By: TJ Martinell
WASHINGTON (March 31, 2019) – In the film Princess Bride, Wesley tells the revenge-bent Indigo Montoya to “get used to disappointment.” This is also good advice for anyone who puts their faith in the federal government to protect their right to keep and bear arms. The latest decision by the United States Supreme Court rejecting a bid by gun-rights groups to block President Trump’s unconstitutional bump stock ban is one more example of why.
On Thursday, the SCOTUS refused to grant a temporary stay on the ban sought by Gun Owners of America and others in a lawsuit filed in Michigan. It was the second time in three days that the High Court refused to grant a stay as litigation trying to stop the bump stock ban continues. Chief Justice John Roberts also denied a stay in a Washington case on Tuesday Both cases are still pending. District court judges have already upheld the ban in both cases. The appeals process will continue, but the ban will stay in place.
Some may argue that it’s a normal practice by SCOTUS to reject these bids. Normal? Perhaps. But what does that have to do with the Court’s duty to protect the rights of Americans? Their job is to act as a check against usurpation of authority by Congress or the executive branch.
The federal bump stock ban is many times over illegal. The Second Amendment prohibits the central government from restricting gun rights. However, Trump didn’t even bother to go through Congress. As his predecessor attempted to do with a popular AR-15 cartridge, he imposed the ban via rulemaking by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Even if there was no Second Amendment, James Madison wrote in Federalist #45 that the powers of the federal government are “few and defined,” meaning the feds would still need the expressed authority to regulate firearms or firearms accessories.
By doing this, Trump saved gun control advocates the trouble of going state-by-state trying to get a ban implemented. In fact, his ban includes states where such a policy would have never survived the legislative process. It is also a policy that will likely be impossible to undo.
It’s time Americans who cherish their right to keep and bear arms stop deceiving themselves. SCOTUS isn’t going to save you. The president isn’t going to save you. Congress isn’t going to save you. Certainly, no federal bureaucracy will pass a rule ensuring your rights are preserved. And sadly,=, no national lobby group will save you, either.
There is only one path from here. States must nullify this rule, or refuse to help the feds enforce it. Nullification and passive defiance helped bring down federal prohibition on marijuana. That same approach can work with guns. If the people in their respective states don’t take direct action to resist these blatant assaults on their liberties, yet continue to hope for deliverance from elsewhere, they should get used to disappointment.