When Scalia and four other right-wing “originalist” justices ruled that the Second Amendment, which begins “[a] well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” conferred a virtually illimitable individual right to keep and walk around with firearms, whether individuals were members of the well-regulated militias to protect against slave revolts that the amendment was designed for or not, the NRA and gun manufacturer lobbyists rejoiced. The Supreme Court had spoken, it would be virtually impossible to impose federal limitations on gun sales, gun ownership, gun carrying, gun use. No matter how regular American mass shootings became, no matter that 90% of the population, after the infamous slaughter of kindergarteners by a crazed heavily armed man who had first murdered his mother, favored nationwide restrictions on gun ownership, at the very least background checks, in our exceptional democracy.
States and localities, of course, can regulate guns, subject to court challenges by NRA lobbyists and gun manufacturers. Several states require no training or licensing, get as many guns as you want, carry them openly wherever you want, it’s your undeniable freedom under Scalia’s learned interpretation of the Second Amendment. The District of Columbia, not a state (though more populous than Vermont or Wyoming), has fairly strict restrictions on guns. As a result, the rioters who planned for bloodshed at the Capitol on January 6th mostly left their guns in cars, trucks, stockpiled across the river in Virginia (as the recent seditious conspiracy indictments inform us).
Imagine if that angry army of tourists had been able to freely exercise their sacred Second Amendment right on January 6th. There would have been a shoot out. It would have been a mass casualty event, as planned by the most extreme members of that crowd, who, we now know from their own words, called for a blood bath. That policeman screaming in agony and fear as the MAGA rioters crushed him in a doorway? Shot in the face, “made that fucking noise stop, bro” and a thousand instant thumbs ups.
It’s fair to say, and chilling to consider, that but for D.C.’s strict gun laws, we’d all be currently living in an American version of the Third Reich.
I can speak only for myself, an opinionated person writing here daily under the First Amendment, able to freely refer to the “transactional” leader of the GOP as the Orange Polyp and the obstructionist vanity senators blocking democracy as piles of shit, but after a bloodbath at the Capitol, and the extra-constitutional installation of a lawless, malignant polyp as permanent president, I’d probably already be in a concentration camp.
Hyperbole? Perhaps, but only because of my very small audience here on the internet. I wouldn’t be important enough to round up in the early rounds of violent revenge against those critical of a leader so perfect he is lovingly embraced by thousands of White Christian leaders across the Bible Belt and beyond. Leaders who understand that Jesus Christ Himself wanted the least of them to have guns, as many and as powerful as they like, to kill heretics, traitors and child molesters everywhere.