The United States Constitution exists to define what the federal government can and cannot do. It also restricts states and local governments in many instances.
However, there are a ton of issues out there that the Constitution doesn’t cover. It was never meant to cover every eventuality, of course, but that means there are things that simply aren’t mentioned.
Like, say, abortion.
Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court leak divulging the eventual overturn of Roe v. Wade, some are trying to apply that to the NYSRPA v. Bruen case. An example is an editorial from St. Louis Today.
As the Supreme Court considers whether to overturn New York state’s restrictions on carrying guns in public, it will be illuminating to see whether the conservative majority adheres to its own standards as set out in the recently leaked draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade. Guns and abortion are very different topics, of course, but in tentatively overturning Roe, the majority leans on some principles that should apply.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his draft that America had “an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion” prior to Roe. Similarly, stringent local restrictions on firearms were common throughout America’s history, prior to the modern era’s redefinition of the Second Amendment. And of course Alito’s overriding philosophy that abortion policy should be decided by elected officials rather than courts is even more relevant in the realm of firearms, which raise different issues in different communities.
However, there’s a key difference that’s being missed in this, and that’s the Second Amendment.
See, the rationale behind Roe was always questionable from a legal basis, not because some people agree that abortion should be legal and others don’t, but because there’s really nothing specific about abortion in the Constitution.
Justices in Roe v. Wade had to try and make the case for abortion’s legality by couching it in language about the right to privacy–a concept not explicitly outlined in the Constitution, but one clearly implied by things like the Fourth Amendment.
But with the right to keep and bear arms, there’s no such ambiguity.
We know specifically that the right to keep and bear arms shouldn’t be infringed because the Second Amendment reads, “the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There’s no argument valid here because the text is very clear. Even if you focus on the “well-regulated militia” clause, it still is explicit that the right exists and shall not be infringed upon.
By that very nature, it becomes different than abortion in that key way.
As such, upholding the plain text of the Second Amendment and finding New York’s “good cause” requirement unconstitutional isn’t some act of hypocrisy by a hyper-partisan court. It’s a finding based on the text of the Constitution itself.
Then again, as with so many other editorials I’ve read, there’s no reason to believe anyone involved in the writing of it believes in the Constitution in the first place. They just want permission for what they approve of and bans on anything they don’t.
That’s what we’re really seeing. They don’t particularly value consistency, though they claim they do. I haven’t seen a blasted thing from any editorial board of any major city’s news media that suggests they value it. They want inconsistency only to benefit them and their own warped ideology.
Frankly, though, the Second Amendment matters more than any of that.
Luckily, I don’t exactly see the Supreme Court setting aside the Constitution to appease the editorial staff of St. Louis Today.
Thank the Lord for small blessings and all that.