One month after 10 people were killed in a Buffalo, N.Y. mass shooting, the Supreme Court has deemed the phrase “gun control” an oxymoron.
According to a Thursday (June 23) report from CNN, SCOTUS struck down a New York law that placed restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in public in a 6-3 decision. Justice Clarence Thomas, who voted in favor of the ruling, gave an explanation for his position: “Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State's licensing regime violates the Constitution.”
The ruling on the lawsuit—filed by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association—will enable more New Yorkers to carry guns outside of their home without needing to show particular cause. As if we need more people strapped on subways, buses, bars, and wherever the fuck, in one of the world’s most trigger-happy nations.
What the SCOTUS ruled today is throwing a bottle of water to someone who is drowning. Dowsing flames with oil. It’s a continuation of our highest powers doing the exact opposite of what it needs to.
As CNN notes, the SCOTUS’ decision marks the biggest expansion of gun rights in a decade. It also marks another example of the government’s unwillingness to make like Busta and get gun control all in check.
In a year that’s seen countless mass shootings, the SCOTUS’ gun ruling especially stings. Less than two weeks after the aforementioned Buffalo shooting—one that saw multiple Black senior citizens murdered by an 18-year-old White supremacist—19 students and two teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Another 17 people were wounded. Police on the scene did not intervene.
Back in April, 29 NYC straphangers were injured after Frank Robert James allegedly let off 33 shots from a handgun in a horrific attack that has been deemed a terrorist attack on a mass transit system.
To call today’s ruling an example of inaction would be missing the point, maintaining the status quo. What the SCOTUS ruled today is throwing a bottle of water to someone who is drowning. Dowsing flames with oil. Giving shooters more ammo. It’s a continuation of our highest powers doing the exact opposite of what it needs to. And that stretches beyond gun control.
In Texas, instead of laws that make it more difficult to buy guns, officials conspired against the gender identities of trans children. Instead of making birth control more accessible, the SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade.
Indeed, the decision to turn over New York’s gun law is a continuation of America’s self-destructive traditions, intractable rules that render atrocities as products of unimpeachable law. Crazy stuff seems sane, and sane stuff doesn’t particularly matter. Speaking on the ruling, Biden voiced his own disappointment.
"This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all," he said in a statement. "In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, as well as the daily acts of gun violence that do not make national headlines, we must do more as a society—not less—to protect our fellow Americans."
Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. And now, thanks to the highest court in the land, there’s about to be a lot more people with guns on the street, using them just as intended.