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Ban Assault Weapons

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

Amend­ment II A well regu­lated Mili­tia, being neces­sary to the secur­ity of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I'm all for our right to bear arms here in America with huge exceptions. There is never a reason for us to own assault weapons in society. Let's leave assault weapons where they belong, which is in the military. I don't believe in a ban of all weapons just assault weapons. I don't think mental health patients or violent offenders should have legal access to any kind of gun--period.

The Supreme Court is poised to issue a ruling in a New York gun rights case that will likely expand the scope of protec­tions the Second Amend­ment affords indi­vidual gun owners who want to carry a gun outside of their resid­ences. The biggest ques­tion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Asso­ci­ation v. Bruen may not be whether a major­ity of justices strike down the state’s century-old hand­gun licens­ing require­ment but how far that major­ity goes in signal­ing that other licens­ing meas­ures created by govern­ment offi­cials are now consti­tu­tion­ally suspect.

Can offi­cials prohibit hand­guns in courtrooms and schools? What about college campuses or hospit­als? When the Court heard oral argu­ment in Novem­ber, the six-member conser­vat­ive major­ity seemed more interested in explor­ing the contours of an expan­ded Second Amend­ment than in whether it ought to be expan­ded. This approach to gun regu­la­tion is a change from the Court’s histor­ical approach to the amend­ment, but it should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the arc of the Court’s juris­pru­dence in this area over the past 15 years.

The current Supreme Court is far more conser­vat­ive and far more friendly to gun rights than the one that first recog­nized a personal right to bear arms under the Second Amend­ment in District Columbia v. Heller in 2008. The Supreme Court also acknow­ledged two years later, McDon­ald v. Chicago, that such protec­tions apply to state laws and regu­la­tions. Gone since then is Justice Ruth Bader Gins­burg, a foe of expan­ded gun rights. In her place is Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose view of the Second Amendment is viewed by many as even more expans­ive than that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of Heller.

For many years after the Heller and McDon­ald decisions, Justice Clar­ence Thomas, an extreme gun rights supporter, urged his colleagues on the Court over and over again to accept more Second Amend­ment chal­lenges to exist­ing gun laws. He wanted the Supreme Court to use the newly recog­nized “personal” right under the Second Amend­ment to sweep away regu­la­tions restrict­ing the posses­sion and use of fire­arms. For many years, until the arrival of the three justices nomin­ated by Pres­id­ent Donald Trump, Thomas’s colleagues rejected Thomas' agenda.

That was then. This is now. Now we all are wait­ing for the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen, an opin­ion that some court watch­ers say won’t come until some­time in late June. This case is the chal­lenge to New York’s 108-year-old concealed hand­gun law. The chal­lengers claim they should­n’t have to show a special need to get a license to carry a gun. A major­ity of justices seemed skep­tical of New York’s rationale for the law when they asked about it during oral argu­ment last fall. Bruen is just the start of what some lawyers and advoc­ates say will be a relent­less effort by the Court to trans­form gun regu­la­tion around the United States.

The Bruen decision will come weeks after another mass shoot­ing, another spasm of gun viol­ence, this time in Buffalo, New York, where Governor Kathy Hochul and state legis­lat­ors are prom­ising to expand the scope of gun regu­la­tions. Will the Buffalo massacre change anyone’s mind on the Court? Not likely. The massacre of 19 chil­dren and 2 teach­ers at Robb Element­ary School in Uvalde, Texas won't change their minds either. They gunman was an 18 year old who had just purchased his weapons in a state that has dramat­ic­ally loosened gun laws in the past decade. It is harder for an 18 year old to get a driver’s license than a gun in Texas.

To get a sense of where we are now on the Second Amend­ment and where we are likely headed given the Court’s current makeup, Darrell Miller, a professor at Duke Law School who is an expert on the Second Amend­ment and gun rights and regu­la­tions says, "The Court has firmly rejec­ted argu­ments that only 18th-century weapons are protec­ted by the Second Amend­ment. There’s a host of unsettled ques­tions that I’m keep­ing my eye on. The lower federal courts right now are wrest­ling with the issue of what counts as an “arm” for purposes of the Second Amend­ment: Does it include large capa­city magazines? Does it include AR-15s and other rifles modeled on milit­ary weapons? In Michigan, the state supreme court is set to decide whether the Univer­sity of Michigan and other state univer­sit­ies can keep fire­arms off their campuses or whether that viol­ates federal or state consti­tu­tional law. Then there’s the flood of litig­a­tion that will follow the Bruen case. I guar­an­tee that gun rights advoc­ates have already got plaintiffs engaged and complaints draf­ted and that there will be multiple lawsuits filed as soon as the Court hands down the decision in the Bruen case.

What I’m really focused on is the sleeper issue in Bruen that will determ­ine just how radical a change we’re in for. Right now, the lower courts are using a two-step frame­work for decid­ing Second Amend­ment cases. The first step is a histor­ical approach; the second step allows the govern­ment to justify its regu­la­tion through social science data or other kinds of empir­ical tools. One issue in Bruen is whether that second step is permiss­ible or whether all Second Amend­ment ques­tions may be answered only by refer­ence to what is permit­ted by “text, history, and tradi­tion.”

Disclos­ure: Miller was among a group of attor­neys who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of neither party in the Bruen case, urging the Supreme Court not to apply a text, history, and tradi­tion-only approach. He also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the pending Michigan Supreme Court case.

This is a post that was generated from an article that was edited for length and clar­ity.

Assault weapons are military weapons. How in the hell is an 18 year old able to go to a store and buy it like it's a sporting good?

Here I am purposely engaged in living an inspired life!


Rachel Mason


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