With all due respect to the Washington Post, the headline to the recent article referenced in the title of this piece reminds us of the iconic phrase uttered by the character Inigo Montoya in the 1987 film Princess Bride.
“You keep using that word (in this case, words, as in “courts” and “win”). I do not think it means what you think it means.”
A headline announcing “using the courts to win on…gun control” would lead one to believe that the ensuing article would have a few references to impressive successes through the judicial process; or even one success.
But one would be wrong to hold such a belief.
When it comes to discussions about “gun control,” the article does refer to anti-gun state attorneys general lobbying in support of state legislatures imposing new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, but there is not a single reference to any activity in the courts.
Washington AG Bob Ferguson (D) is mentioned as having helped push a ban on semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines through the legislature, but that had nothing to do with his job as Washington’s litigator. The article goes on to mention it took him six years of lobbying to help get the unconstitutional law enacted, but is that even worthy of praise?
Remember, Washington has been a fairly reliable Democrat stronghold for several decades, and the Democrat Party, at virtually every level, has adopted banning what it labels as “assault weapons” for quite some time. The state has voted for Democrat presidential candidates every election cycle since 1988, and hasn’t elected a Republican for US Senate since 1994. The governor, Jay Inslee (D), has been in office since 2013, and has been pushing for banning guns for even longer than Ferguson.
In that context, six years seems like an awfully long time, and likely attributable to NRA’s efforts to oppose both Ferguson and Inslee.
So, the Washington AG has had some success as an anti-gun lobbyist, but Ferguson’s ability to defend anti-gun laws in court will soon be truly tested, so we’ll have to wait and see how well the Post’s headline holds up.
Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum (D) is also referenced as “addressing gun control,” and “lobbying hard for a package of gun control measures in the legislature,” but there is also no mention of her success in the courts when it comes to attacking the Second Amendment. Of course, that could be because her efforts in the courts—as they relate to infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners—are probably better described as failure after failure after failure.
The bottom line is that the Washington Post headline is, at a minimum, misleading. More likely, it is intentionally false, and designed to present the mirage that the courts are on the side of anti-gun extremists, in spite of the courtroom losses that their policies keep piling up. Starting with the landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), and culminating (thus far) in last year’s NYSRPA v. Bruen (2022), the US Supreme Court, along with countless lower courts, are consistently recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to acquire, possess, carry, and use firearms.
Of course, we’ve become accustomed to the Washington Post failing at journalism when it comes to covering firearms and the Second Amendment. We recently pointed out a series of editorials designed to vilify the venerable AR-15, arguably America’s most popular firearm, that ended up promoting just how popular it is, and further solidified the fact that law-abiding citizens owning that very gun is clearly protected by the Second Amendment.
Therefore, it comes as little surprise that the paper’s new attempt to paint gun control through litigation as a “winning” strategy would be not just lacking of any mention of courtroom victories, but be also completely bereft of any litigation, whatsoever.