Posted: 06/27/16 17:59
by Dave Mindeman
There is no question that the SCOTUS ruling on the Texas abortion restrictions case is the biggest and most consequential news of the day. But the other major ruling, the one on gun rights, was very welcome as well.
This ruling "concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession".
This decision can take guns out of the hands of potentially violent people.
But there is a more important application as well. This ruling solidifies the notion that common sense gun laws are Constitutional. The Court backs the idea that the 2nd Amendment isn't an absolute guarantee. Public safety can outstrip the right to own a gun.
The majority opinion ideas of the American people have a basis to be the law of the land. Universal background checks. Restrictions on automatic weapons sales. Gun locks. Stand your ground. All of these can become law or be modified in law.
The expansion of 2nd Amendment rights has reached its peak. Only Justice Thomas argued that the right to bear arms takes precedence over gun restrictions. (Sotomayor dissented on other grounds)
There is also something odd about the Thomas dissent...
Section 922(g)(9) is already very broad. It imposes a lifetime ban on gun ownership for a single intentional nonconsensual touching of a family member. A mother who slaps her 18-year-old son for talking back to her--an intentional use of force--could lose her right to bear arms forever if she is cited by the police under a local ordinance. The majority seeks to expand that already broad rule to any reckless physical injury or nonconsensual touch. I would not extend the statute into that constitutionally problematic territory.
Thomas seems to worry a little too much about 2nd amendment rights for potential abusers. I say odd, because it sends us back to the Anita Hill hearings and the accusations that Clarence Thomas pushed unwanted advances onto his employee. His words seem almost defensive.
But beyond that, this ruling gives law enforcement another tool to combat domestic abuse. I think this ruling will save lives.
And the 2nd Amendment will still be OK....trust me.