In America, a return to “normal” means a return to the constant drumming of gun violence and mass shootings. We are the only wealthy country in the world that refuses to protect us or our children from gun violence, and the year of pandemic isolation has made us no less barbaric.
After two high profile mass shootings in a week – and numerous other gun violence cases that didn’t even make the evening news – all the typical arguments are back on the table. As usual, the Democrats promise to make mostly popular progress on lukewarm gun regulations. As usual, Republicans promise to hinder these efforts. As usual, many more Americans will die as Joe Manchin tries to figure out what gun holes need to be kept open in order to uphold his constituents’ right to kill each other with minimal effort.
The debate about what to do after these mass shootings strikes me as more pointless than usual, and not just because I am desensitized to mass death or cynical about political compromises (although I am these things as I need to be when I watch numerous Politicians shaking off half a million deaths as they rush to reopen the beaches for the spring break. The debate is pointless because regardless of the outcome of Congressional the conservatively controlled Supreme Court will not allow us reasonable guns regulation, let alone ambitious ones, advanced laws to remove guns from the streets, as is the case in other countries, don’t have mass shootings every other day.
Democrats (and Americans who don’t want to be shot) lost the firefights when Mitch McConnell stole a seat in the square in 2016. They lost the war when Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may her memory be a blessing, did not live until January 20, 2021. There is no new gun regulation or reform that six bloodthirsty Conservatives on the Supreme Court can survive just like there is no way to “win” a game of Russian roulette if the revolver contains six balls.
In fact, the Supreme Court is far from upholding the newly passed law ineffective enough to survive a filibuster (you know, the same filibuster Democrats refuse to kill) and is poised to go the other way to go and dismantle the gun regulations we already have.
This Friday the judges will meet to decide whether to take a case called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v Corlett. It is an ammosexual test case argued by former George W. Bush attorney general and Republican super-attorney Paul Clement that seeks to create a brand new constitutional right to carry firearms outside the home whenever a person so wishes.