By Dr. Lucas J. Mather, Ph.D.
I am a Republican Professor, on campuses where there aren’t many professors who are Republicans.
Today, I’m listening to the oral arguments today at the Supreme Court (US) in the Second Amendment challenge that the Democrats are appealing. I’m also reading through the 7th Circuit panel decision overturning a preliminary injunction against the Illinois so-called “assault weapon” ban, which is worse that California’s recent ban. The Trump appointee on the panel is the smartest, so far. I’m reading carefully to double check, but so far, that’s the way it looks.
Often the Second Amendment cases are pitched or classified as situations needing resolution between the conflicting needs of public safety and individual rights. I’ve always been uneasy about that way of putting it, because “public safety” tends to be such an unclear term in such usage. I think public safety only occurs if individual rights are respected. Witness, for instance, the public disaster of the Covid panic, when rights were trampled upon in the name of whatever bureaucrats wanted to do in the moment of panic-induced control-lust. That’s not public safety at all. Public safety, rightly defined and understood, is consistent with the protection and respect of individual rights. Here’s a stronger, but just as accurate way of putting it: True public safety requires safety from THE GOVERNMENT. That was the whole point of the separation of powers in the Constitution. So, true public safety requires the government respect of individual rights.
This sentence is linked for you to hear the oral arguments for yourself.
For a wonderful breakdown of the briefs in this newest Second Amendment case at the Supreme Court right now, see the work of Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook, JD, PhD, at Volokh Consipiracy here.
Dr. Halbrook is a repeat guest on The Republican Professor Podcast which you can find here .
Dr. Lucas J. Mather, Ph.D. is producer and host of The Republican Professor Podcast, a Second-Amendment-friendly podcast. He teaches government at Azusa Pacific University in Lost Angeles County, California.