The current interpretation of the Second Amendment amounts to a murder-suicide pact. That’s because in states with permissive gun laws (i.e., most states), it requires citizens to tolerate the presence of heavily armed people in public spaces.
Until the moment they start mowing down passersby, the heavily armed person is “just being a person, doing what he had the right to do.” (NYT gift link):
ATLANTA — Two days after a gunman killed 10 people at a Colorado grocery store, leaving many Americans on high alert, Rico Marley was arrested as he emerged from the bathroom at a Publix supermarket in Atlanta. He was wearing body armor and carrying six loaded weapons — four handguns in his jacket pockets, and in a guitar bag, a semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.
Moments earlier, an Instacart delivery driver had alerted a store employee after seeing Mr. Marley in the bathroom, along with the AR-15-style rifle, which was propped against a wall. A grand jury indictment later described what had come next: “panic, terror and the evacuation of the Publix.”
Mr. Marley, then 22, was arrested without incident that day in March 2021. His lawyer, Charles Brant, noted that he had not made any threats or fired any shots, and had legally purchased his guns. Mr. Marley did not violate Georgia law, Mr. Brant said; he was “just being a person, doing what he had the right to do.”
This isn’t a problem in other industrialized countries because they aren’t as fucking stupid about guns as we Americans are. We got even stupider in June when the corrupt conservatives on the Supreme Court struck down limits on carrying guns in public in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case.
States that aren’t run by members of the pro-mass murder party are enacting legislation that they hope will survive another review by the pro-mass murder majority on the Supreme Court. But hard-right Justice Alito’s comment on the dissenting opinion demonstrates the mindset we’re dealing with here:
“It is hard to see what legitimate purpose can possibly be served by most of the dissent’s lengthy introductory section,” he wrote. “Why, for example, does the dissent think it is relevant to recount the mass shootings that have occurred in recent years? Does the dissent think that laws like New York’s prevent or deter such atrocities?”
No, you stupid fuck of an ivory tower-dwelling Alito — most of us who’ve passed a fifth grade social studies class realize the mere existence of laws doesn’t prevent every crime! The dissenting justices were rubbing your stupid face in the blood-soaked results of your stupid reasoning.
The Atlanta case against inactive shooter Rico Marley is ongoing. He was denied bond and charged with an attempt to commit 11 felonies, but then charges were dismissed and he was released. After 10 months, he was rearrested when a grand jury indicted him on 10 misdemeanor counts. He pleaded not guilty and is currently in custody.
Anyhoo, one of the most surprising things in the article is the following sentence:
Taking out the rifle in the men’s room would have most likely violated the law in Illinois, Florida and California, where open carry is banned, Mr. Charles said. But states with more lenient gun laws have struggled with scenarios similar to the one involving Mr. Marley.
Florida — along with Illinois and California — is not currently an “open carry” state. The recently reelected governor plans to remedy that as soon as the wingnut supermajority statehouse sends him a “constitutional carry” bill to sign.
That will mean anyone who legally owns a gun can carry it in public — concealed or not — with no training, license, permit, etc., except where restricted by law, i.e., in statehouses, courthouses, airports, private property where disallowed, etc.
I mean, it’s Florida. What could possibly go wrong?