With the Supreme Court ready to hear the next case in what’s going to be a long stream of Second Amendment litigation, the pessimists are coming back again. Â Both here in my comments and at SayUncle. I can’t say I really understand it, and still stand byÂ Heller being a significant victory.
One of the things I’ve noticed about gun owners is that there’s a certain characteristic about many that make them revel in victim hood. To some degree, I can understand this, because for a large part of the last century, we spent it on the defensive, and there have been a lot of cultural changes in the country that many gun owners haven’t been happy with. But I don’t think that’s a reason for continuing pessimism and victim hood.
Are we going to get machine guns down at the corner hardware store for all? Probably not without a titanic shift in public opinion on the matter. But we can probably get a pretty broad Second Amendment right. There is no constitutional right that is absolute. Not having any restrictions at all on guns was never in the realm of possibility. But if you had told me at the beginning of this decade that the Supreme Court, out of the gate, would throw out a safe storage law, and that DC’s handgun ban would be history, I would have said you were nuts. If you had told me Chicago’s handgun ban would be in serious jeopardy by the end of the decade, I would have said you were a wild eyed, cheery optimist. But that is now the reality we live in.
It would have been nice if the Supreme Court had just ruled “It’s an individual right suckas, and for the states too!Â Machine guns for everyone!” but that wasn’t even going to happen. What did happen was pretty good, and better than I would have imagined was possible. It’s time for gun owners to stop wallowing in the victim hood mentality. It accomplishes nothing except disabling us from pursuing further victory. You’re declaring defeat before we’ve even begun this stage in the fight. Heller offers us a lot we can use to expand Second Amendment rights. Far more than it offers the other side. That the other side would grasp on to the few morsels that were left in there for them is understandable and predictable. But we won that day. They didn’t. They know that too, but can’t admit that much in public. I think we will win the day again. We’re not victims anymore. We’re winning our rights back.