Wow, With This Level of Understanding of How Government Works, It's Hard To Believe We Struggle to Have Meaningful Public Discourse
I don't have any particular comment on the Supreme Court decision in Voisine v. United States, but I have to highlight the headline that was just shared with me on Facebook:
Another Big Win: SCOTUS Just Banned Domestic Abusers From Owning Firearms
Um, pretty sure that is not what happened.
First, convicted domestic abusers generally are already banned from owning firearms.
Second, I am fairly certain that SCOTUS did not ban anything (not surprising since they don't have a Constitutional power to ban anything). There was some legal uncertainty in the definitions of certain terms in a law (passed by Congress and signed by the President) that restricted gun ownership based on certain crimes. This dispute over the meaning of these terms bounced back and forth in the courts until the Supreme Court took the case and provided the final word on how the terms should be interpreted by the judicial system.
This decision strikes me as a pretty routine sort of legal result fixing a niche issue in the interpretation of terms of the law. How niche? Well apparently Voisine was convicted (multiple times) of "“intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” hurting his girlfriend. The facts of the case made it pretty clear that he was beating on her on purpose, but he argued that due to the "or" in the wording of the crime he was convicted of, as far as the law is concerned he might have only been convicted of recklessness which shouldn't be covered under the gun ownership ban. Really, this silliness should never have reached the Supreme Court, and did (in my interpretation) only because second amendment questions were involved, questions stripped off by SCOTUS. Freed on any Second Amendment implications, SCOTUS rightly slapped his argument down as stupid and said he was subject to the ban. Seems sensible to me, and this sort of thing happens literally constantly in the courts -- the only oddball thing in my mind was how this incredibly arcane niche issue made it to the SCOTUS.
Instead, the article is breathless about describing this incredibly niche case as closing a "gaping loophole." It is written as if it is some seminal event that overturns a horror just one-notch short of concentration camps -- "This is a win for feminism, equality in the home, and in finally making movements on reigning in this country’s insane, libertarian approach to gun-owning." And then of course the article bounces around in social media, making everyone who encounters it just a little bit dumber.