Gun-rights advocates who have been so agitated in recent years seem to have settled down a little now. The Supreme Court has affirmed a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The gun-hating Barack Obama has been replaced in the White House by gun-friendly Donald Trump.
But eternal vigilance, right?
A cased is primed to be heard by the Supreme Court that has the potential to unsettle things again. Peruta v. California would be the most significant Second Amendment case decided by the court since District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), declaring an individual has a right to own a firearm, and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), affirming that the Second Amendment applies to state law.
At issue is the right to keep and bear arms outside the home. Heller applied only to situations within the home. Those who have petitioned the Supreme Court in the Peruta case are hoping the justices will see it as a logical extension of their earlier opinions.
"Concealed carry" is not settled as a constitutional right. According to Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law, the legal question to be settled is whether a state like California may determine its own rules on concealed-carry permits.
“The Second Amendment isn't an absolute right,” Chemerinsky notes. Throughout British and American history, “there's never been a right to have concealed weapons.”
The case arose when Edward Peruta and other gun owners who lived in or near San Diego, Calif., couldn't get concealed-carry permits in their county. The Sheriff's Department handles permit requests and requires “good cause” to carry a gun outside of the home. This does not mean a generalized concern for safety, but something specific, such as fear of domestic violence or a regular need to move large amounts of money. That's because, unlike Indiana, which is a "must issue" state when it comes to permits, California is a "may issue" state.
And if Californians can't get permission for concealed carry, they're pretty much screwed when it comes to the Second Amendment, according to constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh:
If the state of California, which essentially bans open carry of a gun, makes it next to impossible for a typical citizen to get a concealed-carry permit, this is “tantamount to banning” the right to bear arms “except for a few favored people.”
The court has passed up a couple of opportunities to take on this case, but many observers think the time is right now. For one thing, it raises a constitutional issue that lower courts have disagreed on, exactly the kind of case the court was meant to handle. And for another, the court has a full complement of justices now, which may have been what everyone was waiting for.
Given his conservative credentials, it is widely believed that new justice Neil Gorsuch will take an expansive view of the Second Amendment, agreeing that concealed carry outside the home is a logical expression of the right to keep and bear arms. But originalism, if that is indeed what Gorsuch subscribes to, also has a healthy respect for the prerogative of states to go their own way. I wouldn't bet on this one way or the other.
But any way you slice it, if the court decides to take on this case, it would be a very big deal.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS
We must stop the scourge of white people wearing ponchos! It's cultural appropriation, man: "As Campus Reform initially reported, one University of New Hampshire student was publicly berated and harassed by a classmate for wearing a serape on his way to celebrate the holiday, with the student who recorded the encounter, Danique Montique, proudly boasting about the exchange on her Facebook: 'Cultural appropriation at UNH continues the normalization of racist behavior that is already an issue.' " George Will has a pretty good column about the cultural appropriation silliness, in which he points out that new cultures come from existing cultures. It's all appropriated.
This a trend worth keeping an eye on: Mom-and-pop joints are trouncing America's chain restaurants. Apparently, we're a little weary of consistency and yearn for a little authenticity and local flavor. Fort Wayne is a good place to check out that theory — we're got more good locally owned restaurants that we should have for a city our size.
A school district in Colorado has temporarily pulled copies of "13 Reasons Why" from its bookshelves. Some say the book, the basis for Netflix's popular new series, romanticizes suicide. The order rankled some librarians who called it censorship, and it appears to be a rare instance in which the book has been removed from circulation — albeit briefly.
Sologamy: The saddest trend you've ever heard of. "Apparently, people are now marrying themselves. Well, more specifically, sad, bitter feminists with a millennial-like flare for narcissism are marrying themselves after sticking it to The Patriarchy by choosing to put their careers ahead of their personal lives. In the new, sad trend called 'sologamy,' women are committing themselves to themselves with their own wedding ceremony."
To make America great again, give your kids chores. So says U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse in his new book "The Vanishing American Adult." American youth, he says, have been so coddled that “we lack an educated, resilient citizenry capable of navigating the increasing complexities of daily life.”
From The New Yorker: Why swearing makes you stronger. Swearing apparently eases pain by triggering aggressive emotions, much in the way that the mere act of smiling can make a person feel happier. The aggression, in turn, triggers a fight-or-flight stress response, releasing adrenaline, which is known to increase physical performance.
Chelsea Manning will get to stay in the Army, and get health care and other benefits after her release from prison. Pretty good deal for a damn traitor.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem says that climate change can be directly correlated to a lack of abortion. “Listen, what causes climate deprivation is population,” she said. “If we had not been systematically forcing women to have children they don't want or can't care for over the 500 years of patriarchy, we wouldn't have the climate problems that we have. That's the fundamental cause of climate change." Alrighty then.
Huh. I always thought it was because I was home sick on that day in first grade when teacher went over shoelace tying: The invisible hand of physics is constantly untying your shoelaces.