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Crime

Supreme Court

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When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was confronted over his support for the bipartisan bill addressing elements of gun violence, he defended his Second Amendment record, telling reporters: “I spent my career supporting, defending and expanding” gun rights, and stressing that he had “spent years” confirming conservative judges. McConnell made that statement in full confidence that the Supreme Court he packed with three illegitimate justices would do precisely what it did: ensure that sensible gun regulations anywhere would be eliminated.

The court decided the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case Thursday in 6-3 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, striking down that state’s 108-year-old provision requiring anyone who wants to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to show “proper cause” before being granted a permit. The Court’s extremists, Thomas writes, find that New York's strict limits on the concealed carry of firearms in public violates the Second Amendment. It essentially throws out the previous restrictions the Court upheld in its last big gun control case, the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller.




In his concurrence, Alito essentially rubbed salt in the wound, snidely asking “And how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.”


Justice Stephen Breyer provides a lengthy dissent, including a comprehensive retelling of the mass deaths in an age when weapons of war are widely available to all citizens. “The primary difference between the Court's view and mine is that I believe the [Second] Amendment allows States to take account of the serious problems posed by gun violence that I have just described,” he writes. “I fear that the Court's interpretation ignores these significant dangers and leaves States without the ability to address them.”

The decision could mean as many as 20,000 more guns on the streets in New York City. The city is working to determine how to craft new rules to meet this outcome, and how to designate certain areas, including public transportation, as “sensitive places” to try to bar firearms.

“It’s gonna be a complete disaster and shows how anti-urban the Supreme Court is at foundation,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Norman Brown predicted. “This is both a practical fear and a marketing fear. How do you market the train if you are assuming the guy with the heavy coat has a gun under his?” Brown said.

That’s exactly the scenario Justice Samuel Alito raised in oral arguments on the case. But he was imagining a subway system teeming with armed criminals against whom the rest of the population was defenseless. “All these people with illegal guns: They’re on the subway, walking around the streets, but ordinary, hard-working, law-abiding people, no,” Alito told New York State Solicitor General Barbara Underwood. “They can’t be armed.” The reality will be closer to Brown’s supposition: Those ordinary, law-abiding people are going to be worried about being surrounded by guns.

The decision also sets up challenges to regulations in every state that has them, including immediate those in six other states: California, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. In fact, the decision is so broad that the concealed carry restrictions that protect some 83 million people are going to be wiped out.

“How the court interprets the Second Amendment is far from an abstract exercise,” Eric Tirschwell of Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group, told The Washington Post. “If the court forces New York to allow more people to carry guns in public, the result will be more people shot and more people killed, and that’s what the evidence and social science tells you.”

A belligerent gun rights community is there to make sure that other blue states are forced to buckle and loosen permit rules. “If they don’t do that,” said Matthew Larosiere, with the Firearms Policy Coalition, “we’ll certainly be suing them.” He foresees the states trying to preempt those suits. “Perhaps there will be a state or two on the West Coast that doesn’t want to do this and we will insist that they be dragged to court,” he said. “That’s something we’d rather avoid as it’s better to have people’s rights respected.”

Which sounds an awful lot like a threat, one that has the potential to rile up a lot of gun owners in these states who are feeling increasingly emboldened.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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George Soros

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Fox News’ weekend show lobbed multiple antisemitic attacks against philanthropist George Soros, before deeming any accusations of antisemitism to be “inappropriate.”

During the June 12 edition of Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Will Cain predicted a “coming crisis” in New York City as a result of Manhattan’s district attorney implementing criminal justice reform policies. Co-host Pete Hegseth then quoted a former police officer who claimed the current mantra among law enforcement is “get out while you still can,” and Cain blamed philanthropist George Soros for allegedly funding reform-minded district attorneys nationwide. Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy called it a “very clever strategy” to “literally change the country” before asking, “Why is George Soros doing this? What is his endgame? Because we can see it’s absolutely unraveling our cities.”


A little over an hour later, during a segment about efforts to recall district attorneys in multiple cities, Cain alleged the common connection between them is George Soros. He whined that “When you bring up George Soros' name, people automatically accuse you of anti-Semitism. It's inappropriate,” before he and Hegseth listed the district attorneys of major cities, the cities’ crime rates, and how much money Soros donated to their campaigns. Cain further claimed that “our crime philosophy in the United States of America is driven by George Soros’ vision. … Half of people who live in big cities, 20% of Americans in total, live under these policies.”

Hegseth ominously asked, “What does he want to do to these cities?”


Fox News has a well-established history of using thinly-veiled antisemitic attacks against Soros’ political and philanthropic efforts, including an ominous warning just days ago that he is “seeking to take down America from within.”

These lines of attack are derived from a centuries-old conspiracy theory that a cabal of Jews is controlling the government and the media for nefarious purposes. Most recently, it has become a favorite of white nationalists and was mentioned as an inspiration by several mass shooters. In 2018, Soros was one of several people who were targeted by a Trump supporter who mailed pipe bombs to individuals and organizations perceived to be opponents of the then-president

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.