Michigan protest covid-19
Protesters with rifles watch outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Heller’s distinctive focus poses a threat because the Court — changed by Trump appointments — is poised to expand constitutional protections for gun rights outside the home, without taking into account how the practice of public carry has changed in the last decade. “Open carry” advocates have sought, self-consciously and with some success, to normalize the presence of firearms in public spaces, from Starbucks to Walmart. (The National Rifle Association initially called this movement “downright weird,”  but quickly backed down.)

Heavily armed right-wing groups, many explicitly invoking gun rights rhetoric, have dominated public spaces in scenes ranging from the Bundy ranch protests in 2014 to Charlottesville in 2017 and, more recently, a growing number of “gun sanctuary” rallies, Covid-19 lockdown demonstrations, and Black Lives Matter counterprotests. Law enforcement officials have broadly deferred to the firearms displays of these massed crowds dressed in paramilitary gear, leading observers to highlight the unequal enforcement of gun laws along racial and political lines.

These scenes raise different questions than the scene of home defense on which Heller focused. In this new class of cases, law-abiding Americans are not wielding guns against criminals invading their homes. Though armed protesters may speak Heller ’s language of home defense, armed protesters invading Charlottesville or the Michigan legislature, massing in gun sanctuary demonstrations, or “patrolling” Black Lives Matter protests are bringing their guns to public spaces inhabited by others with whom they disagree, often with the specific intention of claiming and dominating those spaces.

Some subscribe to the “insurrectionist theory” of the Second Amendment, casting themselves as defending the republic against its enemies. But many simply read public life — including disagreement in democratic politics — through  Heller ’s lens: threats, however an individual identifies them, authorize self-defense, and that in turn means guns.

Public health arguments for gun control do not fully capture all the harms these incidents inflict. Following the same script as the armed protesters who forced Michigan’s legislature to temporarily shut down in the spring of 2020, Stop the Steal protesters invaded the U.S. Capitol in January of 2021, and the nation witnessed its leaders crouched under benches to avoid attack, unable to count the electoral vote.

These threats and assaults— and the failure to evenhandedly police them — transform the public sphere. The escalating threat of violence under which we are living grows out of and exacerbates political mistrust and polarization. Weapons caught in this cycle no longer threaten individual lives only, if they ever did. Gun regulation becomes a defense of the body politic.

— Joseph Blocher and Reva B. Siegel in Guns and Democracy

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  1. No mention of the various black militias, like the NFAC, that march with open display of firearms.

    • Of course not; have to ignore the peaceful and uneventful protests of armed Blacks in Brunswick GA, Louisvilke KY, etc. to keep trying to tie gun rights with white supremacy, even though gun control’s link to white supremacy is far stronger.

    • No mention of the despicable racist and genocidal Roots of Gun Control. What the democRat Party is attempting to do is make the 2A and the acts of criminals one in the same. In other words the democRat Party is attempting to put lipstick logic on Gun Control. Their target market are those who stand for nothing and fall/cave for anything that sounds good to them on the surface.

      There is a night and day huge difference between The Second Amendment and the criminal misuse of firearms. The goal of anti Gun zealots is to kill the difference with never ending finger pointing, unchecked propaganda. Notice how Gun Control nazis never raise such a stink over any other inanimate objects criminals get their hands on. Doing that would point to criminals and they can’t have that after all their time spent pointing at guns, C’Mon Man.

      The deranged democRat Party is fixated on Gun Control like their Jim Crow Gun Control relatives were fixated on Black Americans owning firearms. That kind of fixation includes the socialist nazi party preventing misfits and Jews from owning firearms. Try being Jew in nazi Germany and trying to “Buy A Gun.”

      A day does not go by without some pasty mouth sneaky Gun Control pos stooping to convince Americans to lay their Second Amendment Right down at the feet of the democRat Party. So if you feel yourself being drawn toward sneaky Gun Control that comes in many shapes or forms you are being drawn by the parents of Gun Control known as Racism and Genocide.

    • No pictures of armed Black Panthers outside a Sheriffs office in TX? No mention of armed Black Panthers in Tampa talking about “killing us some crackers” or “we gotta kill us some cracker babies”? HMMMM… No mention or pictures of “armed” Not Fukkin Around Coalition extorting money from tourists at Stone Mountain GA? Nothing about BLM/NFAC in Louisville where a guy actually shot himself and armed BLM members surrounding a group of diners threatening to kill an old man with a gun… If you are going to use Mich protests as an example at least point out that it IS legal to carry a firearm inside the Mich State Capital Building… If you want to tell a story at least get it right…

      • Funny how they conveniently buried that fact, instead claiming “unequal enforcement” of gun laws. What unadulterated balderdash! All of these protesters with guns, in all of the examples they cite, were not breaking any gun laws. Boo hoo! Note too that they have grudgingly accepted Heller but are attempting to constrain it to self-defense in the home.

        • They’ve been practicing black privilege in the legal world since Title 7 was first passed. Politicians are scared as hell of black riots. Cowardly since I’m sure the first time black force was met with the same force against them (or worse) their attitude and morale would improve.

    • …..and sometimes shoot themselves….”how does this work again?”….BLAM!….too funny!….you’ve got to see the video…

  2. Left wing written articles are easily identifiable by the overt usage of the ‘race card’.

    ‘….leading observers to highlight the unequal enforcement of gun laws along racial and political lines.’

    All the rest sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

    • Probably an academic who thinks their opinions matter and also has to “publish or perish” to maintain tenure.

  3. “leading observers to highlight the unequal enforcement of gun laws along racial and political lines” – This is not a constitution problem or a scotus problem, or even a gun problem. It’s a police problem. People will continue to carry weapons because there are still plenty of violent and bad actors in this world.

    “Stop the Steal protesters invaded the U.S. Capitol in January of 2021, and the nation witnessed its leaders crouched under benches to avoid attack,” – I assume the authors are referring to the unarmed overthrow of the government?? If congress is this cowardly and sniveling when it comes to unarmed citizens then no wonder they are in fear or armed ones.

    “Gun regulation becomes a defense of the body politic.” – We have to be disarmed for our own good. It’s for the politburo, the stassi, the gestapo. When I see this all I can think of is the wizard of oz meme “Hang on to your guns. Their magic must be very powerful, otherwise they wouldn’t want them so badly”.

    Well I’m done pecking away at the hyperbolic nonsense. I could continue but what’s the point really? Some people live in an alternate universe with alternate facts and gravity is racist and the sun perpetuates patriarchal oppression and rain is anti-feminist. It’s impossible to argue with people who can’t even live in reality and keep their own feet on the ground.

    • “Some people live in an alternate universe with alternate facts and gravity is racist and the sun perpetuates patriarchal oppression and rain is anti-feminist.”

      That is literally happening right now at UNY, Cornell.

      It seems the supposedly-‘woke’ have a very big problem with certain objects in the universe, until recently known as ‘Black Holes’.

      “…That is a lacuna that an astronomy course at Cornell University aims to prevent. “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos” asks the question, “Is there a connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness?”

      That’s right, the universe is ‘racist’. This is the same university that had Carl Sagan as a part of their faculty, for fuck’s sake!

      Google this and read all about it : “Down a Black Hole
      Even the hard sciences are no longer immune to the ongoing racial hysteria.”

      “It’s impossible to argue with people who can’t even live in reality and keep their own feet on the ground.”

      It’s not going to improve…

  4. Written by the Brennan Center for Justice – and Brennan himself is an admitted Communist. Explains everything.

  5. the unequal enforcement of gun laws along racial and political lines.

    Funny how the police don’t arrest people who aren’t actually breaking the law, isn’t it?

    Stop the Steal protesters invaded the U.S. Capitol in January of 2021, and the nation witnessed its leaders crouched under benches to avoid attack, unable to count the electoral vote.

    Except the people invading the Capitol were “armed” with protest signs and flagpoles. If we’re going to talk about that as violence threatening public spaces, we need to have a talk about Antifa mobs beating passersby and BLM setting buildings on fire. A more cynical person might suspect that you aren’t so much worried about the use of violence to dominate public spaces, as you are of the Left not having a monopoly on using violence to dominate public spaces.

    • Someone needs to inform Biden on his Democracy is not dead tour that we live in a Republic.

  6. The Leftists always circle back to the Capitol riot where the closest anyone got to armed was that idiot with horns, well except for the murderous Capitol Policeman. “Gun regulation becomes a defense of the body politic” and there you have it, they are actually finally admitting that the reason the 2nd exists is to give the American people final veto over the authoritarian tyranny they want the Democrat Party to impose on us.

  7. Oddly, there is no mention of those who, in 2020, were other than entirely peaceful protestors.

    Last year this ominous phrase entered our lexicon: “mostly peaceful protestors”. What did it mean? Suppose the body of protestors consisted of Tom, Dick and Mary. Did it mean that Tom and Dick were entirely peaceful but Mary was violent? Or, does it mean that each of these three took their respective turns at being violent, while each was peaceful for the majority of his/her time at the venue? Could it mean that Tom and Dick were peacefully protesting in one place while Mary was violently looting and burning down the block?

    The right peacefully to assemble is not an accurate characterization of what we were told were “mostly peaceful protestors”. Men, and even some women, dressed in a “uniform” of black-shirts wore masks that didn’t seem to serve as COVID-19 PPE. These were violent, attacking with bricks, clubs, hammers, axes, pepper-spray and fireworks (not just “lady-fingers”). Any of these, according to context and apparent jeopardy, is lethal force. (A lumberjack cutting a tree with an ax is not exhibiting jeopardy, a masked protestor carrying an ax in a city street is exhibiting jeopardy).

    Are peaceable citizens to disarm themselves of their effective means of self-defense for the easy intimidation of those who do threaten harm?

    • “A lumberjack cutting a tree with an ax is not exhibiting jeopardy, a masked protestor carrying an ax in a city street is exhibiting jeopardy”

      Like it or not, many people (not all of them lefties) will say the same thing about a person carrying an AR into a Starbucks or State Capital building.

      No matter what message you are trying to convey, a lot of people will take it as a threat.

      The question should be what does that do to help the fight for gun rights?

      • The theory would be that firearms are progressively being pushed into the shadows, pushed into the realm of being socially unacceptable, etc, and at this point they need to be assertively brought back into the public eye. I think carrying an AR10 to Dunkin Donuts probably does more harm than good. Something like Lobby Day in Virginia, where people peacefully remind the public that millions of good people own firearms, is probably more beneficial.
        Guys in Russian camouflage and ski masks with rifles packing into a state capital building unannounced on the other hand, also probably less than beneficial to the cause. Can they, legally? Yes. Does it help our cause? No, I don’t think so.

        Consider this — homosexuality was socially unacceptable less than 40 years ago. Likeable gay characters were gradually introduced on TV shows in the ‘90s, gay people gradually made themselves more and more known in public spaces.
        Now, a majority of Americans are fine with homosexuality. Pushing it into the public eye persistently was a big part of that change.

        • And now every “made for TV” program and MOST commercials have at least a gay/lesbian or mixed race couple (heard a remake of Brady Bunch was being planned with same sex parents) don’t care I don’t watch Network TV anyway… Discovery, Science, Nat Geo….

    • So I guess these “authors” get one thing right…we can easily intimidate the jack booted gubmint thugs. And there’s a multitude of us😏

      • and there you have the crux of their thought process……the liberals are scared to death that they can’t have their way with no argument so they continue to use opinion pieces distributed as “news articles” hoping the gov’t will get the guns off the game board.

      • we like to play a little game for wagers down at the corner bar…it’s called count the negroes..[in the commercials]…low man wins….

    • ” a masked protestor carrying an ax in a city street is exhibiting jeopardy”
      It depends on how the protestor is holding it. Does the axe have a sheath covering the blade? With one hand just under the head or holding it at the butt of the handle with the head dangling.or resting on a shoulder, the axe isn’t ready to swing and doesn’t represent jeopardy. With both hand on the axe and held horizontally at the waist or against the chest, it’s closer to a swing, but still not jeopardy. You have to wait for the axe to be in “condition 0”: both hand on the axe, raised overhead or cocked like a baseball swing. Even then, he has to show intent to harm a person. Is the axe man facing a person or about to strike an inanimate object?

      • Comparing a masked protester with an axe to a lumberjack with an axe is stupid.

        Comparing someone legally carrying an AR to protect property during a riot (where there is a reasonable threat of violence) to someone walking into their local Starbucks with an AR is equally dumb. Two completely different scenarios with two completely different messages being sent.

      • You don’t need to do an overhead stroke in order to do harm with an axe. While not lethal a butt stroke with the handle, a thrust with the top of the axe head or an underhand swing will all do physical harm. All these strokes have the possibility of incapacitating someone and are threats.

        • Thanks for the info, however I think you throw the axe and shoot the person that picks it up. Kinda like why I carry a knife.

  8. ‘Black Lives Matter protests’

    Now there’s a euphemism if ever I heard one. Perhaps if the local PDs weren’t ordered to stand down while mobs break windows, loot stores, burn buildings to the ground and beat innocent bystanders then armed civilians wouldn’t see the need to ‘patrol’ these ‘peaceful protests’.

    And they have the gaul to lament the ‘unequal enfrorcement of gun laws (which in most cases were never broken) while ignoring the failure to prosecute looters and arsonists. The left thinks we’re stupid.

    • “None of the January 6 rioters were armed. The FBI investigation made this conclusion.”

      and they still managed to murder a couple and injure many….

      • At least one un armed peaceful protester was murdered by the police. A woman that was gunned down for daring to protest.

      • Why are you blatantly lying???

        There was ONE person killed at the January 6 protest – Ashli Babbit, killed by a rogue Capitol policeman.

        Do you think it enhances your credibility to blatantly lie? It doesn’t.

      • and they still managed to murder a couple and injure many…

        Oh ELROND the (wise?)… Please enlighten us with YOUR abundance of information pertaining to all of the murders committed by Jan 6 protestors and THEN forward it those inept FBI investigators who for some reason just can’t seem to find it… OR, quit perpetuating the bullshit lies started by left wing liars and mimicked for months by the Democrat spokespersons on CNN, MSDNC, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX News…

    • None of them presented arms, and none were confirmed to have been armed. This is my understanding as well.

      And yet, after four years of vehemently opposing Trump’s wall at our southern border, Pelosi was so scared of such unarmed protestors that she ordered a wall erected around the Capitol within only four days. Go figure.

      • How would you know, coward? You weren’t there. All your talk and when it came time for action…nothing. Typical. Now go hassle some minimum wage workers, 🤡.

      • And the first “Insurectionist” was just sentenced… $500.00 fine and 6 months probation, damn I hope she can handle the time…

    • Once they figure out how to get voter ID to illegals and prohibited persons they will be all in for Voter ID.

    • The voter ID ship sailed with motor voter laws and states giving drivers licenses and IDs to illegals. The wholesale manufacturing of votes in the 2020 “election” made it obsolete and moot.

    • And NO vote by mail unless a ballot is requested with proper ID, NO month long early voting AND what you said… Build that wall, would certainly help…

  9. When they say ‘our democracy’, remember they’re not talking about us, the common and sane.

    They’re referring to themselves. Their aristocracy. Their tribe. Their team. The elites brainwashing and confusing their serfs that believe that they’ll never work again if they ‘win’.

    So technically this article is correct in saying unregulated firearms are a threat to THEIR democracy.

  10. ive coalesced on a very strong counterpoint to gun control advocates, those I meet and speak with in my daily life walk away from the discussion if not convinced, then at least mush less sure of their opinion.

    Radar detectors.

    Yes, radar detectors. They were once widely illegal and are still totally barred in Virginia and partially barred in some of the usual suspect States–NJ, Cali, Penn and (oddly) Fla.

    Anyway, the theory behind illegality is that their use encourages speeding and reckless driving making the roads dangerous for everyone and that without radar detectors drivers will not speed.

    Its a ludicrous argument and its the same exact argument being made by gun controllers. But its so glaringly ludicrous when applied here because your conversational opponent will most likely not own a radar detector and will most likely speed fairly often. Furthermore, s/he will easily understand that a non-speeder would never purchase a radar detector and that those that purchase radar detectors do so in order to continue speeding but not having to pay the price of doing so. You can also then point out that almost every car on the road has the capacity to go 100mph or more and that the vast majority of people never do so; and that those cars that have the capacity to do 140mph-200mph almost never do so. Hopefully, the cognitive dissonance wont destroy your verbal opponent’s brain and s/he realizes that the actor is what needs to be controlled, not the tools.

    I suggest you try this out next time you have the chance.

    • PA moving to make radar legal…but limiting the amount of revenue it can generate…I tried 140 mph once…once was enough…

      • The only safe place to go fast is on a race track. My last race (before the drunk driver put me in a wheelchair) happened to be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (lucky me!). The highest indicated speed I saw on the speedo before getting on the binders at the end on the front straight was 176 mph.

        It was pretty impressive for 750cc’s, and one hell of a rush on two wheels.

        • Ive done a few road course track days and drag runs in my current car (see my other comment), it is a rush. Ill give a bigger one though, I too used to race bikes, bicycles that is. Each year there were a couple of days when they hosted bicycle races on Lime Rock Speedway in Ct. Ive raced the track in cars, took Skip Barber school there in the late 80s too, and the bicycle race goes the opposite direction. You lose the steep fall off, its now a climb, but you get a long downhill with sweeping turns. Being along side 40-60 racers packed shoulder to shoulder at 48-55mph on a 14lb piece of carbon fibre with 22cm wide wheels is jaw and butt clinchingly insane.

        • Brodirt- we’ve got some things in common…

          I was at Lime Rock in 1991 as a guest of Brumos Racing to watch the inaugural IMSA Supercar Series race there. I walked the track prior to the race and can imagine how challenging The Uphill could be on a bicycle. I’ll never forget walking down the Diving Turn after the Bridge and wondering what the soothing sound was coming from the trees on my left at the beginning of the Main Straight- from watching on TV you’d never know there’s a babbling brook running right next to the track there! I had been attending IMSA races in Florida since 1984 (SunBank 24, Miami GP, Sebring, Moroso, World Challenge of Tampa) and actually drove to Lime Rock just for the race (in my 1990 300ZX). Had a great time, and enjoyed getting to hang out with Bob Varsha and David Hobbs!

          I also did some Autocross in the late 80’s and early 90’s in SCCA’s Buccaneer Region (BMW 318i, Mustang SVO, 300ZX), but it wasn’t until years later that I got to race on real road courses. I was lucky enough to race on two wheels (Historic Moto Grand Prix and WERA) at JenningsGP, AIVGP Fernandina Beach, Roebling Road, Road Atlanta, Little Talladega, Barber Motorsports Park, and finally at Indy in 2017. I feel truly blessed I was able to have those experiences before becoming paraplegic- it really made everything I went through worth it. The takeaway… act on your dreams while you have the chance!

      • 145 for me. I had finished my mods and gotten a tune on my 2018 Mustang in the early fall of 2019. Its an ecoboost (dont mock, they are fast without mods) and need cool temps to perform at their peak. So I waited until early Thanksgiving morning and jumped on a long stretch of lightly travelled very straight highway a few miles from home. I took a five mile run north to scope out the road, exited to return south and dropped the hammer at the bottom of the entrance ramp. 20-100mph went in a few seconds and in a few more 120 and then at 145 I decided that the car was far more capable then I am and I shut it down. Other than that or on a race track (mid 12s at 103-104) it rarely sees more than 75mph. Yes I have a radar detector, there’s one in every car in my family in fact.

  11. Personally I don’t understand the author’s negative tone in an article about freedom.

  12. Naturally, their screed is published in a place where they can not be directly confronted over their lies, errors, insinuations and accusations.

    As always, anti-2A people are moral and physical cowards.

    Every. Time.

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