How did the Supreme Court make itimpossible to address the issue of gunviolence in America

gunviolence in America

The satirical paper the Onion often uses the same headline every time an incident of the mass
shooting that is high-profile occurs within the United States: “No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only
Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”


It’s sad to remind us that this is because the United States — or at a minimum, the key officials within
the government have opted to put guns over the kind of laws that effectively safeguard citizens from
different nations from being hit by a gun.


The most important policies made by policymakers that favored firearm rights over sensible policies
occurred in 2008 when the decision of the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. By a 5-4
decision in the case, the Court declared at the very first moment in American history in 2008 that
there was a Second Amendment that protects an individual right to carry a gun. Additionally, Heller
gave special constitutional protection for handguns.


The shocking murder of nearly 19 children along with 2 teachers at least 19 children and two
teachers in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, has brought interest to America’s shooting epidemic, and
other mass shootings that happen all too often.

Although mass shootings are a subject that receives an enormous amount of the public’s attention,
they account for a small percentage of all homicides that are committed using firearms. For instance,
in 2019, 10,258 people were killed by guns throughout the United States. According to the Mother
Jones database of mass shootings, that involved three or more victims were killed and 73 victims
were killed by mass shooters. (Other methods that use various definitions of “mass shooting” count
more victims, but it’s still just a tiny fraction of the people who were killed through shootings across
America. The US.)


The majority of gun-related deaths that occur within the United States look very different from the
mass killings that create so numerous American nightmares. The majority of death involve deaths by
suicide. The 2020 statistics obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, For
instance, show that over 24,000 people perished from suicide through a firearm during the year,
while over 19,000 were killed in a homicide involving guns (2020 was a particularly deadly year,
probably because of the pandemic).


When someone is killed by a firearm the most frequent reason can be the result of an argument that
escalates to the killing due to the fact that someone was shot.


It makes small, easily stored, and concealed weapons such as handguns particularly risky. That’s
the reason Heller’s special legal protections precisely for handguns render America’s gun violence
problem impossible to solve even if we have the benefit of a free of filibusters Congress who was
determined to approve gun regulations.


The evidence-based argument against handguns


In a typical year approximately 14,000-15,000 murders occur throughout the United States,
according to the FBI and between 9000 and 11,000 murders are carried out with guns.


Although Democrats often recommend banning assault weapons to stop gun violence, these
weapons are only a tiny percent of the homicides. As per the FBI out of more than 10,000
gun-related murders that occurred in the year 2019, only 364 were executed using a gun of any type
(the FBI does not categorize murders by the type of firearm). Therefore, a ban on assault rifles will
have a minimal effect on gun violence in the US.


In fact, an assault rifle ban isn’t going to help in reducing mass shootings. Mother Jones’s database
contains 10 mass shootings that occurred in the year 2019, but only four were carried out with
semiautomatic weapons.


The most lethal firearm in the United States is the handgun which is the easiest type of gun to
conceal. Handguns were responsible for 6,368 of the 10258 murders committed by firearms. In
reality, this amount is a bit too low to reflect the dangers posed by handguns since the FBI classified
more than three thousand murders during the year as being perpetrated through “Firearms, type not
stated.” If you just consider gun-related murders in which the type of firearm used is well-known,
90% of these murders are committed using the use of a handgun.


Handguns’ dangers are well-known and are not a surprise, even though they may not be intended to
kill as effectively as larger weapons. Consider that thousands of people die each year as arguments escalate to a crime. If you see someone walking into the bar with an AR-15 carried over their shoulder You’re likely to allow them to pass. But if that same individual is sporting a gun it’s possible that you won’t be aware that they’re armed until you spill some drink on them.

Handguns can be tucked away on the nightstand next to the place where lovers are fighting. They can easily be put in a jacket worn for an illicit drug transaction. It is also possible to bring them unnoticed into a shop and then uncovered in the event that an armed robbery starts.

That’s why America’s gun violence issue is mostly a problem with handguns.

Heller rendered it impractical to restrict meaningfully the ownership of handguns

Second Amendment provides that ” Second Amendment provides that ” a well regulated Militia,
being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall
not be infringed.” Furthermore, up until recently, the Court considered the first 13 words of the
amendment seriously.


As the Court stated in United States v. Miller(1939) The “obvious purpose” of the Second
Amendment was to “render possible the effectiveness” of militias. The amendment therefore must be
“interpreted and applied with that end in view.”


However, the Court did not adopt that view with Heller. Heller did not just say at the very first
instance it was true that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to carry arms. The Court
also rethought its perception regarding what the Second Amendment is supposed to accomplish.


While The Second Amendment states that its objective is to safeguard militias with a good record of
regulation, Heller held that an “inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second
Amendment right.” Thus, Heller changed his Second Amendment from a provision that mostly
protected a group’s right to create a “well-regulated militia” into an amendment to protect individual
rights to possess guns.


The Court granted special protection to handguns. Guns that are hand-held, Justice Antonin Scalia
wrote for the Court are “overwhelmingly chosen” by gun owners who want to carry a firearm to
defend themselves. So, Scalia claimed, the Constitution doesn’t allow legislators to prohibit “the
most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family.”


Fair enough, Heller also provided a number of examples of gun laws allowed in the Second
Amendment context. “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding
prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,” Scalia wrote in her opinion,
or on “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government
buildings.”


Additionally, Heller allows laws that ban “the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons,'” that’s
why a number of judges have stated that bans on assault rifles are permissible, but it’s difficult to
determine that the current Supreme Court majority will be in agreement with Lower court judges, who upheld these bans. The Court’s current group of justices seem to be more hostile toward gun laws than any Supreme Court in American history.

In addition, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who often is the Court’s representative decision in politically
controversial cases, stated in a 2011 decision that was a dissenting one that the federal government
could not prohibit semiautomatic firearms such as the one employed in Uvalde. Uvalde shooting.
Kavanaugh did not believe that these guns can be considered “dangerous and unusual” because
they are, in actuality, “in common use” across the United States.


The conclusion of Kavanaugh’s statement is that guns that are widely used cannot be banned even
if they are often used for murder.


The Court is hearing a case that challenges the old 108 years-old New York law requiring anyone
who wants to carry a firearm outside of their residence to prove “proper cause” before they can get a
license to carry a gun. Based on the opinions of the justices during an oral argument in the matter,
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen It appears highly likely that the Court will decide
to strike down the law.


However, even before the then-President Donald Trump remade the Court according to the model of
the Federalist Society, a more moderate Court decided that handguns were the most popular firearm
in the nation. This implies that the weapon responsible for the majority of death within the United
States is beyond the decision-makers who aren’t at the Supreme Court.

How did the Supreme Court make itimpossible to address the issue of gunviolence in America