Debunking a Media Lie

Where rights come from

June 29, 2022

The United States Supreme Court has been doing a great job at actually doing its job lately, most historically of course they overturned Roe v. Wade opening a path for states to rightfully make the act of killing children in the womb illegal. But today I'd like to talk about a decision that came out the day before that one did because the media has done a great job at getting people to believe a false premise without them even realizing it when it comes to their reporting on the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case.

Headlines which read "Supreme Court Expands Gun Rights" appeared all over the place once this decision was released, even many right-wing outlets were publishing this lie.

The case revolved around New York's method of issuing concealed weapons permits. In most states this is a rather straightforward process, you complete a class that is legally required to take four times as long as it needs to, prove that you can hit the broad side of a barn, have your fingerprints taken at your local sheriff's office then wait a month or two for them to get around to completing a background check on you that probably takes them less than an hour to actually do. This process is not hard and it is also fair because in most states the sheriff's department will be legally required to issue you a concealed weapons permit if you pass the background check or if they don't complete it in a reasonable amount of time, there is no room for corruption or prejudice within such a system, gun rights advocates classify these normal states as "shall issue states".

In New York and a few other states things were different prior to this court ruling. John Stossel made a good video on New York's process a few years ago but the main difference was that in New York you had to prove that you had a good reason to need to carry a concealed firearm in order to be allowed to do so then if law enforcement thought your reasoning was good enough and that you were of good character then they would issue a permit, but the law had no clear statement on what qualified as a good reason to bear arms or a way to prove that a person was of good character, I'm not sure how well the system worked 100 years ago when it was put in place but in recent years only the elites would be able to get permits in most cases. Gun rights activists called states like New York "may issue states" because your ability to exercise your right to bear arms was dependent on the whim of some bureaucrat rather than a set process.

The supreme court struck down these unreasonable regulations in New York which also set a precedent for other states to end similar practices. In the majority opinion Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, "We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense."

At this point you may be wondering why I made the claim that the media was lying when it published headlines stating that the supreme court had expanded gun rights because it sure sounds like it just did, but the writers of those headlines are manipulating you (either knowingly or unknowingly) to believe falsehoods about gun rights, the origin of rights in general, and a government's relation to your rights. Sadly some of you may already believe these falsehoods or have never been taught the truth so it is my job to correct that.

American Gun Rights

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The second half of this is of course where the meat of the amendment is, we have the right to own and carry modern weapons and the government does not have the power to stop us from doing that. Just as freedom of the press extends to the internet and not just the printing press the right to keep and bear arms extends beyond 18th century firearms. There is nothing there stating you can't own a cannon, there is nothing stating you can't own a gun that takes eleven round magazines, there is nothing there stating that you can't own a gun designed to take down a helicopter, and there is nothing there stating you can't own a military helicopter, any such rule would be an infringement on one's right to keep and bear arms.

Now it is almost as important to understand the reasoning behind this amendment's inclusion in the Bill of Rights as it is to understand the right it upholds. The right to keep and bear arms is solidified in the United States Constitution not so that citizens could use guns for sport, it is not for hunting, and it is not even for self defense (although the use of arms for self defense is of course still protected) the reasoning is spelled out right there in the amendment itself, for "the security of a free State," or in other words, protection against a tyrannical government. America was founded by men who declared their independence from a tyrannical government and fought a war using the modern weapons of the time to gain said independence, these same founders wanted future generations to share the same right they claimed to do that if it became necessary as it was for them.

The Origin of Rights and Government Responsibility

The day that the Declaration of Independence was signed is the day that we Americans designate as our country's birthday and I find this to be quite fitting because the Declaration of Independence teaches what I believe to be two of the most fundamental principles which the American system of government is based off of, a principle that many in power have forgotten and want you to forget. The second paragraph of the declaration begins:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

This text clearly states that we all have rights which cannot be taken from us and those rights come from God. The government does not have the power to grant us rights and it does not have the power to take those rights away. This passage from the Declaration of Independence also states that a government's purpose is to protect the God given rights of its people, a government should serve no other purpose and the rest of that paragraph (which I won't get into) describes that a government which fails this responsibility is deserving of change.

The Supreme Court did not Expand Gun Rights

Hopefully it is now clear to you how the media was lying about the ruling on that recent Supreme Court case. The Supreme Court did not "expand" gun rights because it (along with every other branch of government) does not have the power to do so. Rather the Supreme Court recognized the gun rights which we already had by striking down a law that infringed upon them. Any politician who claims that your rights are theirs to give or take is not deserving of power, and anyone who even accidentally infers such an idea, like the media did here, should be corrected.