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SCOTUS: Abortion v Guns

Leftists will undoubtedly rejoice at the recent SCOTUS decision striking down burdensome regulations on abortion clinics. The Supreme Court ruled–correctly, I think–that burdensome regulations which serve no greater purpose and exist–indeed are written in the first place–purely to be an obstacle to obtaining an abortion constitute an infringement of our rights by the government.

Of course it is an infringement of our rights for the government to impose endless, senseless regulations in an effort to prevent us from exercising our rights. This is especially clear when the laws are passed explicitly, or very nearly so, with the intention of stopping people from exercising their rights and serves no greater purpose. I would argue even making it substantially difficult to exercise one’s rights is un-Constitutional, regardless of the law’s/regulations’ intent, and even if they do serve a greater purpose, infringing on citizens’ rights requires a very, very good reason, not merely a reason.

That point should be obvious, however, and this article is not about how the government infringes on our rights through the proliferation of regulations coming out of the myriad number of independent executive agencies, agencies with the power to write and enforce the law and even on occasion the power to adjudicate the laws they write. This is, rather, an article about Leftists and why they are full of shit.

Abortion is not a topic I feel very strongly about, but I think this was a good SCOTUS decision. While I see merit in both sides’ arguments on abortion, I am very wary when it comes to the regulatory power of the state and will welcome any check on this power, even if it means abortions will be easier to obtain.

What irritates me greatly though is that Leftists will today celebrate this most recent Supreme Court decision preventing the government from using its regulatory powers to prevent us from exercising our rights, yet tomorrow–or perhaps even later today–these same Leftists will be marching in the streets demanding the government use its regulatory powers to infringe on other rights, or cheering on Members of Congress engaged in a publicity stunt to ostensibly achieve the same thing.

In fewer words, I really hate the fact that Leftists are not bound by principle. Even though I’m no big fan of abortion, I welcome this Supreme Court decision because of the principle behind it, viz. that the government using pointless regulations to make it more difficult to exercise our rights is a violation of the Constitution. In this particular instance, the principle was protecting the right to get an abortion, yet the same principle should apply to our 2nd Amendment rights as well! Leftists: people who believe in the unrestricted right to kill a fetus, but anyone trying to exercise their right to keep and bear arms should be treated like a criminal because they are a threat to “public safety” merely because they want to own a gun to shoot paper targets.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will in the future recognize this, but our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms is one of the most frequently and egregiously trampled upon by the government’s regulatory power. The number of petty, pissant regulations gun owners have to put up with should clearly run afoul of Hellerstedt precedent. Background checks, waiting periods, “safety certificates”—such as we have here in California, whereby one has to pass a government test before one may legally own a firearm, so-called “assault weapons” bans, registering one’s firearms with the government, and now (again, in California) the idea being proposed of requiring background checks for ammunition all clearly obstruct exercising one’s 2nd Amendment rights. At the same time they serve no greater purpose except as obstacles preventing people from easily and cheaply[1] exercising their Constitutional rights.

There are mountains of evidence that all of these restrictions and rules do nothing whatsoever to enhance public safety—their ostensible raison d’être. Gun registries were so useless in preventing/solving crime that Canada got rid of its registry. The Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 had no discernible effect on crime (and it is worth mentioning that rifles of all kinds, of which so-called “assault weapons” constitute only a small sub-set, kill only about 300 people in the US each year—less than the number of people killed each year with hands and feet). There is no evidence at all that waiting periods reduce or prevent crime. As for gun licenses, putting to one side the fact that requiring a license to exercise a right contradicts the entire underlying premise of a right (imagine for a moment a country in which only those who can get a license from the government can exercise their right to free speech), there is at least one documented instance of a gun license (or, rather, the bureaucratic delay in getting a license) costing a woman her life.

While background checks have repeatedly failed to stop determined mass shooters and terrorists, they have stopped wife beating, ignorant reporters from buying guns, so I suppose we can keep them. But will any of these restrictions—which clearly exist and are propagated merely to make it more difficult to exercise one’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms—ever be struck down by the Supreme Court? If the Supreme Court operates on principle, then the answer should be an unequivocal “yes”.

But Leftists do not recognize this. They celebrate this latest Supreme Court decision not because it is in accordance with their principles (because they have none, I am increasingly coming to believe); rather, they celebrate the ends achieved. They are in favor of abortions but they are against guns, therefore a Supreme Court decision which makes the right to an abortion easier to exercise is good, but they disapprove of the right to keep and bear arms and therefore will support using the regulatory power of the state to regulate the 2nd Amendment out of existence.

Their hypocrisy is unmatched—any time even the smallest restriction on abortion is suggested (even restrictions eerily similar to restrictions they want imposed on gun owners), they fight tooth and nail to stop it and cry foul, that even the most incremental step towards limiting abortions is but the first step to overturning Roe V. Wade and doing away with abortion entirely. Yet they will then turn around and excoriate the Republicans for being so intransigent and make exactly the same arguments about guns.

In sum, they will fight according to principle if it yields favorable results for things they approve of while at the same time denying that same protection of principle to rights they disapprove of. The very idea of ‘rights’ is increasingly at odds with modern Leftism if they think they can pick and choose which rights citizens do and do not have.

-SL

 

[1] I say “cheaply” because, at least in California, a lawful gun owner has to pay a fee to the government for every background check, a fee to obtain the safety certificate and a separate fee for the test you have to pass to get the safety certificate, a fee to register your firearms with the government, and because of California law outlawing the purchase of more than 1 handgun per 30 days (a law some California law makers are trying to apply to all guns, not just handguns), if one does wish to purchase multiple guns, he has to pay all of the above fees for each, separate purchase and cannot legally make all of his purchases in one lump–a practice that amounts to legalized government extortion, in my opinion (imagine if ATMs only allowed you to withdraw $10 at a time and charged you a $2 fee for each withdrawal). And if the proposed law requiring background checks on every purchase of ammunition takes effect, this is fleece-by-fee, death of a thousand cuts is going to go on steroids. The combined effect of this is to fleece gun owners as well as disenfranchising the poor of their right to keep and bear arms. It also begs the question that if poll taxes and literacy tests are illegal because they infringe the right to vote, why are their equivalents perfectly acceptable when it comes to infringing the right to keep and bear arms?

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