The main focus of the Democrats’ rage against Brett Kavanaugh is Roe v. Wade, which they fear will now be overturned. Why they are suddenly so certain that women’s – cough, cough – “constitutional right to an abortion” will go up in smoke is a bit of a mystery; Trump has now made two Supreme Court nominations, and neither of them will change the ideological balance of the court. Anthony Kennedy was perhaps less of an originalist than Antonin Scalia, but he was certainly no Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Replacing him with Kavanaugh is an improvement, likely, but it isn’t the dramatic, OUR PROGRESSIVE WORLD IS ENDING occasion that the left is making it out to be. At this point, Trump is merely ensuring that the court does not fall into the “make it up as we go along” hands of the left. Which is enough.
Whether Roe v. Wade is really on the chopping block remains to be seen. We have a feeling that it isn’t going anywhere. Not anytime soon. This is nothing more than politics on the part of the Democrats. They want to hype their voters into a frenzy so they’ll come out in droves this November. That’s all this is about.
But there is one area where Kavanaugh definitely does pose a threat to the Democrats’ agenda. Over the past couple of years, Democrats have determined that the main threat to public safety in America is the legality and availability of what they quaintly call “assault weapons.” These are, essentially, AR-15s, and other rifles that mimic them in every way but branding. Because these guns tend to be the weapon of choice for many of the most prolific and newsworthy mass shooters, Democrats have targeted them for banning. According to the left, these guns are “weapons of war” because…well, because they closely resemble their automatic counterparts, which are used by the military.
“If you care about common sense gun violence protection, Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare,” warned Sen. Richard Blumenthal shortly after Trump made his pick. “If you want background checks, a ban on assault weapons, or any of the other common sense measures that we have in Connecticut, or California, or New York, Judge Kavanaugh will strike them down.”
There’s actually nothing in Kavanaugh’s record that suggests he will strike down background checks, but Blumenthal is correct when he says that the Supreme Court nominee has a record that demonstrates his thoughts on “assault weapons.” In 2011, Kavanaugh authored a dissent against a court judgement upholding Washington D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic rifles of a certain type, concluding rationally that there was no meaningful difference between the semi-automatic handguns allowed by the Supreme Court’s “Heller” decision and the rifles banned by D.C.
“In Heller,” Kavanaugh wrote, “the Supreme Court held that handguns — the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic — are constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens. There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic rifles, like semi-automatic handguns, have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. Moreover, semi-automatic handguns are used in connection with violent crimes far more than semi-automatic rifles are. It follows from Heller’s protection of semi-automatic handguns that semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected and that D.C.’s ban on them is unconstitutional.”
If there is a correlation between mass shootings and the use of semi-automatic rifles, that correlation is likely due to the popularity of the weapons. The AR-15 remains the most popular rifle in America for home defense, making it readily available to the occasional teenage nutjob who wants to shoot up his school. If you take these weapons away, the next school shootings will be carried out by killers wielding shotguns, semi-automatic handguns, or some other unbanned firearm. Only a fool would think otherwise.
Thankfully for us (and unfortunately for Democrats), Brett Kavanaugh is not a fool.