A Note on the Supreme Court
It would be easier and less scary to keep the peace without swinging guns around all the time if there were less guns on the street.
There is no reason to interpret “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.” to mean that cities and states cannot have and enforce gun laws. The amendment frames itself as being there to protect states’ rights to defend themselves with well-regulated militias, which at that time were comprised of John Q Publics and their own personal weapons, not as being there to protect the right of an individual to carry any firearm anywhere he or she wants at anytime he or she wants. Not only would such a law have overthrown local laws existing and being enforced at the time the amendment was written, and which were not challenged by the amendment until recent times, it soon becomes patently absurd: Can anyone walk down the street with weaponry capable of killing a dozen people before other weapons have a chance to respond and halt the spree while also risking further collateral damage? Oh, wait that is already happening. It has already become absurd. I remember 20 years ago feeling so shocked and nauseous when I heard about a school shooting. We can still feel nauseous, but who is shocked anymore? The situation, however, could be made worse. The Supreme Court could prevent cities and states from controlling guns within their own borders, erasing the distinction between areas with stronger gun control laws (and statistically less gun related deaths) and weaker gun control laws (and more gun related deaths).
As US citizens, we trust the government to respect our inalienable human rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is accomplished not by letting anyone do whatever, but by balancing individual rights with collective responsibilities. A government that interprets ambiguously-interpretable statutes in such a manner that invites violence, lawlessness, and chaos undermines its most fundamental mission: to create and maintain a public space where people can gather together safely and freely to discuss ideas and together choose better ways to do business, to worship, to govern themselves, and etc. A government that cedes the right to violence to private citizens cannot protect either itself or its citizens. What happens when everyone is allowed to walk around everywhere with modern weapons? The occasional bloodbath. In the name of what? Poor logic and crazed dogmas?
We need some police, but the supreme court is more trouble than it is worth. How about this?: You have to wait until you are 60 to be appointed; you can serve up to 20 years; those currently on the bench are allowed up to 20 more years; there also needs to be some way of lessening the court’s power — nine people get to decide the fate of a country only if those nine people are philosopher kings and queens — but I’ve never seen a philosopher king or queen, only more or less miserable failures. Anyway, bestowing so much power on people chosen by a president distorts presidential elections, especially as many people will turn a blind eye to everything a president does so long as he appoints judges willing to gratify their wishes. Maybe allow for congress to overturn a ruling; and then the president can either sign and overturn the ruling or veto the overturning of the ruling; in which case it of course it goes back and needs a 2/3 vote. That way at least really egregious errors could be undone before things get too out of control. Since active politicians are beholden to the people and their actual current suffering.
Of course, to make politicians more beholden we also need to reform campaign finance laws; another area where dogmatism — the conflation of the right to voice your political opinions with the right to saturate everyone’s mental space with those opinions,provided you have enough money (aka: POWER) to do so — has harmed our republic’s ability to function healthily.