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The Consequences of Unfettered Gun Rights

Image by luxstorm from Pixabay

In 2008, the Supreme Court finally tackled the issue of gun rights. It was the United States vs. Heller, and the floodgates were opened.

In a challenge to a District of Columbia law, a DC police officer claimed he was unlawfully denied the right to keep a personal hand gun in his home for the purpose of self defense. The court ruled that such a law conflicted with the Second Amendment “right to bear arms”.

The result has been to open the floodgates to a virtually unlimited arsenal of weaponry “for the purpose of home defense”.

The case challenged the 1975 law that required firearms kept in the homes to be unloaded, locked and disassembled. Opponents argued that this made them useless for home defense, which they deemed was their intent in owning firearms. With the Heller decision, the Supreme Court re-asserted the rights of gun owners, not only in Washington, but throughout the entire nation.

In a 157 page decision, the court ruled that the Second Amendment categorically granted the absolute right of gun owners to their guns. It was a move hailed as “a God-given right” by the NRA and gun owners, while opponents, including retired Justice John Paul Stevens, said it was “the worst decision the court ever made”.

What has happened since the Heller decision? This chart, provided by the FBI illustrates the dramatic rise in active shooter incidents since Heller.

With conservatives in charge of the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, the likelihood of this trend being reversed is little to none. The result will be more deaths and more carnage. The numbers speak for themselves.

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