The Rahimi case oral arguments have been heard by the Supreme Court. It was bumped to the head of the line by the Biden administration. At its core, the case is not about domestic violence. It is about whether fundamental rights, enumerated in the Bill of Rights, can be nullified by a judge in a civil hearing with almost no due process. No jury trial, no right to a lawyer, no criminal conviction. From the Fifth Circuit decision on the case:
Perhaps most importantly, the Government’s proffered interpretation lacks any true limiting principle. Under the Government’s reading, Congress could remove “unordinary” or “irresponsible” or “non-law abiding” people—however expediently defined—from the scope of the Second Amendment. Could speeders be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms? Political nonconformists? People who do not recycle or drive an electric vehicle? One easily gets the point: Neither Heller nor Bruen countenances such a malleable scope of the Second Amendment’s protections; to the contrary, the Supreme Court has made clear that “the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans,” Heller,554 U.S. at 581.Rahimi, while hardly a model citizen, is nonetheless part of the political community entitled to the Second Amendment’s guarantees, all other things equal.
The dominant media headlines ignore the crux of the case. In headline after headline, they claim the case is whether people who commit domestic violence can be disarmed. Nothing in the case challenges the power of the government to disarm people who are convicted of domestic violence. Rahimi was never convicted of domestic violence.
Here are some of the gaslighting headlines:
- From the BBC US & Canada: Should domestic abusers have guns? US Supreme Court will decide in United States v Rahimi
- From cbsnews.com: Supreme Court gun case could reverse protections for domestic violence survivors. One woman has a message for the justices.
- From USA Today: Supreme Court poised to support law banning domestic abusers from owning guns
- From Time.com: Supreme Court to Decide Whether Some Domestic Abusers Can Have Guns
- From abcnews.go.com: Supreme Court reviews federal ban on guns for domestic abusers
- From the New York Times: Supreme Court Seems Likely to Uphold Law Disarming Domestic Abusers
- From National Public Radio: Supreme Court to decide if gun bans for domestic abusers are constitutional
The above seven news outlets are some of the most influential major news outlets for the United States and the planet. Their headlines uniformly misstate the Rahimi case in a major way. They all indicate the case is about whether domestic abusers can be disarmed. The case is not about disarming domestic abusers. No one is challenging the federal law, which calls for those convicted of domestic abuse to lose the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
This law has nothing to do with those convicted of domestic violence. In the body of most of the articles, the law being challenged is clarified: the question is whether those accused of domestic violence, who are subject to a court-issued restraining order, can have their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights taken away from them by a single judge without an adversarial hearing, without the right to a lawyer, without the right to a jury trial.
This is not allowed for the rest of the Bill of Rights. The Rahimi case is a good illustration of why this law is redundant and unconstitutional. Rahimi is accused of multiple felonies. He could easily have been arrested, held without bail, and prosecuted for domestic violence, aggravated assault, public endangerment, and other felonies. He is accused of committing many of the felonies while he was under the domestic violence restraining order. He was not arrested for the felonies which he is accused of. He was arrested for possessing a firearm while under a restraining order.
A great many people get their news from headlines and never read the articles.
The law in question is a powerful example of how to undermine the Constitution and the rule of law. Undermining the Constitution and the rule of law is what the dominant media are cheering for in this case. If your Second Amendment rights can be taken away with a mere accusation by a judge who faces no consequences for his actions, the entire Bill of Rights is at risk.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.