Reader Ripcord writes:
It seems that every year, Wayne LaPierre gets up at the NRA Annual meeting and delivers a speech telling America’s gun owners that this year’s election will be the most important one for the Second Amendment in our lifetime. Like the 3:15 out of Yuma, we can almost set our clocks by it and fully expect to hear just that again this coming Spring. The problem is, this time he’s absolutely right . . .
Over seven years ago the Supreme Court handed down the Heller decision and just two years after that came McDonald. They enshrined the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental individual right protected by the Second Amendment. And that’s as far as they went. In the post Heller/McDonald world the Court has turned down challenges to may-issue carry laws despite a split in the circuits on the right to carry. They refused to hear a mandatory storage case which, on its face, ran counter to one of the essential holdings in Heller. And this past week they turned away a challenge to a semi-auto ban, Friedman v. Highland Park.
While the Highland Park village ordinance is repugnant on its face, it’s not nearly as bad as the appellate court ruling from the Chief Judge Easterbrook:
The features prohibited by Highland Park’s ordinance were not common in 1791. Most guns available then could not fire more than one shot without being reloaded; revolvers with rotating cylinders weren’t widely available until the early 19th century. Semi‐automatic guns and large‐capacity magazines are more recent developments. Barrel shrouds, which make guns easier to operate even if they overheat, also are new; slowloading guns available in 1791 did not overheat. And muzzle brakes, which prevent a gun’s barrel from rising in recoil, are an early 20th century innovation.
So because modern guns like the AR-15 weren’t around in 1791, they can be banned. Let that sink in for just a minute. With this ruling, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Friedman, this line of thinking is now case law for the 7th Circuit. A wink and a nod to all those other courts that have been showing their disdain for Heller with their piece-by-piece dissection using intermediate scrutiny and every legal gymnastic maneuver to rule or find a carve out to Heller. Often times the courts go out of their way and look to the Heller dissent as if it were the majority opinion.
And while Justices Thomas and Scalia offered a well-reasoned dissent to the court’s decision not to hear Friedman, it is just that — a dissent.
Some may criticize the NRA for backing the case, but the truth is what other choice was there? Should they have let a broad gun ban go unanswered? Wait for a “perfect” case? The plaintiff, Dr. Friedman, is a pediatrician as well as a former Navy pilot. The NRA took a proactive, principled stance and went down swinging. Good for them.
Teddy Roosevelt may have said it best:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Defeat tastes bitter, but this isn’t the end. A few more gun ban cases are working their way through the courts. We may end up with a split circuit yet.
The gun grabbers are licking their chops and reading the tea leaves to say gun bans are OK. Now they’re coming out of the woodwork calling for confiscation, civilian disarmament and more gun bans. Good. It’s something we haven’t seen in 20 years, and it has come back – the true intentions of the gun controllers as they have let the mask slip to reveal their intentions.
Which brings us back to the opening of this article. When Wayne and Chris Cox take the stage at this year’s annual meeting, they will talk about how this is the most important election in our lifetime. And they will be right. In light of Friedman’s denial of cert we have to resort to the ballot box to protect our God-given RKBA. Winning more elections and casting more votes than the other side will stop their legislative attacks in their tracks. The cold hard fact of seeing a tally board go red on their issues and green on our issues will be the slap to the face the gun grabbers deserve.
Until SCOTUS takes up another 2A case, draws brighter lines and issues concrete holdings that bind the lower courts, we will be left to fight this fight as trench warfare in the state legislatures and city councils around the country. The propaganda war will continue on the front pages of newspapers and over the airwaves with commentators who barely know which end the bullet comes out of telling us how we need to give up this or that for the greater good of society.
Yet, the road to the Supreme Court also goes through the ballot box. The next President could have as many as three appointments to the Court. The only way to get more justices who will agree with the Thomas and Scalia dissent is to elect a Republican senate. And since Comrade Reid has invoked the nuclear option, given a Republican senate and a Republican president, our odds, while not perfect, would be substantially better at getting the gun-friendly decisions we need.
We won Heller and McDonald on 5/4 splits. The left is openly and gleefully talking about reversing them. Often times, The People of the Gun are heard to say pray for the five, as a way of ensuring this president doesn’t get the opportunity to appoint a replacement for one of the Heller five. Given Friedman, those five appears to be shaky since it only takes four justices to grant cert. The ballot box is our only hope of replacing a Ginsburg with another Alito, Scalia or Thomas.
So this is really will be the most important election in our lifetime for the Second Amendment, and just maybe for the health of our nation. Wayne is absolutely right about that. And maybe for more reasons than he wants to admit.