I’ve been in the fight for gun rights for nearly 30 years. The first time I testified before the Maryland Senate committee on gun control laws my opening was something like “My name is, AWA. I do not own any guns. I do not belong to the NRA. I am here to testify against Bill S.xxx”
That year we went to Annapolis multiple times. We always had something written to submit. We always asked to speak.
The way the Democrat controlled house treated us vs the Republican controlled senate was night and day.
The house committee had metal detectors setup. They were in a sort of auditorium. Nobody was allowed into the auditorium unless they went through the metal detectors.
Except for all of the law enforcement people. These people were going around the detectors and flashing their firearms. Constantly. Rubbing it in our faces that only they were allowed to carry firearms.
When we got into the auditorium the chairman said “There are lots of people that wish to speak. In order to be fair we are not going to hear from any individuals. Each group that has signed up can have one witness testify.”
There were at least a dozen and closer to two dozen gun control groups there. Everything from Handgun Control, Inc to the International Order of Police Chiefs. There was one gun rights organization there, the NRA. They had maybe a dozen people lined up to testify. Each with a different thing to bring to the table.
The NRA was allowed to put one person up to testify.
For the Senate there was a couple of thousand gun rights people gathered outside. The senate committee setup loudspeakers so that the people outside could hear what was being said. When the MSP Colonel showed up to testify in his full uniform the chairman asked if he was representing the Maryland State Police.
“No, I’m here representing the International Order of Police Chiefs”
“Then get out. You are only allowed to wear your uniform when testifying if you are representing the MSP.”
The chief got out. He came back about 10 minutes later in an ill fitting suit. He still had his uniform pants on but he wasn’t in uniform any more.
Regardless, the number of anti gun organizations and people in that committee room greatly outnumbered the gun rights people.
And that was the way of it. And that has been the way of it for many many years.
We were out numbered every time we showed up. The courts were stacked against us. The balancing act of “government interest” vs. “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” always came out in favor of the government.
The number of court opinions that started with “We stipulate for the sake of argument that the 2nd amendment rights of X were infringed. We now move to balancing under intermediate scrutiny. The government has presented compelling arguments that the laws is required, thus we rule that the law is constitutional.”
It wasn’t until 2008 that I saw the first break in the damn. The Heller case did something amazing. For a short period of time there was 100% repropricity in Washington DC. It took about 6 months before they had a new permitting scheme in place. But for that period of time, if you had a CCW or were from a Constitutional Carry state, you could legally carry in DC.
We kept fighting for our rights. The McDonald case erased the “No Issue” states. At least in theory. When you have a “may issue” state like Hawaii that has counties that have no record of every having issued a CCW, it is still a “No Issue” state.
And still the fight for our rights continued. The hope was that a case would make it to the supreme court and we would get a positive ruling.
Then we saw NY pull a fast one. Attempting to moot a case and the court allowed it to happen. THomas said it was well past time for the court to address the second amendment to establish that it was a first class right. The same as every other right guaranteed by the Constitution.
That finally happened last year and the result this year was the Bruen opinion.
“The Court rejects that two-part approach as having one step to many.”
I expected to see the lawsuits. The FPC and GOA keep filing suits, and winning. Thursday a Biden (or Obama) judge in New York put a temporary stay on NY State’s new gun control law(s). It isn’t a full win, but it is a much closer to a win than it would have been 12 months ago.
In Hawaii, they HPD requested comments on the new permitting scheme. More people, not organizations, but average, everyday people showed up to protest. “Shall NOT Be Infringed”.
This is the people no longer knowing they will lose. It is hard to show up and do battle time and time again, knowing the deck is stacked against you. It is hard to call your Senator or Representative and know that they are able to say “Taking away your right to own AR-15s doesn’t infringe on your rights.” without blinking. Wondering if they are lying to themselves or if they truly believe it.
I’m a cynic. I believe that these scum know exactly what lying sacks of shit they are and they don’t care. It is the opinion they were told to have and so they do.