America… another day, another mass shooting.
Only one month after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history took place in Las Vegas, the most deadly mass shooting in Texas state history has taken place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
In a country awash in gun violence, people are angry. They ask, “When will enough be enough? When will the madness end? When will our lawmakers enact gun regulations that might help stem the tide in this seemingly endless wave of gunphilia insanity?”
As if on cue, politicians have once again offered up their “thoughts and prayers.” Yet the American people want something more … they want action.
While anger continues to grow against our feckless politicians, bought and paid for by the NRA, one government institution seems to have escaped blame … the Supreme Court.
On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home.
The NRA, and gun enthusiasts everywhere, hailed the decision as an affirmation of unfettered gun ownership. While this reading of the Court’s ruling is misguided and a clear misinterpretation, let’s leave that aside for the moment (read: The Supreme Court Ruling On The 2nd Amendment Did NOT Grant An Unlimited Right To Own Guns by David Ropeik).
Thanks to Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy and Scalia, we have the NRA trumpeting its false narrative that the Constitution absolutely protects one’s right to bear arms.
In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the Second Amendment does not create an unlimited right to possess guns for self-defense purposes. Instead, the most natural reading of the Amendment is that it protects the right to keep and bear arms for certain military purposes but does not curtail the legislature’s power to regulate nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons. Justice Stevens argued that the Amendment states its purpose specifically in relation to state militias and does not address the right to use firearms in self-defense, which is particularly striking in light of similar state provisions from the same time that do so.
No, let’s not let the above-mentioned activist judges off so easy. They are one of the main reasons why mass shootings have dramatically escalated in the last ten years.
The Heller decision was, ironically, the very kind of judicial overreach conservatives constantly rail against.
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