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High Court Defends Second Amendment

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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36 Comments
second amendment

In one of the most important cases in decades, the Supreme Court ruled citizens have a Second Amendment right to carry handguns for self-protection, and no state can strip it.

Citing America’s founding documents and history, the Court shifted the modern presumption back to the citizen, saying states cannot force a citizen to show cause for carrying a firearm, unless consistent with history and the Constitution.

Men and women in many states regularly face life-threatening situations and yet are disallowed from deterring or reacting to those events with a sidearm. That is about to change. They are now going to be able to do so.

The case, New York Rifle and Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, was remanded back to New York for decision consistent with a clear statement of Second Amendment rights. But this case will immediately affect tens of millions in states with laws like New York’s. Among states likely to be affected are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, not to mention states and cities with parallel restrictions.

In Justice Thomas’ cogent, 63-page opinion, the right to “keep and bear arms” is affirmed. New York had said anyone wishing to carry outside the home had to have a “proper cause,” believing self-defense did not count.  Our Founders would have balked at that. So did the Supreme Court’s majority.

Following precedent, the Court set aside a state-based test that tightly restricted Second Amendment rights in favor of a broad understanding of the Amendment’s meaning. Thomas noted, if “the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct,” any permissible regulation must be narrow and consistent with history.

New York – and other states – failed the Thomas injunction, because the right to carry a handgun in public for self-protection (especially today) was exactly what the Second Amendment allowed, hardly outside the original intent of the Bill of Rights.

We do not have one right for home protection and another for protection outside the home. In fact, as Thomas notes, the right to “bear” arms naturally involves carrying arms outside the home.

To assure he was properly grounded, not misunderstood, and that the right was not questioned, Thomas went back through 700 years of law, beginning in the 1200s. 

As an aside, having once sat with the Justice in his chambers, as he spoke about the meaning of “due process,” his historical source waters are crystal clear and run deep on just about everything.  He began that discussion with the Magna Carta (1215 AD).

Thomas also observed, even up to modern times, New York – for most of its history – had no requirement that citizens should require a special need to carry, beyond self-defense.  Accordingly, while a narrow restriction for courthouses and polling places might be allowed, there is “no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”

Putting a fine point on the freedom intended by the Founders, Thomas described New York’s “argument would in effect exempt cities from the Second Amendment … would eviscerate the general right to publicly carry arms for self-defense.”  Thus, no go.

The effect of this ruling – which expands on DC v. Heller (2008), an incisive Scalia opinion focused on DC law, will likely be greater citizen confidence, security, and comfort in locations formerly dominated by the criminal element, higher deterrence of crime nationwide, and a new preparedness of citizens – individually and collectively – to prevent one-off or mass shooting events, since a responding force will now be available.

In a fascinating twist, the dissent by Breyer, joined by Sotomayor and Kagan, tried to oppose the majority understanding by citing gun violence in America.  Justice Alito then concurred, flaying the dissent’s weak grounding.

Alito noted the dissenters went left, not thinking about the facts or law in question. Alito pointed out that the case “decides nothing about who may lawfully possess a firearm or the requirements that must be met to buy a gun. Nor does it decide anything about the kind of weapons that people may possess.” 

Alito also points out that people want to carry for self-protection precisely because of “the ubiquity of guns and our country’s high level of gun violence …” The more illegal guns, less emphasis on law enforcement, and greater public fear, the more justification for law abiding gun owners to carry for self-protection.

Not surprisingly, the Biden White House slammed the Supreme Court, suggesting– as the President prepared to sign more gun restrictions – that his understanding of the law was deeper, and High Court missed “both commonsense and the Constitution.”

One is left a bit flatfooted here.  Biden barely got through law school, nobbled many brilliant judges when running Judiciary in the Senate, and is not widely viewed – even by his own party – as a sage, crisp, or otherwise cutting-edge wit, let alone legal giant.

Perhaps the best one can say is, as with other recent decisions on education and abortion, thank God wise men and women populate our top court. May it always be so.

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Karen
Karen
1 year ago

God is working for us. Hallelujah! Thanks SC.

Gary
Gary
1 year ago

One should not have to obtain a permit( with an outragious cost ) this too is unconstutional !

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

What is going on? Our founding fathers knew what a threat can arise,foreign or domestic and how to protect the country and its individuals.Hail all Hail the Supreme Courts decision. Active shooters may be seriously reduced.Thank you God for wise men and future protection!

Terry
Terry
1 year ago

This may be helpful in our future to know. Thought you might want a copy!

GRAmerican
GRAmerican
1 year ago

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Remember the Founders wanted LIMITED government.
Full time politicians was not their doing.
That is are problem.
Government is supposed to play a SMALL part, but The People have let it run amuck.

Richard Minetti
Richard Minetti
1 year ago

Biden doesn’t have an ounce of common sense much less any other sense when it comes to adjudicating a legal issue! Understand he barely made it through law school and probably shouldn’t have been allowed to graduate as I see it!

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

Does this mean that states have to allow a person that gets out of prison the right to carry a handgun in public —– as I assume he is a citizen again.??? And also no age limits so can a 10-year old pack a handgun? SCOTUS timing on this issue is not good.

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
1 year ago

So Sodomy-Mayer shows her deep hatred for America again–As Gomer Pyle would say–“Surprise–Surprise”>

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Once again, Biden has proven himself to be very confused and incompetent. The patriots need protecting. Those citizens who respect laws are the ones that our leaders should be protecting. The criminals could care less whether policies are legal or illegal. They only care about themselves. It’s the law abiders who need a fair break. Otherwise, it’s open season on the “good guys.”

Phoenix
Phoenix
1 year ago

You were to nice to Biden. He had always been known as an idiot. And was known as the dunce of the senate.

Barb304
Barb304
1 year ago

If only they would secure our borders and stop the guns that are being constantly smuggled in and sold on the streets!!! As for legally buying handguns that’s a good thing as long as the seller does a background check.

Centurion
Centurion
1 year ago

The 2nd Amendment is needed to protect the 1st Amendment. If the 2nd ever goes away so does the 1st.

Sandy
Sandy
1 year ago

YE

Kay
Kay
1 year ago

Again a 6 to 3 opinion. When are the liberals justices going to look at the Constitution and not the socialist position. If any one needs to leave the court it is the THREE

andrew B. chismar
andrew B. chismar
1 year ago

It is way past time for Real Americans, which are the Majority, to start speaking out against the Lefty, Marxist Agenda and Return Our Country to its greatness! U

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Hooray Victory indeed awesome X3

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

THREE wins in a row for true Constitutional law! Reinforcing the 2nd Amendment, throwing out the fake “right” to abortion, and restoring free exercise rights for Coach Kennedy! We MUST get rid of Biden (or his fill-in) in 2024! Otherwise, he’ll taint SCOTUS with another wokester who cannot define “woman.”

J. Farley
J. Farley
1 year ago

The 2nd Amendment is the most straight forward written of our Constitutional rights, it reads —- A well-regulated Militia, necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. —- The supreme court understands that the phrase, The right of the People is an individual right as it is in the 1st. and 4th Amendments it means you can own them and carry them on or about you person, why else would they add the words bear arms it would make no sense to bear arms only in your home. Our founding Fathers were very smart people they know that not only are there dangers in the world, but also Governments can become repressive and dictatorial, after all they had just liberated a nation, and somehow, I think they could see into the future and see that the Democrats would try to turn America into a Dictatorship.
After reading the 2nd Amendment someone please tell me where the wiggle room is to alter and restrict it. There is none!

Dennis Belotti
Dennis Belotti
1 year ago

Amen ! Amen !… Finally SCOTUS showed some wisdom and MOXIE !!! God bless America !

Kevin S
Kevin S
1 year ago

It may say “Chief” on Roberts title, but I consider this to be Alitos Court.

William C Smith
William C Smith
1 year ago

Excellent article. Finally, an excellently definitive decision about the intentions of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, as written by the supreme intellectuals for America and for all time.

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