Supreme Court’s Majority Makes it Easier to Carry a Gun
“As a nun, I’m expected to offer thoughts and prayers, and indeed I do. But that’s not enough. We must rise up and take action together to stop this violence. This can’t keep happening.”Sister Helen Prejean CSJ
On the summer solstice, the court struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun to carry a concealed gun in public. The justices said that requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”
In the immediate wake of the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, the dubious upholding of what our founding fathers meant by the Second Amendment seems cruel. The Second Amendment was passed in 1791, when the only arms a person could bear were handguns or long guns that had to be reloaded between every shot. How this amendment should be interpreted now given the capacity of modern-day weapons is widely debated, but the common sense demonstrated by other developed countries which have strict gun ownership laws and few, if any, mass shootings, should lead anyone to believe that this ruling is a tragic mistake which will lead to much more bloodshed. The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but 46% of civilian owned guns. Clearly, preventing gun violence must include much stricter regulation of guns.*
Gutting the ability to have sensible gun laws was quickly followed by several other disturbing decisions. Just to name a few: The Supreme Court has stripped the EPA of power over climate emissions, stripped African Americans of their voting rights in Louisiana and taken away the sovereignty of tribal nations.
“Why is it that giving guns is so easy, but giving books is so hard?”Malala Yousafzai
As people of faith, we must insist that laws prevent harm and help people thrive. Acting for peace and working for justice has just gotten harder but, as Paul says in Second Corinthians 4:7, “We are struck down but not destroyed.” May it be so.
*Since this article was written, we have all been saddened by more gun violence including the use of a high powered rifle by a 22-year-old man to kill six and wound dozens at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill.