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Will the Supreme Court Avoid Further Self-Inflicted Second Amendment Wounds?

Summary: In light of the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, the time has come to reject the specious mask of zeal for unlimited gun rights that has become a mainstay of too many American politicians.

  • John Donohue John J. Donohue
Published: June 29, 2021

This essay is part of the series Protests, Insurrection, and the Second Amendment.

ABSTRACT: The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has important lessons for much of the widespread, current Second Amendment litigation designed to eradicate beneficial gun safety regulation across the country. First, the value of Washington, DC, laws in constraining the gun carrying of the riotous crowd was evident and likely saved many lives. Second, flirtations with the idea that armed citizens should be ready to fight the federal government were shown to be absurd: there is no circumstance in which private citizens in modern America could promote democracy by using assault weapons to kill government employees to show their disapproval of what they perceive to be “tyrannical” government. Third, the idea that gun owners can be expected to oppose rather than support a tyrant was dealt a fatal blow by the violence at the U.S. Capitol. The time has come to earnestly acknowledge and embrace the wise restraints on firearms that make the American public free and to reject the specious mask of zeal for unlimited gun rights that has become a mainstay of too many American politicians.

 

Will the Supreme Court Avoi... by The Brennan Center for Justice