A protester against domestic abusers owning guns, in front of the US Supreme Court.
(Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

U.S. Just Scored a Rare Win From the Supreme Court Against Domestic Abusers and Gun Violence

A lone dissenter.

I cannot believe I am saying this, but the U.S. Supreme Court has come through again! Making a rational ruling, this time, on gun control and rights.

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The high court took up an issue that seems like common sense: whether domestic abusers should have firearms. Most of us are obviously going to say uh, no, of course not. However, in such a gun-obsessed country like the United States, nothing seems too extreme nowadays.

The question at hand was whether taking away right to own guns, even from domestic abusers, violated the Constitution. This was especially interesting after SCOTUS ruled 2 years ago, in the Bruen case, that individuals had a right to carry a handgun outside of their home … ya know, for self-defense. That ruling overturned a New York law that had been in place for over a hundred years. Bruen has been dangerous because it essentially does not see public safety as criteria for gun laws that should be decided by the courts, and the majority opinion was written by none other than Clarence Thomas. Interestingly enough, this recent decision on domestic abusers had one lone dissenter: Clarence freakin’ Thomas. 

Thomas is problematic because he has gone against the grain in pretending that there isn’t a real tradition of the government limiting the public carrying or concealment of firearms. He has said that laws preventing such things are just “outliers.” This is unequivocally untrue. His legal mind is a very warped one though, as we all should know by now. Friday’s decision was an 8–1 ruling, with 8 justices saying that domestic abusers can be barred from owning guns. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that there’s a tradition of firearm regulation that allows the government to disarm people who are deemed a credible threat to others. This goes back to the public safety factor that was at issue in the Bruen decision. 

Opponents like Thomas seem to think that the 2nd Amendment has no restraints. I have never been a fan of the 2nd Amendment personally, and I think it has been severely misinterpreted. But aside from that, the notion that owning guns is something that can’t be limited, even for people who have domestic abuse convictions and restraining orders, is straight up bananas. We have to keep an eye on this issue because there are going to be many, many more challenges that come before the court. While we can celebrate this win, we know that the court is still heavily conservative. It just takes one ruling to make this country even more dangerous. This is just another reminder of how important it is to vote!

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