Will SCOTUS Decide How Polite
an Armed Society Will Be?

By Jim Zirin. Nov 15, 2021

It appears that the Wild West will soon return to America. At least, that's what the Supreme Court indicated at oral argument recently..

The right to bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution. In District Columbia v. Heller, a 5-4 2008 decision, the Supreme Court held there was a constitutional right to have a gun for self-defense in the home. Rock-ribbed conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the Court, left a marker:.

"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings....".

Beware the opening wedge. The rule may soon swallow the exception..

The Supreme Court, newly minted with Trump-appointed conservative justices, is considering a case called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, involving the New York's stringent "Sullivan Law," on the books since 1911. The law, a model for similar laws in other states, was enacted on Jan. 23, 1911, after a "blueblood murder-suicide" in which Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough shot dead the novelist David Graham Phillips in a brazen early afternoon attack near Gramercy Park. After firing six shots, Goldsborough put the gun to his temple, killing himself. The city coroner reasoned that reasoned that "the time had come for legislation that would prevent the sale of pistols to irresponsible persons." As they say in New York, "There oughta be a law." Yes, and there oughta be a law against chaos, too.

Under the New York regime, a citizen must show "proper cause." to get a license. "Proper cause" requires a showing of a special need to defend oneself rather than a speculative wish to protect person or property. What is proper cause is left to the discretion of the authorities. .....

The "probably cause" or "good reason" parameters that many people have to satisfy are usually determined by the whim of a law enforcement chief for example, who all too often does not recognize the simple right of self defense despite handing out a negative decision.
"A (SCOTUS) decision is expected by next summer." - as so often, why does it take so long for decisions to come out?


Back to Top