I know the question in all your minds is how long it took Clarence Thomas, the justice who wrote today’s Supreme Court decision finding that there is “a constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense” to get to the newest right-wing talking point about guns? It took him just nine lines, one of which was entirely devoted to a citation from a previous Supreme Court case, before came out and told us who he was really talking to: “The petitioners…are adult law-abiding New York residents…” etc. etc. etc.
There they are, those mythical adult law-abiding gun owners whose rights they’re all so concerned about. Mitch McConnell was right there with him earlier in the week when he said the Senate wouldn’t pass a law taking away the gun rights of law-abiding gun owners, as was his buddy John Cornyn and the governor of Texas and several others. The whole lot of them are, as one, dedicated to this new proposition that they’re not going to do anything that will disturb all those law-abiding gun owners out there.
And now Clarence Thomas and the other five right-wing loons on the court are there to reassure all those adult law-abiding voters out there that their rights to buy semiautomatic rifles and pistols and carry them around in public are safe as long as they keep electing Republicans to every office from dog-catcher to president of the United States.
I urge all of you to read at least the first six pages of the decision by Justice Thomas, if only so you can watch him and the other five loons jump back into the sandbox they played in as first year law students and use “history” to justify this insane decision they have issued. It’s like a Federalist Society dreamscape, the journey they take back into the 17th and 18th centuries to throw sand in the face of the libs as they dismantle over two centuries of understanding of what the Second Amendment has always meant. See, the libs came into court and had the temerity to point out that there have always been restrictions on the public carry of firearms. “But the Constitution can, and must, apply to circumstances beyond those the founders specifically anticipated, even though its meaning is fixed according to the understandings of those who ratified it,” Thomas wrote. If that sentence was a photograph, you could see his fellow five conservatives grinning in the background, because there goes the idea that modern firearms are by a factor of about fifty more deadly and powerful than the muskets the founders were writing about, and there go all those Old West bans on carrying guns into Tombstone and Dodge City the libs are so fond of talking about.
Because it’s not about guns, see? It’s about what the founders intended. As my sister Mary once said when told by someone on the Oprah Show that historians could divine the intentions of our ancestor Thomas Jefferson, “I’m so glad they knew him so well that they can tell us what he thought.”
The decision is dense with “tests” that must be met and “metrics” that should be applied when interpreting the Constitution, all of which of course direct the court’s six conservatives to understand that the Constitution means what it says because its text remains today as it was written then.
But nowhere in the decision discovering that we suddenly, in the year 2022, have a constitutional right to carry guns around on our person in public will you discover this test:
Is it sane?
Thomas and Alito and the rest of them would tell you of course that’s not a proper test because the word “sanity” isn’t to be found in the text of the Constitution.
It sure isn’t, which probably goes about as far as we can be expected to go to understand why the Supreme Court, while the bodies of Uvalde school children are still warm in the ground, issued this utterly insane opinion today.
More children will die, more supermarket shoppers will be shot down, more nightclub goers will lie bleeding out on dancefloors, but after today, adult law-abiding gun owners will have the right to carry their high-powered semiautomatic weapons anywhere they want to go.
I’m going to keep writing about this insanity for as long as it takes. You can join me by subscribing.