The US Supreme Court struck down ATF’s rule banning bump stocks last week. Here’s The Reload’s coverage.

I listen to some legal podcasts. This is the legal equivalent of staying in a Holiday Inn Express. They have given some insights on how lawyers and judges see things as opposed to the general public. So, what insights did they impart about the ruling?

First and most important, this ruling was less about defending the Second Amendment, and more about telling Congress to do it’s damn job. The ruling is good, as a gun owner, due to ATF’s tendency to suddenly criminalize items that it said were perfectly legal. What the Supreme Court emphatically did not say was that a bump stock ban passed by Congress would be against the Second Amendment. If anything, their concurrences/dissents made it perfectly clear they wouldn’t have a problem with such a ban. And let’s be real, the general public has a fear of fully automatic weapons in the hands of people not in the military or police.

Second, we, as gun owners, need to stop relying on the dicta of “in common use” as a magic phrase to protect us from equipment bans. It’s not an official standard, and it can’t protect us like a rule ordering the use of strict scrutiny would’ve been.

Third, I don’t think “text, history, and tradition” will be the panacea some of us think. It feels like an originalist’s version of “making up what we want the Constitution to say”. I liked the levels of scrutiny as they had decades of precedence on how they should be determined or proscribed. It really comes down to having a process that has less “play in the joints” when it comes to rights. Especially rights that don’t have a long track record of protection – like say free speech.

So, what is the point of all this rambling? The courts are not our friends. When we start getting the Second Amendment edge cases, there will be other things that come into play. Stealing from a couple of “legal theories” that I heard on Advisory Opinions, we will be at the mercy of the “Bad Man Stays In Jail” and “Bad Cases Make Bad Laws”.

We still need to work with the legislatures, which means electing people who will actually get stuff through Congress and not grandstand for the television. We need to do outreach to those who are curious and try to meet them where they are at. The commanding heights of culture? Yeah, we need to change them, but I’m not savvy enough to opine on methodology.

As for me? I will do my best to be a good ambassador and voter.