WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 2: Paul Clement, former US attorney general and acting attorney … [+]
The terms “Second Amendment,” “Gun Control” and “SCOTUS” were all the rage on social media Monday after it became known that the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) had agreed to open a major gun rights case .
In NY State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Corlett, the judges will consider the extent to which the second amendment protects the right to carry weapons outside the home for self-defense.
There were more than 10,000 tweets related to the second change and the same number for gun control. A tweet from @SCOTUSblog had more than 2,500 likes and was retweeted 883 times.
This will be the first major gun rights-related case the country’s highest court hears in more than a decade. In this case, the question is to what extent the second amendment protects the right of individuals to carry concealed weapons outside of their home for self-defense. The case will likely be discussed this fall.
Few problems have divided Americans as divided as the second amendment, calling for gun control. This became clear on Monday on the social media platforms. The court’s decision to hear the case follows recent mass shootings in Indiana, Georgia, Colorado, and California, but also comes as firearm sales, especially to first-time buyers, have soared.
Several states allow gun owners to carry their firearms when they go out. However, restrictions apply in several states, including New York, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The Supreme Court lifted handgun bans in Washington, DC and Chicago in 2008 and 2010 in two landmark cases that redefined gun rights.
Several news outlets quickly posted the court’s decision to hear the New York-based case on social media. Greg Stohr (@GregStohr), Supreme Court reporter for Bloomberg News, wrote, “BREAKING: The Supreme Court is about to pick up a major new gun case and decide whether the second outside of the house amendment applies special protection to a license to carry a pistol to obtain. “
Reaction from supporters of gun control
Many supporters of the gun control expressed their dismay at the news on Monday afternoon.
Activist Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) was among those who shared memes to get their point across.
“The second change was made to kill tyrants and protect children, but instead it looks like it kills children and protects tyrants … sheeezz,” suggested @Alexandrawidit.
“There is no child who would want to die for your second right of amendment. None,” @mhdksafa wrote.
Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg), whose 14-year-old daughter was killed in the mass shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School, expressed frustration on Monday, writing, “Because of this Supreme Court, this is the moment I feared. Trump-appointed judges have a track record and public safety is unlikely to come first. We need to pass national legislation this year. “
Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich), Arizona attorney general, saw this as a matter of state rights and wrote, “It is our responsibility to stand up for the second amendment. Arizona is proud to have a coalition of 23 states that support the our says rights don’t end when we leave our home. “
Commenting on the issue, slate writer Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) said: “Going back to the case of the second amendment granted by the Supreme Court today, the Democrats now have a clear choice between two specific options: Allow SCOTUS, the state and knock down the municipalities. ” Restrictions on covert public broadcasts amid endless mass shootings or court expansion. “
Such strong reactions shouldn’t be unexpected.
“The two issues that the GOP developed as wedge problems to divide Americans and fuel the party’s comeback in the 1970s were abortion and guns,” said Matthew J. Schmidt, PhD, Associate Professor of National Security and Political Science from the University of New Haven.
“The Republicans were in favor of the right to vote before Roe,” suggested Schmidt. “The same goes for gun rights. Social media only increases the ideological divide the party must create in order to stay in power. These issues become religious issues because they are framed as issues of human freedom that exacerbate the extremes, to which people are ready to go.
“And since social media gives the feeling of a lack of consequences, the behavior becomes even more extreme,” added Schmidt.
Supporters of the second amendment weighed in
Many supporters of the second amendment were equally vocal on Monday. That included New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik). She posted a series of tweets in support of the second amendment.
Independent filmmaker and political commentator Tim Pool (@Timcast) suggested, “I already have the right to carry guns wherever I want. It’s the criminal state and the police that are stopping me.”
Republican Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) wrote, “Today SCOTUS agreed to investigate an important case of the second amendment asking if New York’s rejection of applications for covert licenses for self-defense violates the second amendment.” The answer is of course YES. Next question? “
The National Rifle Association (@NRA) was also quick to respond to social media: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of this case. The decision will affect the laws in many states that currently prohibit the carrying of a firearm outside the home restrict. “
The quick response from proponents of the second amendment is not surprising either.
“Gun owners are some of the most passionate defenders of their faith for good reason,” said Teresa Mull, editor of GunPowdermagazine.com
“For one thing, this group of people is used to standing up for themselves as the second change is under constant attack,” said Mull. “Furthermore, the rights protected by the second amendment – the defense of self, property, and loved ones – are personal and passionate. They are critical to the Constitution and any freedom it ensures that gun owners continue to be heard Meaning, despite the determination of the social media giants and mainstream media to “repeal” freedom of expression. “
A wedge problem
The second change / gun control remains one of those topics that is unlikely to find a middle ground on social media.
“In many ways the arms debate is similar to the abortion debate in that the sides cannot agree on the type of issue to discuss,” said Enderle Group’s technology analyst Rob Enderle. On the gun issue, one side argues that the second amendment is comprehensive and offers absolute rights akin to freedom and freedom of speech in terms of gun ownership and use. The other side is understandably freaking out about gun deaths, treating them as endemic and therefore endemic only treatable through draconian measures justified by past deaths. “
The problem could also widen the gap if both sides get involved on the social platforms.
“Neither side of this debate seems to want to be sensible. The left wants to ban the possession of certain types of weapons that falsely focus on the tool rather than on the bad behavior,” said Enderle.
“The law does not want restrictions on gun ownership and appears to be more interested in the profits of gun manufacturers than the safety of citizens,” noted Enderle. “In my opinion, neither position is sensible or sustainable.”