While the Supreme Court’s ruling to abolish a woman’s right to choose continues to dominate the headlines, two other seminal events occurred in Washington. The Supreme Court issued a far less publicized ruling about the open carry of guns, and the president signed the new gun safety bill into law.
Republicans consistently view the 2nd Amendment as sacrosanct while inconsistently enforcing the 7th, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th to name a few. Recently, they declined to invoke the 25th when a crazy man tried to implement a coup to remain in office after clearly and convincingly losing an election.
These recent events demonstrate the breadth of their hypocrisy. These Republicans claim that the decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization will save the lives of unborn children everywhere. They claim to be religious, pro-life advocates. Every child’s life is precious, they say, even the unborn, even at the time of conception.
But these same charlatans, hypocrites all, say ‘hands off our guns’ when faced with a choice between restricting automatic weapons and saving the lives of already born children. Guns are more important than kids? What happened to every life is precious?
Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito bent over backwards for these hypocrites, creating fiction after fiction in a foul-smelling opinion that took the state of our jurisprudence back to the 19th Century. ‘Life is precious,’ he said; ‘this 19th Century thinking only applies to abortion because we must protect the life of a child in the womb.’ But this same justice and his right-wing cronies on the high court released another opinion at or near the time they released Dobbs.
The Sanctity of Life?
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v Bruen, stating that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” By the same 6-3 majority, the justices struck down a New York law that required people to demonstrate a need to carry a gun to obtain a license to carry one in public. For a Supreme Court that is so eager to allow states to regulate their own rights, ignoring New York State’s desire to protect the health and welfare of its citizens by curbing rising gun violence demonstrates the extent of their hypocrisy.
In a country where our citizens overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to choose, our Supreme Court issues a ruling that wasn’t even sought in the petition before the Court; ‘life’ over ‘choice’ and a woman’s right to control her own body.
With the nation in the middle of a gun violence epidemic, our Supreme Court declares that our leaders value ‘life’ far less than ‘guns.’ Make no mistake, these are not legal distinctions. These are political distinctions. The Supreme Court absolutely has the authority to place the public health and welfare ahead of the extreme ideology that appointed its majority. It chose not to do so, twice, using conflicting rationale. This was a vindictive middle finger to those who oppose these ideologies.
In Dobbs, the Supreme Court argues that “the law at issue . . . regards as the life of an “unborn human being,” and finds it abhorrent to instead uphold a 50-year precedent that protects a woman’s right to control her own body. In New York State Rifle, the same court overturns over 100 years of public safety legislation, ignoring issues of “particular threats, attacks or other extraordinary danger to personal safety.” The majority opinion never once weighs the sanctity of life against the competing interest of open carry. This requires some serious ideological hypocrisy.
The New Gun Law
The other significant event was the final passage of the new federal gun law, enacted in the aftermath of recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas. Democrats were forced to accept very limited gun restrictions because 2nd Amendment advocates have always placed gun rights ahead of the lives of school children.
If that sounds harsh, consider how little our lawmakers have done to protect our children, despite multiple mass school shootings beginning with Columbine, over 23 years ago. Their record is dismal. Republican after Republican consciously ignores the lives of born children to prop up their 2nd Amendment advocacy. Shame on them all.
We have an election coming up in November. Most political pundits have predicted a Republican landslide; the GOP will likely win a congressional majority and majorities in statehouses across the country.
If these predictions become reality, any chance for meaningful gun control legislation or a reproductive rights fix will be history. We, the people must stand in the way of these hypocrites. If you believe in majority rule rather than a rigged system and dirty tricks that resulted in this watered-down gun law and these terrible Supreme Court decisions, please vote in November.
America is counting on you.
Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series, ripped-from-the headlines, realistic fiction that speak truth to power and champion the rights of citizens in our justice system. These novels are dedicated to the social justice movement. They educate, spark discussion and inspire readers to action. One of these novels, Betrayal High, was written in response to school shootings. For more information, please visit www.markmbello.com.
Mark also hosts the Justice Counts podcast with Lean to the Left editor & publisher Bob Gatty, presenting bi-weekly interviews focused on social justice.