On June 27, 2016, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas case involving the State’s attempt to regulate abortion clinics.
Hellerstedt stems from a case where the State was trying to shut down controversial abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s clinic by imposing stricter regulations.
In a 5-3 decision, the SC struck down the State’s regulation. That in and of itself is not that crucial to the gun-control argument. What is, however, is the language used in the majority decision authored by Justice Stephen Breyer.
Justice Breyer used an argument that is most often put forth by those who oppose gun control. In the majority opinion, he wrote:
“Gosnell’s behavior was terribly wrong. But there is no reason to believe that an extra layer of regulation would have affected that behavior. Determined wrongdoers, already ignoring existing statutes and safety measures, are unlikely to be convinced to adopt safe practices by a new overlay of regulations.”
That is the same argument those opposed to gun control have been espousing for years—laws do not deter the criminals but only affect the law-abiding citizens!
It appears that at least five members of the Court get it, that laws do nothing to stop those intent on breaking the law. They are called “criminals” for a reason!
It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court reacts to their own words being used in arguments in opposition to any new gun control measures that should come before the Justices.