The Supreme Court's disgusting ruling on abortion has justifiably garnered most of the attention on Monday, but what has gotten less attention is their ruling on guns, which was also horrendous.
In the case Voisine v. United States, the court ruled by a margin of 6-2 to uphold a federal law that prevents those convicted of "a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" from owning a firearm. The ruling may seem like a common-sense ruling on face-value, but it's actually a back-door gun grabbing attempt by the court.
The key term to focus on in this ruling is the word "reckless." The case was brought to the court because two men committed crimes that they felt were "reckless in nature" and did not constitute an act of misdemeanor domestic violence, and therefore they shouldn't be prohibited from owning a firearm under the law. Associate Justice Elena Kagan didn't buy their argument.
"The federal ban on firearms possession applies to any person with a prior misdemeanor conviction for the 'use . . . of physical force' against a domestic relation…That language, naturally read, encompasses acts of force undertaken recklessly—i.e., with conscious disregard of a substantial risk of harm," Kagan wrote in the majority opinion.
Kagan concluded that "Congress’s definition of a 'misdemeanor crime of violence' contains no exclusion for convictions based on reckless behavior" and that "a person who assaults another recklessly 'use[s]' force, no less than one who carries out that same action knowingly or intentionally."
But as Associate Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out in his dissent, the "reckless" standard could result in people forever being denied their constitutional right to firearm for a "a single conviction for an infraction punishable only by a fine":
In enacting [the federal firearms law], Congress was not worried about a husband dropping a plate on his wife’s foot or a parent injuring her child by texting while driving. Congress was worried that family members were abusing other family members through acts of violence and keeping their guns by pleading down to misdemeanors … Instead, under the majority’s approach, a parent who has a car accident because he sent a text message while driving can lose his right to bear arms forever if his wife or child suffers the slightest injury from the crash.
While Thomas acknowledged that these crimes are infrequently prosecuted, the ruling results in "the right to keep and bear arms up to the discretion of federal, state and local prosecutors."
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only other justice to dissent from the majority opinion.
The Supreme Court has yet again used the bench to encroach on the freedom of the individual, this time using minor infractions to deny citizens their Second Amendment rights.