In the abstract, you would think that the American people want LESS GUN VIOLENCE. But the political right wing — including the Republican Party — keep REFUSING to take actions that would reduce it. Instead, many Republican politicians aggressively promote more guns and some of them actually pose for campaign photos while holding guns.
On June 23, 2022, the Republican Party (which says it supports “states rights” when states want to interfere with federal protections for human rights and the environment) actually VIOLATED “states rights” when the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court overturned a New York State law that protected people from gun violence.
Here are a few information resources about this:
Supreme Court’s decision is the most dangerous gun ruling in history: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/most-dangerous-gun-ruling-history-worst-possible-time
Far-Right Justices Threaten Us All with Latest Gun Violence Ruling: https://www.pfaw.org/blog-posts/far-right-justices-threaten-us-all-with-latest-gun-violence-ruling/
Unpacking the Supreme Court decision on concealed carry: https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2022/gun-violence-prevention-experts-react-to-supreme-court-ruling-on-concealed-guns
A non-profit organization working to keep guns away from school campuses issued this in response to the Supreme Court’s decision one June 24, 2022:
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus strongly condemns yesterday’s 6-3 opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Kevin P. Bruen, Superintendent of the New York State Police, requiring that applicants show “proper cause” to obtain a permit, violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.
The court’s majority also recognized a constitutional right to carry firearms in public and imposed a subjective “text, history, and tradition” test on lower courts for evaluating whether gun laws violate the Second Amendment and dismissed the relevance of the compelling government interests that include public safety.
The Campaign believes that under this new framework, public safety will be severely threatened, as more guns are carried in public places, ultimately resulting in more needless gun-related deaths and injuries.
Interestingly, the “history and tradition” standard articulated by the majority requiring courts to evaluate if a contemporary gun law is in some way analogous to regulations that existed around the time when the Second Amendment was adopted may become relevant with respect to carrying guns in schools and on college campuses.
To this point, the historical and legal record demonstrates that in at least two instances that there is support for prohibiting firearms in sensitive areas.
The first example is that of the two Founding Fathers – one Federalist, James Madison, and the other a states rightist, Thomas Jefferson – who by all accounts supported a ban on campus carry, particularly at the University of Virginia where they both served on the Board of Visitors (1).
The second example is in Georgia case law where we can also point to the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Act of 1870 passed by Georgia General Assembly, in the case of Hill v. State. That law stated: “No person in said state shall be permitted or allowed to carry about his or her person any dirk, Bowie-knife, pistol or revolver, or any kind of deadly weapon, to any court of justice, any election ground or precinct, or any place of public worship, or any other public gathering in this state, except militia muster grounds.(2)
Educational spaces have been deemed as “sensitive places” and off limits in the Heller decision – reinforced yesterday by Justice Kavanaugh in his concurrence. As such, they should be spaces where firearms can and should be limited, if not banned outright.
As we have for nearly 15 years, The Campaign will continue to fight in state legislatures to protect all educational institutions. We call for the declaration of K12 schools, colleges and universities to be designated as “sensitive places,” thus completely off limits for the carrying of concealed weapons.
While the ruling is a big setback, there is still good news. The House of Representatives voted a few hours ago to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and will send it to President Biden for his signature. This legislation, a small step forward, is the first significant piece of federal gun control legislation to pass in nearly 26 years and it will save lives. That said, our work is far from finished and your support makes the difference.
Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for all you do,
Andy Pelosi, Executive Director/Co-Founder
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus (www.keepgunsoffcampus.org)