Civil rights

Lonsberry: GUN CASE ATTACKS CIVIL RIGHTS | 570 WSYR

The struggle for civil rights is never popular. If so, there would be no need to fight.

If white people in Topeka had wanted black children in their children’s schools, Brown would not have had to sue the Board of Education.

And if Democrats who control New York had wanted their neighbors to enjoy Second Amendment protections in 43 other states, the guns and pistols association wouldn’t have had to sue the superintendent of state police.

But some people do not respect the civil rights of others. Some people don’t value other people’s freedom as much as they value their own. And some use the power of government to oppress the civil liberties of minorities.

Whether they are minorities of race, orientation, religion or political philosophy, intolerant elites will use the animosity of the majority to subvert the rights of minorities. And so, the struggle for civil rights is always an unpopular minority raising its voice in an assertion of freedom.

This is the case in New York.

In New York, where a minority of voters support Second Amendment rights, the political majority has repeatedly and chronically legislated and governed against the interests of gun owners. The right to own and bear arms has been constantly violated and restricted.

And it is a right, at least according to the Founders. The right to own and bear a firearm – “keep and bear” – is specifically protected in the Constitution with its own amendment.

Removing the Second Amendment has been so effective in New York that the conditions for its exercise in that state are very different from the conditions for its exercise in other states. This brings us to the specific question that the Supreme Court dealt with.

In 43 states, carrying a concealed handgun for self-protection is an undisputed right. There may be licensing and possession restrictions, but the fundamental right is respected and operational. In New York and five other Democratic states, this right is not recognized.

In fact, in New York, state law requires that “just cause” be shown before a handgun license will be issued. This means that the state’s legal presumption is that New Yorkers do not have the right to be armed in self-defense, but exceptions may be allowed if individuals demonstrate that they are at particular risk or have a particular need for protection.

The question before the Supreme Court was whether this was true or not.

And the question arose because the New York law directly impinged on a constitutionally based civil right enjoyed by residents of more than 80% of the states. New York law made its residents lesser citizens by virtue of this oppression. New York law has denied its residents the “equal protection” of the law – with respect to the Second Amendment – that is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Thus, a civil rights organization—the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association—sued the government in a First Amendment-protected government petition seeking redress for grievances. In America, when government elites deprive you of your freedom, you have the right to appeal to them.

That’s what it was about. And the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment meant what it said and that there was a civil right to protect yourself, even with a gun and even outside your home. The Supreme Court ruled that the state government’s law – even if popular – was unconstitutional, that it was an oppression of the rights of a minority of New Yorkers.

This is not a revolutionary change. For all but five states, this means nothing. Forty-three States have already recognized and respected this right. The largest number of people freed by this decision are in New York, where the rebuffed government is angry and vengeful.

The governor called the decision “reprehensible” and said it was a manifestation of “gun culture madness”. She also said, “That’s not what New Yorkers want.”

In this she echoed a long line of similar oppressors.

Bull Connor, another Democrat, also didn’t like the Supreme Court protecting the civil rights of his neighbors.

And generation after generation, as the quest continues to expand and perfect American freedom has progressed, the advances have always repelled popular sentiment and infuriated political elites bolstered by oppression.

This is what is happening in New York. This is why the governor and his party are so angry.

They are on the wrong side of freedom, and they act like such oppressors always act.