by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers territory that includes North Carolina, has displayed once again its disrespect for the Constitution. David French explains at National Review Online.
What happens when you mix contempt for individual rights with a healthy dose of willful ignorance and fear? You get the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that’s teaching the legal Left the recipe for attacking the Second Amendment.
Twice in less than a month, the court has radically restricted the constitutional rights of gun owners. In January, it held that even lawful gun owners are inherently “dangerous” and can face limitations on their constitutional rights, including the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, simply because they possess a gun. In the words of a concurring judge:
In sum, individuals who carry firearms — lawfully or unlawfully — pose a risk of danger to themselves, law enforcement officers, and the public at large. Accordingly, law enforcement officers may frisk lawfully stopped individuals whom the officers reasonably suspect are carrying a firearm because a detainee’s possession of a firearm poses a categorical “danger” to the officers.
But this holding, as dangerous as it is, pales in comparison with the court’s decision yesterday, when it not only upheld Maryland’s assault-weapons ban but categorically stated that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to own so-called assault weapons or the right to own a magazine that holds more than ten rounds of ammunition.
How can it reach such a conclusion? Remember the formula: contempt, willful ignorance, and fear.