I’m all for acknowledging Americans’ right to keep and bear arms as, I suspect, you are, too. So, when I see politicians on the Federal level passing legislation to “allow” a right that we already have Constitutionally, I tend to wonder what the need for the new law is. Especially, when court cases are already in place setting a legal precedent for what the law is trying to do.
But that’s exactly what a new piece of legislation being put forth by Republican Senators is doing: putting into Federal law what court cases have already put into place. Michael Clements writes,
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Senate Republicans are set to introduce on a bill on Thursday that would codify the right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home.
The bill would incorporate elements from the Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision from 2022, he said.
In Heller, the court affirmed an individual’s right to own a firearm. The Bruen decision affirmed the individual’s right to carry a gun for self-protection outside their home. Graham said the bill would enshrine those rights in federal law. It would also give citizens the right to sue any government agency or official who tried to infringe on that right.
“When you live in an autocratic environment, you don’t own; the government does,” Graham said during a March 16, 2023, press conference.
“[The Act is] to give you a cause of action so you can fight back.”
Graham was joined by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Kennedy said Americans must respect the court’s decisions, regardless of whether or not they agree. He said some Democrats have been taking the position that it’s okay to ignore rights they disagree with.
“Their copy of the Bill of Rights goes from amendment one to amendment three,” Kennedy said.
So, Graham and company are setting up a situation in which anti-2A politicians will have more difficulty running over Americans’ Second Amendment rights by setting up penalties for violations of our rights because they’ll be explicitly told (if this legislation passes) that they aren’t allowed to do that?
I suppose there may be a logic to that. Beauracracies (like the Federal government) have their own bizarre ways of working that don’t apply anywhere else in the world.
Having said that, with such a blatantly anti-2A administration in the White House and no Republican majority in the Senate, this legislation is pretty unlikely to go anywhere. So, I guess this is political grandstanding (to be fair, both major parties do that).
Also, the current administration has shown a willingness to simply ignore the law and push their agendas. They even seem to have a perverse glee in doing so. Even in the unlikely scenario in which this law actually gets signed into law while Biden is in office, this administration is almost certain to ignore it because the Executive Branch under this administration has decided that they are also the legislative and judicial branches and can do whatever they want.
So, is there any point to this gun rights bill? Maybe for political points, but I doubt it has any real world benefit for you and me. That’s why we have to keep fighting anti-2A zealots’ efforts to steal our Second Amendment rights.