We've Never Had a Day Like That on Guns Before

Both sides in debate score landmark wins, but pro-gun advocates seen as the bigger winners
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2022 9:13 AM CDT
We've Never Had a Day Like That on Guns Before
A gun shop in New Britain, Conn.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Thursday was a head-spinning day in regard to guns. First, the Supreme Court handed a major victory to gun rights advocates with a ruling that loosens restrictions on who can carry handguns. Later, the Senate passed the first significant gun safety measure in three decades. Coverage:

  • Unprecedented: Washington, "so often a backdrop for inaction, had seldom witnessed anything quite like it—two branches of government splintering in opposite directions on guns, one of the country’s most divisive issues, in the space of a single day," writes Glenn Thrush in the New York Times. Thrush sees the court ruling as a "monumental victory" for the pro-gun camp, compared to the "less significant but important legislative accomplishment" in the Senate. All in all, it means "an ever deepening confusion about the direction of national gun policy" for the nation as a whole.

  • Bottom line: Sam Baker sees the day as likely being a "net loss for gun control," he writes at Axios. The court ruling will likely have more of an impact than the Senate move because while the justices' decision affected a law in New York, it will surely lead to challenges in other states.
  • Ditto: At CNN, Stephen Collinson also weighs in on the remarkable timing, noting that the victories for both sides "were the result of diligent, long-term activism." He, too, thinks the Senate move was "overshadowed" by the court ruling, and he warns liberals to get used to it. Unless Democrats take a radical step such as expanding the court, "juxtapositions like Thursday's—when a moderate, bipartisan political success on an issue like guns is countermanded by the might of the Supreme Court's right-wing bloc—will be an enduring and dominant story of American politics."
  • 2 views: Look no further than the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal for polar opposite views of the court ruling. The Post sees it as "the latest sign that the court’s conservative majority is committed to dangerous pro-gun dogma at odds with the Constitution’s words and common sense." The court, it adds, is on a mission to "supercharge the Second Amendment." The Journal, however, thinks the ruling actually "vindicates" that amendment by recognizing that it "doesn't disappear when you walk out your front door." The ruling won't result in the "Wild West," the editorial adds, because states can still impose reasonable restrictions on carry permits. New York's restrictions went too far, however, the editors write.
(Read more gun rights stories.)

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