The National Constitution Center describes itself as “The first and only institution in America established by Congress to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.”
Chair Emeriti include Governor Jeb Bush, President William J. Clinton, President George H. W. Bush. One of their so-called “non-partisan” writers is a journalist who covers the Supreme Court, Lyle Denniston.
In Denniston’s latest article, Constitution Check: Is the Supreme Court Obama’s silent partner on gun control?, he makes the case for stringent gun control that he calls, “common sense.”
Denniston criticizes the Supreme Court for making it difficult to have the debate because, “It was the court, after all, that interpreted the Constitution’s Second Amendment to embrace a personal right to have a gun.”
Oh, horrors! We have the right to own a gun!
Denniston believes that the Supreme Court, in refusing to hear gun control cases since the Heller decision, is a silent partner to Obama by allowing the courts to decide. He applauds the lower court decisions which he believes are mostly in favor of control and which are becoming more widespread.
Here are some of the gun control rulings he lauds and thinks are simply common sense.
- First, the Second Amendment right to have a gun is more protected within a person’s own home, but weapons kept at home generally must be kept under lock and out of the reach of children.
- Second, guns may be kept in the home primarily for self-defense, in case of intruders.
- Third, the right to have a gun outside of the home is quite limited, but again exists there primarily for self-defense.
- Fourth, gun possession almost always requires that a gun owner get a license to have a gun, and often the owner must be able to show that they have a “good reason” for needing a gun before they may be licensed.
- Fifth, assault-type weapons that can fire many rounds in a very short period of time are being
banned, here and there, and bans on bullet magazines carrying more than 10 rounds are beginning to show up.
- Sixth, guns are being totally banned from some “sensitive” places, like school buildings and other sites open to the public.
- Seventh, when government controls on guns are challenged in court, the limitations do not have to pass the most demanding constitutional test, but get by if they can satisfy more tolerant judicial standards.
- Eighth, gun shows are sometimes being banned from public recreation areas, like city parks.
- Ninth, the National Rifle Association, as a defender of gun rights, does not have the same clout in the courts as it does in Congress or in state legislatures. In fact, having its name attached to a lawsuit challenging a new law does not appear to make any difference.
- Tenth, some courts are beginning to define more narrowly the kind of weapons that are being given Second Amendment protection. Stun guns and martial arts weapons are among the kinds that have been found outside that Amendment’s umbrella.
Denniston managed to make a crack about the NRA.
Denniston wants a Supreme Court decision that brings about some “finality.” There has been finality, it’s called the Second Amendment and the Heller decision, but that’s not the decision they want, so they will continue on until they disarm Americans.