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SCOTUS To Hear Out Wife Beaters Who Want Their Guns Back This Week
What could possibly go wrong?
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the United States of America has a bit of a problem with mass shootings. There are a lot of reasons for this, although the main one is probably “it is very easy for pretty much anyone to get a gun that will kill a very large number of people in a very short period of time.” That would certainly be a factor. Another thing that mass murderers tend to have in common, however, is domestic violence.
A study published in 2021 determined that “in more than two-thirds (68.2%) of mass shootings analyzed, the perpetrator either killed family or intimate partners or the shooter had a history of domestic violence” and “that DV-related mass shootings were associated with a greater fatality rate.”
“Gun violence has many forms, but it is clear that a history of interpersonal violence should be a deciding factor in whether or not an individual should continue to have access to a gun,” said Lisa Geller, lead author of the study and the state affairs manager of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.
All of this has long been the case, despite the fact those with domestic violence protection orders against them are legally barred from possessing guns.
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This week, the Supreme Court of the United States will determine whether or not states have the right to bar people with domestic violence against them from owning guns — and it does not seem as though they are going to err on the side of “Less Murder.”
The case was brought by one Zackey Rahimi, a gun rights advocate who, in his spare time, enjoys shooting at women in parking garages, assaulting and then threatening to shoot and kill his ex-girlfriend and regularly opening fire on random people who upset him.
Between December 2020 and January 2021, Rahimi was involved in five shootings in and around Arlington, Texas. On December 1, after selling narcotics to an individual, he fired multiple shots into that individual’s residence. The following day, Rahimi was involved in a car accident. He exited his vehicle, shot at the other driver, and fled the scene. He returned to the scene in a different vehicle and shot at the other driver’s car. On December 22, Rahimi shot at a constable’s vehicle. On January 7, Rahimi fired multiple shots in the air after his friend’s credit card was declined at a Whataburger restaurant.
Weirdly, doing all of that isn’t super legal, even in Texas, and it led to Rahimi getting into some trouble, especially because he was not even supposed to own a gun — due to the order of protection filed against him by the ex-girlfriend he threatened to kill. He was indicted by a federal grand jury for possessing a firearm while under a domestic violence restraining order in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which bars those with such restraining orders from having guns.
Outraged by the unfairness of it all, Rahimi pushed to have the charged dismissed on the grounds that § 922(g)(8) was unconstitutional. The case was initially dismissed by the 5th Circuit, but they ended up overturning that decision based on the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.
Bruen, you may recall, is the case where they decided that there cannot be any restrictions on guns if those restrictions wouldn’t have existed at some point between the ratification of the Constitution and the Civil War — a time, of course, when people were famously very concerned about domestic violence.
And yes. Yes. Clarence Thomas was the one writing the decision about how the only good laws are the laws that existed before the Civil War.
Will this result in a lot of people being killed? Almost definitely. But they will be dying for our freedoms, like heroes. Well, not our freedoms — certainly not mine, certainly not victims of domestic violence. But the freedoms of people like Zackey Rahimi, who deserve to be able to shoot at random women in parking garages should the mood take them.
Should the Supreme Court find in Rahimi’s favor, this could likely impact red flag laws in the states that have them, which would also lead to many more mass shootings. Because why would we ever want to prevent someone who has stated their interest in murdering people from having a gun?