To say that the New York Times is pro-gun control is like saying that a 1911 enthusiast would be happy to get a Nighthawk Custom for Christmas. But today’s editorial, The Court: Ignoring the Reality of Guns, takes their anti-firearms stance to a whole new level. “About 10,000 Americans died by handgun violence . . . in the four months that the Supreme Court debated which clause of the Constitution it would use to subvert Chicago’s entirely sensible ban on handgun ownership,” the Times Op Editorialist informs. “The arguments that led to Monday’s decision undermining Chicago’s law were infuriatingly abstract, but the results will be all too real and bloody.” Abstract? Really?
I’m not sure how this is abstract: “The right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner.” But I am sure that the Times is ticked-off . . .
Once again, the court’s conservative majority imposed its selective reading of American history, citing the country’s violent separation from Britain and the battles over slavery as proof that the authors of the Constitution and its later amendments considered gun ownership a fundamental right. The court’s members ignored the present-day reality of Chicago, where 258 public school students were shot last school year — 32 fatally.
So history is bunk. Who knew? But we could certainly have predicted the Times’ exhortation to loophole the law to death.
The court acknowledged, as it did in the District of Columbia case, that the amendment did not confer “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” It cited a few examples of what it considered acceptable: limits on gun ownership by felons or the mentally ill, bans on carrying firearms in sensitive places like schools or government buildings and conditions on gun sales.
Mayors and state lawmakers will have to use all of that room and keep adopting the most restrictive possible gun laws — to protect the lives of Americans and aid the work of law enforcement officials. They should continue to impose background checks, limit bulk gun purchases, regulate dealers, close gun-show loopholes.
That’s worth a second look. The Times is now calling for the “most restrictive possible gun laws.” Uh, I don’t think that’s either in the spirit or (freshly inked) the letter of the law. Who’s doing the Tea Party anti-democratic institution thing now?
They should not be intimidated by the theoretical debate that has now concluded at the court or the relentless stream of lawsuits sure to follow from the gun lobby that will undoubtedly keep pressing to overturn any and all restrictions. Officials will have to press back even harder. Too many lives are at stake.
Now that’s what I call sedition!