Two separate incidents in different states, each of which reveals a different facet of how massively fucked up our firearm legislation is.
First — Back in December of 2020 and January of 2021, Zackey Rahimi of Texas was, according to court documents, “involved in five shootings in and around Arlington, Texas.” Five shootings in as many weeks. First, there was the time he “fired multiple shots” into somebody’s house after selling narcotics to the person who lived there. Then there was the car accident. Rahimi “exited his vehicle, shot at the other driver, and fled the scene.” A short time later, he returned to the scene of the accident and fired a few more shots. That’s three shooting incidents. The fourth time, he “shot at a constable’s vehicle.” The circumstances behind that aren’t discussed in the court’s order. Finally, Rahimi “fired multiple shots in the air after his friend’s credit card was declined at a Whataburger restaurant.”
About a year earlier, Rahimi had been subject to a civil protective order after he’d assaulted his girlfriend (and the mother of his child). The court order “restrained him from harassing, stalking, or threatening his ex-girlfriend and their child. The order also expressly prohibited Rahimi from possessing a firearm.”
Clearly, given five shootings in five weeks, Rahimi hadn’t paid much attention to the restraining order. But at least he was eventually indicted for possessing a firearm while under a domestic violence restraining order. Rahimi’s lawyers moved to dismiss the indictment on the ground that the law in question (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8)) was unconstitutional. The federal district court told him to fuck right off, so Rahimi pleaded guilty.
Later Rahimi appealed his guilty plea. A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also told him to fuck right off.
But then SCOTUS decided the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which (in my opinion) was a bugfuck insane decision. The court decided (6-3) that in lawsuits involving federal and states’ gun regulations, courts need to evaluate the regulation not in consideration of the public good, but in light of the “historical tradition of firearm regulation”.
Let me just repeat that. The court should NOT consider the public good, but instead should consider the historical tradition of firearm regulation. So the Fifth Circuit Court took another look at Rahimi’s argument, taking the SCOTUS approach that “greater weight attaches to laws nearer in time to the Second Amendment’s ratification.”
Again, let me repeat that. Courts are now supposed to give more weight to laws written around the end of the 18th century than to modern laws. And guess what. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire had written laws closer in time to the drafting of the 2nd Amendment, laws that were virtually identical, and those laws stated:
[N]o man . . . [shall] go or ride armed by night or by day, in fairs or markets, or in other places, in terror of the country, upon pain of being arrested and committed to prison by any justice on his view, or proof of others, there to a time for so long a time as a jury, to be sworn for that purpose by the said justice, shall direct, and in like manner to forfeit his armour to the Commonwealth.
Armor includes weapons. You’ll notice something else in that law. Ain’t nothing there about protecting ex-girfriends. And even though the Fifth Circuit agreed that the modern law “embodies salutary policy goals meant to protect vulnerable people in our society…Bruen forecloses any such analysis in favor of a historical analogical inquiry into the scope of the allowable burden on the Second Amendment right.”
The court concluded the law protecting Rahimi’s ex-girlfriend–or anybody seeking a civil protection decree–by removing a violent offender’s firearms was “an outlier that our ancestors would never have accepted.” They overturned Rahimi’s conviction.
Five shooting incidents in five weeks, and the court said the motherfucker shouldn’t be prohibited from owning a gun.
Second — Last Tuesday (2-23-23) in Silver Creek, Indiana (a suburb of Louisville, KY) 23-year-old Devon Lyons was seen running along Highway 31 (a main thoroughfare in town) carrying a rifle. Two nearby schools were put on lockdown.
However, it’s perfectly legal in Indiana for folks to run around with a loaded rifle. The state doesn’t require a permit to carry a long gun. So nothing was done.
It happened again the following day. The Clark County Sheriff sent deputies to monitor Lyons as he ran down the street carrying his rifle. When Lyons got into his car to drive away, he was taken into custody for driving while his license was under suspension.
You can’t operate a car without a license. Guns? Who needs a license for that?
Scottie Maples, the Clark Coutny Sheriff, said this:
“I got a job to do as Sheriff to protect people’s constitutional rights. My daughter goes to that school, a couple of my deputies’ daughters go to these schools so we’re going to take these things seriously but we’re also not going to break anybody’s Constitutional rights.”
We’re not going to break anybody’s Constitutional rights. Children? Battered women? Sorry, very sorry, oh so very sorry, but you’ll just have to take your chances. Because that’s how we do it in these United States.
EDITORIAL NOTE: We must burn the patriarchy. Burn it to the ground, gather the ashes, piss on them, then set them on fire again. Burn the patriarchy, then drive a stake directly through the ashes where its heart used to be, and then set fire to the stake. Burn the fucker one more time. And keep burning it, over and over. Burn it for generations. Then nuke it from orbit. Then have tea.
Ah yes, “originalist” conservative courts. Where actual evidence and understanding of societal issues must always take a back seat to the status quo. Let’s ignore everything we already know about the public safety risks when domestic abusers have access to guns, push that aside, and demand acceptance of a traditional view, no matter how harmful it is. This pretty much describes many recent SCOTUS decisions.
This breed of conservatives are either sociopaths, or they’ve got a rubber arm when it comes to dealing with peer pressure from dead people.
I think we can safely go with the ‘sociopath’ option.
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