As we just reported, California has gone full retard on gun control. The Golden State legislature has approved a package of gun control bills which piss on the United States Constitution’s Second Amendment prohibition against government infringement on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. Assuming that Governor Brown or Lt. Governor Newsome signs some, many, most or all of these bills into law, we will have entered a new era of gun control. One where there are two Americas. One with gun rights. One without.
Now you might have thought that the Supreme Court would put an end to at least the most egregious of these measures. And you might have been right — if Justice Scalia hadn’t pegged it in Texas. But he’s gone and the Supreme Court is evenly divided on the meaning of “shall not be infringed” (go figure). Until and unless a pro-gun rights Justice replaces Scalia, there’s little chance that the nation’s highest court will strike down ANY of these egregious 2A infringements.
You might also think that Donald Trump could break the deadlock in favor of a gun rights-supporting Supreme Court justice. Not saying he would — I have no faith in Mr. Trump’s political inclinations — but he could. If he wins the presidency. With The Donald’s poll numbers falling both overall and amongst key demographics (e.g., Republicans), election victory is looking more and more like a pipe dream (or nightmare, depending on your perspective).
Which, again, leaves us with a bifurcated America. The question is not whether or not this obvious and irreconcilable gun rights fracture will lead to a Constitutional showdown on firearms freedom. There’s no immediate practical political venue for that. Nor do I believe there’s a taste for some kind of outside-the-system popular uprising. (Not yet, anyway.) The question is: what next?
Gun rights are the proverbial canary in the coal mine: a liberty that not only defends other individual rights but represents them. In other words, if gun rights are degraded and destroyed, it opens the door for other rights to be infringed and removed.
For example, the about-to-be expanded Gun Violence Restraining Order law enables the removal of gun rights by an ex-parte judgement based on secret testimony by a gun owner’s co-workers and/or employers. If the government can remove gun rights in secret based on unopposed testimony, there’s nothing to stop them from jailing suspected “terrorists” on the same basis. A word whose definition can easily be extended to include anyone who [allegedly] threatens anti-government insurrection.
More than that, the gunpocalypse bills represent a dramatic and frightening cultural shift. They’re a democratically approved full-on assault on an entire class of people (gun owners). What’s next? Polluters? Wealthy people? Climate deniers? If California can legislate away firearms freedom, they can label other freedoms as anti-social — from eating what you want to saying what you want — and work the same game. All in the name of the public good.
I don’t know how this will end. But I do know that it’s the beginning of the beginning. And if Hillary Clinton becomes president, she will adopt the California model of unconstitutional mob rule. Will the Republican party be strong enough to resist the shift? Will “free states” oppose [further] federal measures that erode or eliminate Constitutionally protected rights? How?
As a child of the late sixties, I remember a nation at war with itself. Somehow, we climbed off that ledge. Here’s hoping we repeat the feat.