CA Continues to be
Irrationally Anti 2A

Source: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

By Bob Barr. Dec 15, 2021

Neither California nor California-based judges miss an opportunity to display their anti-Second Amendment bias, most recently in a pair of federal court rulings upholding the state's bans on so-called "assault weapons" and on firearms magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds.

The state's anti-firearms laws, and their support from the still-liberal Ninth Circuit panel of judges, highlight a problem that continues to bedevil Second Amendment supporters – that is, defending the Bill of Rights' guarantee of the "right to keep and bear arms" in terms of need rather than principle.

In a report I authored for the Heritage Foundation earlier this year, I argued that defending the Second Amendment by asserting individuals have a need to own a particular type of gun or accessory – which is how many conservatives frame their arguments against gun-control laws – leaves advocates of the Amendment vulnerable to precisely what the federal appellate courts have done in so many recent opinions declaring such "needs-based" restrictions to be constitutional.

For example, in the 7-4 decision upholding the magazine ban, the Ninth Circuit deemed the measure constitutionally acceptable because it "interferes only minimally" with the Second Amendment, and because "there is no evidence that anyone ever has been unable to defend his or her home and family due to the lack of a large-capacity magazine."

To borrow from the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, this is "pure applesauce." These judges cannot possibly know whether such evidence exists, or that the lack of evidence now does not mean it will not be there in the future. The Court's ruling is based simply on the judges' opinion on whether there is a "need" for such a firearms accessory, thereby justifying another chip taken from the foundation of the fundamental right to self-defense embodied in the Bill of Rights. .....

There is little doubt that this "needs based" approach to strangling the Second Amendment remains as probably the most insidious and egregious approach to incremental 'gun control' - as well as exemplifying the classic and dangerous "frog in the pan of water" metaphor.


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