New York Times Hopes For SCOTUS Gun Grab

-By Warner Todd Huston

The “paper of record” once again makes like a broken record with another prosaic call to take away guns from the average American. The New York Times again displays its complete disregard of the Constitution in an editorial titled, “The Court and the Second Amendment”, claiming our founding law is out of date and doesn’t “confront modern-day reality.” In another editorial filled with extreme language, untrue definitions and arrogance, and cementing its reputation against self-defense and American principles, the Times addressed the recent decision by the Supreme Court to soon take on the DC Gun banning reversal case. Hitting all its best low notes and filled with propaganda laced verbiage, the Times again made the case that you, Mr. and Mrs. America, are too stupid and filled with bloodlust to be trusted with a firearm… quite despite that musty, stupid old, out of date Constitution thingie.

It’s hard to believe such a small editorial can have so many lies, distortions and misconceptions but the Times really packed them into this rant. Nearly every paragraph has something that is either incorrect technically, or just plain propagandistic. I’ll take each paragraph one at a time here:

By agreeing yesterday to rule on whether provisions of the District of Columbia’s stringent gun control law violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the Supreme Court has inserted itself into a roiling public controversy with large ramifications for public safety. The Court’s move sowed hope and fear among supporters of reasonable gun control, and it ratcheted up the suspense surrounding the court’s current term.

The Supreme Court “inserted itself into a roiling public controversy,” New York Times? Like most cases, this one came TO them, the SCOTUS didn’t go out to actively seek this case. And, notice the soft selling of their attempts to advocate for a reversal of the Constitutional right by calling the issue a “public safety” issue? No, it is a rights issue, not a “public safety” issue, Times, and you know it. By trying to reframe this debate as a “safety” issue, you are purposefully trying to pretend it has nothing to do with your plans to eliminate a Constitutionally guaranteed right to self-protection. It is also amusing that you call your gun grabbing “reasonable.” I am sure that totalitarians everywhere, in every age termed their desires to disarm the public “reasonable” before they undertook that outrage. It was quite a smooth propaganda effort there, though, Times, so props for trying to hide behind misleading language. I am sure your attempts at subterfuge might fool some.

The hope, which we share, is that the court will rise above the hard-right ideology of some justices to render a decision respectful of the Constitution’s text and the violent consequences of denying government broad room to regulate guns. The fear is that it will not.

Again, terming this court one of “hard-right ideology” is amusing, not subtle, but amusing none-the-less. Your extremist language was followed by an even more amusing claim that your efforts coincide with a desire to be ” respectful of the Constitution’s text.” I’m sorry, but that is just an outright lie. You want guns removed from the hands of We the People, yet the text you claim to “respect” says that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” So, um, what part of “shall not be infringed” implies that guns can be banned, exactly?

At issue is a 2-to-1 ruling last March by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that found unconstitutional a law barring handguns in homes and requiring that shotguns and rifles be stored with trigger locks or disassembled. The ruling upheld a radical decision by a federal trial judge, who struck down the 31-year-old gun control law on spurious grounds that conform with the agenda of the anti-gun control lobby but cry out for rejection by the Supreme Court.

There’s even more propaganda in this paragraph. Notice the “The ruling upheld a radical decision” part? Sorry, Times, but it is only a “radical decision” because you disagree with it. But, it’s nice that you can keep the extremist language up in every paragraph. At least you are consistent!

Much hinges on how the justices interpret the Second Amendment, which says: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Well, OK, not every paragraph is filled with propaganda. They got one out of 7 sans the extremism.

Opponents of gun control sometimes claim a constitutional prohibition on any serious regulation of individual gun ownership. The court last weighed in on the amendment in 1939, concluding, correctly in our view, that the only absolute right conferred on individuals is for the private ownership of guns that has “some reasonable relationship to the preservation of efficiency of a well-regulated militia.” The federal, state and local governments may impose restrictions on other uses — like the trigger guards — or outright bans on types of weapons. Appellate courts followed that interpretation, until last spring’s departure.

Again, with the couched terminology, this time calling gun bans “serious” as if those who are more interested in Constitutional rights are not serious.

Next the Times goes into its assumptions that the Constitution isn’t any good anymore because it has somehow gone out-of-date.

A lot has changed since the nation’s founding, when people kept muskets to be ready for militia service. What has not changed is the actual language of the Constitution. To get past the first limiting clauses of the Second Amendment to find an unalienable individual right to bear arms seems to require creative editing.

Yes, NYT, a lot has changed in 200 years. The Founders didn’t imagine that Newspapers would be transmitted electronically, either. Should we throw out the 1st Amendment because the Founders didn’t know about that technological advancement or should we realize that the basic rights of a free press are sacrosanct and correct? See, we can use the “living document” theory the Times subscribes to for eliminating or “updating” any right at all can’t we? Of course, that would make them suggestions and not rights, now wouldn’t it?

Beyond grappling with fairly esoteric arguments about the Second Amendment, the justices need to responsibly confront modern-day reality. A decision that upends needed gun controls currently in place around the country would imperil the lives of Americans.

So, as the Times tries its level best to cloud this issue with their couched, misleading language, they have the gall to say the argument is “esoteric” as if you lowly citizens out there are just not up to the challenge of the discussion. And with the final lie in the face of facts, the Times claims that gun bans help prevent gun crimes when study upon study shows just the opposite. In fact, the very city from which this case hails, the District of Columbia, has some of the highest crime rates and murder stats in the entire country and yet some of the most strict gun laws. Just on its face that fact says loads about the falsity of the Times’ argument.

I agree with the Times on two points, though. It will be an interesting case and there truly is “fear” surrounding this important issue for this case is one fraught with implications for our nation, its laws, and our status as free citizens. Do we follow the Times down the path to an America that finds that its citizens have become as chattel slaves to a government that has summarily removed their right to self-defense as befits a free people? Or do we uphold the real language of the Constitution as well as the intent that the Founders had for the individual right to bear arms?

Sadly, we must wait for an unelected few to make that determination. Just as sadly we have one of the oldest papers in the country angling to eliminate our rights.


Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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