Why Did the Supreme Court Decline to Hear This California Gun Rights Case?

The right to keep and bear arms, unlike homosexual “marriage” or abortion, is actually in the U.S. Constitution.

The right to defend oneself with a weapon, including a gun, from both government and individuals is not just a guarantee in one of the country’s founding documents. It is a natural right.

No government or man can deny a human being the natural right to preserve his own life.

Part of that right is having the tools to do it. The Second Amendment bestows an individual right to possess firearms for this purpose, not merely to hunt and kill animals.

Government bureaucrats shouldn’t decide whether a law-abiding citizen has “good cause” to carry a gun. But the U.S. Supreme Court believes a gun-restriction case involving this issue wasn’t worth hearing.

In San Diego, California, the sheriff’s department requires gun-owning residents who want to actually carry their guns concealed to show “good cause” why they should. How is good cause defined? According to the department’s site as it applies to non-law enforcement and non-business owners, concern for personal safety, with documented threats.

By declining to hear the case, the court left in place a decision (PDF) by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: the Second Amendment doesn’t preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.

The two most conservative justices on the high court, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, dissented (see page 30 of PDF) from the majority opinion. From Fox News (emphasis added):

“The Court’s decision … reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” they wrote.

“The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years,” they wrote. “… This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.”

The justices concluded by warning the court is in danger of acting dismissive toward the right to bear arms:

For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it. I respectfully dissent.”

What is “self-defense” if not to protect oneself from harm, a protection that logically extends outside the home? Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that gun restrictions in the nation’s capital violated the Second Amendment and that the amendment bestowed an individual right to self-defense unconnected to service in a militia, the court hasn’t ruled definitively on carrying concealed.

Photo credit: Tamara Evans (Creative Commons)

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  1. The 2nd Amendment is highly appreciated, but NOT required. In opposition to any person wrapped in black robes, any Legislators in marbled halls, ANY man made law that would deprive me of my “God Given Right to Self-defense by ANY Appropriate means” I will NOT obey!

  2. Defending Second Amendment is important. However, when you shoot and kill another human being your life is changed forever…even if it is in self defense.