Government Interest vs Personal Rights by Tom Reynolds
Governor Hochul applauded passage of the 2022 NYS Concealed Carry Improvement Act and stated: "I refuse to surrender my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. In New York State, we will continue leading the way forward and implementing common sense gun safety legislation."
Governor Kathy Hochul has repeatedly said she was trying to protect the citizens of New York State when she signed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) in July 2023. Factually she did so in animosity of the decision by the Supreme Court in NYSRPA v. Bruen.
Does the government have a basis for restricting our Second Amendment right in order to protect the citizenry? They would have us believe that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. Instead, they claim it protects a militia right or a military right. But an individual right to own a gun for personal protection is an idea that is deeply rooted in American culture. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller in 2008 said: “The Second Amendment protects a right that is “exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”
Yet elected officials and their allies continue to insist on appealing to emotion when people are innocently injured or killed because of domestic violence and emphasizing the unconstitutional removal of guns by utilizing “red flag” laws.
Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) Executive Director Adam Kraut said: “Red flag laws are based on the inherently Orwellian belief that you can take actions against someone for an alleged crime that hasn’t occurred. Such laws authorize seizure and punishment for a crime nobody committed but which could occur at some place and time in the future. This may work in a science fiction movie but should not be allowed in real life.
Despite the existence of tragic events, we do not believe that we should measure or define our rights on the basis of how others may misuse these rights or their misbehavior. A psychopath’s misbehavior should not be a basis for us losing our right to own a particular firearm of our choice. Cars, like guns, can be misused but it is not rational to consider banning cars.
Despite the Bruen decision states continue to look for laws to prevent crime and even allow victims of gun crimes to sue manufacturers. Yet they refuse to prosecute those who are responsible for gun crimes. NY City DA Alvin Bragg either dismissed or downgraded 52% of the cases brought to him in his first 11 months in office. Likewise, Chicago DA Kim Foxx has refused to incarcerate criminals.
Many lower courts, following the Heller decision of 2008, attempted to justify gun control by balancing the good versus the bad of guns. But we should not be losing our gun rights because of an expressed government interest. In fact, our rights are there to thwart the government.