What’s the difference between opposing travel restrictions on people from six Middle Eastern nations and opposing restrictions on concealed carry in California and other states?
One is about allowing foreign nationals into the country and the other is about that inconvenient old Second Amendment right of individual U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms. Both issues revolve around political correctness.
When the Supreme Court upheld part of President Donald Trump’s travel ban earlier this week, the left howled and suddenly, according to CBS News in New York, several attorneys have essentially set up shop at John F. Kennedy Airport to “assist passengers where needed.”
On the other hand, when the Supreme Court rejected yet another case challenging restrictive carry laws, this time in California, there were no attorneys rushing to help millions of law-abiding Golden State citizens exercise their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. And in case anyone needs reminding, since the high court ruling seven years ago in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Second Amendment applies to the states, so even though California has no specific right-to-bear-arms provision in its state constitution, the federal constitution with its Bill of Rights does apply.
The travel ban places restrictions on people seeking to enter the country from seven nations. They are allowed to come in if they have a bonafide connection to the country; that is, an immediate family member, for example.
In California, a county sheriff requires a “good cause” to issue a concealed carry permit, and personal protection doesn’t meet the sheriff’s criteria, evidently. Because California has also prohibited open carry of firearms, this creates a dilemma for anyone wishing to exercise his or her Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held last year that the Second Amendment “does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public,” the Los Angeles Times noted this week. That was an en banc ruling that reversed a Ninth Circuit three-judge panel’s earlier ruling that the California law was unconstitutional.
Words matter, and in this case, the court appears to have carefully crafted the words of that single sentence, because it leaves wiggle room for the open carry of firearms, which is widely accepted over most of the Ninth Circuit states including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. But California prohibits open carry.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas criticized his high court colleagues for not accepting the California case. Meanwhile, the court is being criticized for allowing much of the Trump travel ban to be enforced.
Thomas noted in his dissent that the court’s continued reluctance to take a carry case “reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the 2nd Amendment as a disfavored right.”
Meanwhile, writing for The Guardian, journalist Rob Hunter contends that the Supreme Court’s travel ban ruling – the full case will be heard in October – demands “civil resistance.”
Should not, then, the public protest the “good cause” requirement to exercise a constitutional right in California and a few other states?