“Heller is the landmark decision issued by Justice Scalia, likely the most significant decision of his entire tenure on the bench, and it upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms.
“Now Hillary Clinton was quite explicit. She wanted justices who would vote to overturn Heller and indeed a number of our democratic colleagues, that’s what they want as well.
“Overturning Heller, I believe, would be a truly radical proposition. To understand why, you have to understand what the four dissenters said in Heller. The four dissenters in Heller said that the Second Amendment protects no individual right to keep and bear arms, whatsoever. That it protects merely a collective right of the militia.
“The consequence of that radical proposition would mean that Congress could pass a law making it a felony; a criminal offense for any American to own any firearm. And neither you nor I nor any American would have any individual right whatsoever under the Second Amendment. It would effectively erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights.
“That is a breathtakingly extreme proposition. It is what Hillary Clinton promised her justices would do. And at the end of the day it’s what this fight is about.”
Cruz, by all measures within the firearms community, nailed it. Judge Kavanaugh represents Trump’s keeping of a promise to protect the Second Amendment, and the anti-gunners appear to understand this better than some gun rights activists.
When the billionaire-backed Civic Action group, whose slogan is “Let’s Cause Some Trouble,” sent an email blast on Kavanaugh this week, one of the five opposition points highlighted in that message was that confirmation would mean placing “A firm defender of the NRA on the highest court in America.” That isn’t quite truthful. What they’re really saying is that Kavanaugh is “a firm defender of the Second Amendment.”
Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying group is also terrified of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, declaring in its own email blast, “It’s clear from Brett Kavanaugh’s judicial record that he has an extreme view of the Second Amendment that threatens to gut critical gun safety measures.”
The low point of the hearings in terms of the Second Amendment was best represented by the opening few minutes of questioning by Feinstein, during which she immediately challenged Kavanaugh on so-called “assault weapons.” As reported by Liberty Park Press earlier in the week, Feinstein, a perennial gun prohibitionist, insisted to the judge that semi-auto rifles are not “in common use,” even to the point of arguing that just because millions of people own them, that doesn’t mean such rifles are “in common use.” Even Reason pointed to this exchange, focusing on Feinstein’s claim that there have been “hundreds of school shootings using assault weapons.” That was an assertion so demonstrably false that the Reason article took Feinstein to task.
With a Kavanaugh confirmation to the high court, which hasn’t yet happened, that would mean the Second Amendment is not in danger of evisceration, and it might even mean a few more gun rights cases will be accepted by the court. Gun activists want the court to rule on right to carry outside the home – the “right to bear arms” part of the Second Amendment – for self-defense. Many want the court to determine whether semiautomatic modern sporting rifles are protected by the amendment.
Ultimately, the Second Amendment community wants the high court to come down hard on restrictive gun control laws that treat the right to keep and bear arms as a regulated privilege. They want this right to be treated equally with all the other individual rights delineated in the Bill of Rights, and once that happens, gun owners merely wish to be left alone.