The Narrow Life Experience of Supreme Court Justices

The Narrow Life Experience of Supreme Court Justices

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- I listened to the oral arguments in the case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association versus Bruen. I found the judges on the US Supreme court both fascinating and frightening. To me, their questions showed the narrow life experiences of a supreme court judge. Before I commit the same error that these judges made, I must admit that the justices are not all the same, and their experiences are certainly different than mine.

This particular legal case asks the court to decide if ordinary people can legally carry ordinary firearms in ordinary places. Time and again, the judges asked the petitioner’s counsel if he were asking that guns belong in extraordinary places. To take a few examples, the judge was implying that honest gun owners should be disarmed at schools, at public gatherings, on the subway, and at sporting events.

Lawyers want to restrict their arguments to the narrow question asked in the case. What I found fascinating were the judges’ assumptions.

The judge assumes that schools are safe and that guns should be outlawed there. I’ve studied our history and I know that schools are dangerous places where innocent children have been attacked. My experience may be unusual since I’ve worked to make schools safer with programs that trained school staff to be first responders, to stop an attack and treat the injured unto police and EMTs arrive.

My experience may be unusual since I know co-eds who were raped as they walked home from class late at night. They were disarmed because the campus was a “gun free zone”. No, the campus wasn’t a “gun free zone” to the rapist who brought his gun. It sounds as if the justices think that laws enforce themselves and that criminals obey our laws.

That isn’t my experience. My friends have a painful history to prove it. Evidently, that history and what we learned from it isn’t obvious to some supreme court judges.

One judge asked if the state could outlaw concealed carry at public gatherings like Times Square on New Year’s eve, or at bars and restaurants where alcohol is served. Again, I heard the question as a confession by the judges.

The judge thinks that restaurants and bars are made safe by ink on paper. If we’re going to outlaw guns, then wouldn’t bars be safer if we also outlawed carrying keys in a bar so we wouldn’t drive while intoxicated? I’m afraid the judge would say that we should outlaw keys in bars too. To me, it sounds as if the judge thinks we depend on laws to get home safely.

Crimes in and around Times Square, New York

Do the judges really think that police have made Times Square a safe place for me and my family? I don’t believe that for a minute! Fortunately, ordinary people like us developed our own solutions that are both more sophisticated and more tailored to our specific needs than the crude tool of law. My experience, while limited, is that bars and restaurants are made safe by the designated driver who is carrying both her keys in her pocket and a firearm on her hip. It is she who protects her friends who might imbibe. When my friends go to places like Times Square, they are kept safe by men and women who are looking outward to spot trouble before it reaches them.

For the judges, what is out of sight is out of mind. For example, they ask if we should be allowed to carry at sporting events. They claim that getting wanded at a turnstile makes us safe. I remember where unarmed fans were beaten to the ground and brain-damaged by gangs at the stadium. Clearly, the state did not make those locations safe for the common man. Our safety is primarily our concern rather than the state’s concern.

Going to an extreme example, if a town puts up a sign that says, “no guns allowed”, is that enough protection so we should be compelled to give up our right of armed defense? Regardless of what we say, I observe that a plastic sign isn’t enough protection so that judges, politicians, and their security teams decide to go unarmed.

At the other extreme, we’ve seen mass murder occur where there were both police and metal detectors providing security as you entered a fairgrounds. Despite those precautions, the murderer simply walked away from the security checkpoint and crawled under the fence. The city delivered a security theater rather than a real defense. In fact, we see fewer injured victims and injured bystanders when armed civilians defend themselves. I’m left wondering why the judges didn’t understand that history when they asked their questions.

This is pure projection on my part, but I was left wondering if judges were asking where they could go to get away from those dangerous gun owners. They speak as if they are oblivious to the reality of armed defense in the USA.

Clearly, my experience is different than theirs. So is yours. I’ve been in a room with hundreds of armed men and women. That isn’t some exotic training site, but an ordinary class at a school that taught armed defense to civilians. I’ve been on a convention floor with tens of thousands of armed men and women who were at that convention with their families. That is simply an NRA annual meeting. Even those rather ordinary situations are outside the judges’ experience.

I want to put this at a personal level. The judges said that open carry was a substitute for concealed carry so that ordinary people could exercise armed defense. Would the judges apply those rules to themselves and their family? The people who guard the judges are not routinely limited to open carry, and for good reasons. Their security staff carries everywhere the law allows. They are not restricted to carry when a defined threat is made against a particular justice at a particular time and place.

If judges are extraordinary, then so is every college co-ed. Who is assaulted more often, a judge or a college co-ed?

I thought the judges exhibited a profound lack of empathy for the common man or woman. Would they require that their relatives be restricted to open carry and denied all other forms of defense?

Like many of us, the judges don’t know what they don’t know. Perhaps they only know what they see on the news. Then again, I suspect that you have seen and done many things the judges don’t even know exist.

There is wisdom in humility.


About Rob Morse

The original article, with sources, is posted here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse

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Lazyglenn
Lazyglenn(@glennweekshotmail-com)
17 days ago

During my time in law enforcement, we would share this information with female, good guys who need to testify in court. Wear a modest full lenght dress or skirt, only jewelry is your wedding ring, a pearl necklace, simple stud earrings. The judge wants you to appear as a full time housewife, you spend your time baking cookies for the kids, cleaning house, dinner is ready when husband arrives home. And, You greet hubby at the door with his favorite drink.
” Leave it to Beaver ” , ” Father knows best “.
Interesting mindset .

Wass
Wass(@wass)
18 days ago

NYSR&P vs. Bruen is a narrow case with broad ramifications. It’s NOT about if “ordinary people can legally carry ordinary firearms in ordinary places”. It’s about if New Yorkers, already vetted and licensed to own firearms, can enjoy the same gun rights as licensees in the vast majority of states, without needing to prove extraordinary need, or any need. Don’t doubt for one moment, this case is THE MOST IMPORTANT CASE ever to be argued before SCOTUS on gun rights, in US history. Any other issue, whether it’s, magazine capacities, calibers, gun free zones, earliest age for gun license, etc.,… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Wass
chocopot
chocopot(@chocopot)
18 days ago

I will ask the question I have now been asking for more than 40 years without ever getting a REAL answer: Just where in the wording of The Second Amendment is there even the slightest suggestion of a provision permitting restrictions, limitations, or exceptions? Anyone? Yet there are now more than 24,000 gun control laws in this nation at the federal, state, and local levels. All of them have somehow passed legal muster, yet in my humble opinion, EVERY ONE OF THEM is unconstitutional.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill(@wild-bill)
18 days ago
Reply to  chocopot

You will not like the answer. The Second Amendment did not apply to the states until McDonald v. Chicago. McDonald v. Chicago incorporated the Second Amendment against the states. Please see McDonald v. Chicago.

Last edited 18 days ago by Wild Bill
Russn8r
Russn8r(@russn8r)
18 days ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Authority worship POV. 2A always applied to states, + bright language in 14A. The Constitution never made SCrOTUS sole-final arbiter of God-given rights. It’s arrogated power. See Constitution, Framers, Mayhew etc.

Last edited 18 days ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill
Wild Bill(@wild-bill)
18 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

No, as almost everyone on this site knows, the Bill of Rights, originally, only applied to the Federal government. After the 14th Amendment was passed, the S. Ct decided to apply each Right against the states, and that Right came up in a controversy between an individual and any one of the several states. The Second Amendment was incorporated against the States in the case of McDonald v. Chicago. Note: the Third Amendment has not been incorporated against the states, yet. All three branches of the Federal government seem to be in favor of this procedure. Have another tumbler of… Read more »

Rich
Rich(@rjciii)
18 days ago

I have no issue with the author’s points, but the members of the Supreme Court are properly addressed and referred to as Justices, not Judges….

Last edited 18 days ago by Rich
Wild Bill
Wild Bill(@wild-bill)
18 days ago
Reply to  Rich

True, but they are also properly referred to as other things, too!!

Boz
Boz(@boz)
18 days ago

SCROTUS

uncle dudley
uncle dudley(@rockhouse)
19 days ago

Laws are followed by the lawful, we know that criminals don’t, that’s why they are called criminals.
You should be allowed to carry protection anywhere you go, period.

Arizona
Arizona(@arizona)
18 days ago
Reply to  uncle dudley

Allowed? Free men don’t need permission. Brother, the only power the government has is what We the People ALLOW the government to have, by granting consent to be governed. The government doesn’t have the power to “allow” us dick.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner(@freecompanier)
19 days ago

Astute, vexing; and frightening that these are the men and women to whom we have entrusted such power.

Arizona
Arizona(@arizona)
19 days ago

If a law is unjust, man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so- Jefferson. Americans can and will carry wherever they go. Schools, public gatherings and subways are not “extraordinary places”, nor extraordinary at all! They are in fact where violence frequently occurs. The government was specifically denied any authority whatsoever to limit the People’s right to keep and bear arms. No exceptions were listed, thus none exist. Every gun law is unconstitutional.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag(@xman)
18 days ago
Reply to  Arizona

One of the best places for criminals to get guns is at or around a court house. Many court houses say it is illegal to carry there and people leave their guns in their car. Smart courts would say, bring it and we will check it in and secure it for you and when you leave we will give it back. NO background check required.

Sometimes common sense is not common especially where demonkkkrats rule.

OreGONE

Russn8r
Russn8r(@russn8r)
18 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

LoL. I see you’ve been downvoted by the cop lobby here.

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy(@reen-mtn-boy)
19 days ago

Correct there are exactly Zero.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner(@freecompanier)
19 days ago
Reply to  Green Mtn. Boy

But you cant have an atomic bomb, and you cant have a tank, and you cant have a rocket launcher, and but, but but….

Norm
Norm(@nglitz)
18 days ago

It’s difficult to “bear” any of those.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill(@wild-bill)
18 days ago
Reply to  Norm

In Texas we are partial to trailers.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill(@wild-bill)
18 days ago

Are you mocking those that think one can not own a tank, rocket launcher, or atomic bomb or do you really think that one can not own one or all of those?

Arizona
Arizona(@arizona)
18 days ago

Sure you can.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt(@gregoryromeu)
18 days ago
Last edited 18 days ago by USMC0351Grunt
Sisu
Sisu(@sisu)
19 days ago

Rob Morse, You have asked an incredibly perceptive question; allow me to rephrase the question: “Are individuals with similar ‘narrow experience in life’ founded in academia, and legal training, advocacy and procedure, albeit with different perspectives on the ‘law’, its genesis and purpose, deemed by other lawyers, law professors and politicians qualified to be ‘judges’ ?” And, you have chosen an appropriate reference point. I listened to and read the transcript of the oral arguments of NYSRPA v Bruen; and I read the petition, response and several amici briefs (far too many for me to read all). The discussion was… Read more »