Amy Swearer reports in the Daily Signal on what Americans should know about the Second Amendment case (New York State Rifle & Pistol v. Corlett) the Supreme Court will soon hear. She writes (abridged):
1. This case is about the right to carry firearms in public.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett provides the Supreme Court with the opportunity to address a very important question it so far has declined to answer: When the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, does it mean a right to bear a handgun in public for purposes of self-defense?
According to New York and a handful of other gun control-friendly states, the answer has been a resounding no. In these states, the right to “bear” arms has been effectively restricted to a right to possess and handle a gun in your home, and nothing more.
If you want to protect yourself with a firearm in public, the state considers it a privilege you can exercise only after showing “good cause” above and beyond a desire to protect yourself from crime in general.
In essence, law-abiding citizens in these states have no right to “bear” arms outside their homes.
The petitioners in the new case include two New York residents who have extensive experience and training with firearms. Both applied for and were denied carry permits for their firearms because they did not “face any special or unique danger to [their] life.”
2. ‘Good cause’ and ‘may issue’ requirements have racist roots.
For the first 70 or so years after the Constitution was ratified, Americans undeniably maintained a general right to bear arms in public, with perhaps some state authority to regulate the mode of carry.
A minority of states eventually prohibited or heavily regulated the act of carrying a concealed firearm in public. But no state completely eradicated an ordinary citizen’s ability to carry some type of firearm in public in some manner without first having to seek permission from the government.
Well, all white Americans enjoyed a right to bear arms in public.
Laws heavily regulating the public carry of firearms were, like all early forms of restrictive gun control, reserved for the subjugation of slaves and other individuals who were, at the time, legally considered as falling outside of “the People” of the United States.
Even after slavery was abolished and the 14th Amendment forbade race-based gun restrictions, many southern states looked to racially neutral but highly discretionary gun control laws to effectively disarm black citizens.
3. Public carry will not turn us into the ‘Wild West.’
Many gun control advocates insist that if the Supreme Court strikes down “good cause” requirements then the nation will be turned into a “Wild West” of gun violence.
In other words, the Second Amendment shouldn’t protect a right of ordinary citizens to bear arms in their own defense, because ordinary citizens largely are incapable of acting in a reasonable manner when armed in public.
Decades of plain data show just the opposite.
Between 1990 and 2000, 16 states changed their concealed carry laws from either “no issue” or “may issue” to “shall issue” permitting. During that time, national rates for violent crime, homicide by gun, and other gun crime plummeted.
Since 2000, the trend toward more permissible public carry laws not only continued (42 states and the District of Columbia are either “shall issue” or “permitless carry”), but public interest in obtaining permits skyrocketed. Over 19 million American adults now possess a concealed carry permit, up from roughly 3 million adults in 2000.
Action Line: Even though the Supreme Court has gotten more conservative, there is no guarantee it will side with the Second Amendment advocates in this case. Get your guns and your training now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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