SCOTUS ruling strikes down NY gun law, could have far reaching consequences
SUNY Buffalo State College political science professor Peter Yacobucci discussed the Supreme Court decision allowing the carrying of firearms in public and its potential effects moving forward with WBFO's Thomas O'Neil-White.
Thomas O'Neil-White: So talk to me about this ruling from the Supreme Court the impact of it, how momentous is it?
Peter Yacobucci: Well, I think it continues a trend that started in 2008. With the Supreme Court recognizing gun rights, the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment as a personal right, not a right connected to a well-regulated militia is the first clause and the Amendment states. That's a revolutionary decision in itself in 2008. And today's decision is just a furtherance of that. And it will be used in the future to knock down gun control laws across the United States.
O’Neil-White: So in essence, it's saying that this doesn't really have a bearing on the Second Amendment?
Yacobucci: What it says is, if there are two parts to the Second Amendment, which reads are well regulated militia being necessary to the security of the Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That first clause a well-regulated militia is now and it has been since Heller was decided in 2008, largely perfunctory not even read into the Constitution. Now the entire emphasis is on the second half of the amendment. And that right is a personal right, meaning that individuals cannot be restricted, and their ability to protect themselves using a firearm.
O’Neil-White: So reasonably, I could bring my firearm into work, right?
Yacobucci: And so here comes the question, like I teach at a university, that is a gun free zone, will those limitations where an individual is not allowed to bring a gun to our campus? Will those be upheld, I have not had a chance to read all 135 pages of this ruling. But I have a feeling those type of limitations on place, and limitations on which individuals are allowed to have a firearm are going to be under challenged in the future.
O’Neil-White: I know you just said you haven't read all 135 pages of the ruling. But is there anything else that stands out to you?
Yacobucci: A couple points. One, this is another indication, and you're gonna see another series of cases released tomorrow. And as wire cases released Tuesday, the country is divided is growing and continues to grow between red states and blue states. And we see that on the Supreme Court. If you look at the difference between the majority opinion in this case written by conservative Clarence Thomas, and the dissenting opinion written by the soon to be retired, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, they're talking past each other, and they're not even discussing really the same constitutional principles as each other. And that's an indication of our politics right now in the United States, and for the Supreme Court and specific, and for our country in general. That's a very, very bad thing.
O’Neil-White: Anything else? Overall?
Yacobucci: Let me just say one more thing is why why don't we have so many important cases before the Supreme Court. And that's the result that we have a dysfunctional federal government, we have a federal government right now at least it's the last decade, that can't solve problems. We either have the Republicans or the Democrats denying either side any chance to pass legislation and the way our system is set up by the founding fathers, it's designed to force compromise. And if compromise doesn't occur, the government can act. So these types of issues, gun issues, or religious rights issues, get forced into the court. And then the courts, which is becoming more political has to decide these issues, and that is clearly against the design of the founding fathers.
O’Neil-White: So what's the solution to this?
Yacobucci: If I knew that answer, I wouldn't be writing books right now and be appearing on national television.