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Major Fail at USA Today. No Mention of the Caetano Decision

Friday, November 18, 2016 9:35
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USA Today has an unsigned editorial today, 17 November, 2016, that shows editorial ignorance, laziness, or stupidity. It could be a combination of all three. Instead of doing original writing, they simply reprint parts of a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that tries to make the case that stun guns are not covered by the Second Amendment. From

Finally, neither the legislative ban on stun guns nor our decision affects the defendant’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. Barring any cause for disqualification the defendant could have applied for a license to carry a firearm. …

We acknowledge that stun guns may have value for purposes of self-defense, but because they are not protected by the Second Amendment and because a rational basis exists for their prohibition, the lawfulness of their possession and use is a matter for the legislature.

What is not mentioned, is that the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously struck down their ruling in Caetano v. Massachusetts. From

In a per curiam opinion, the Court held that, although stun guns are unusual in nature and were not common during the enactment of the Second Amendment, they are included in the Second Amendment’s protections. To hold otherwise would be inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that Second Amendment protections extend to arms that were not in existence at the time of the founding.

Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. filed a concurring opinion in which he reiterated the importance of access to self-defense and the rights afforded by the Second Amendment. Justice Clarence Thomas joined in the concurring opinion.

The unanimous ruling shows that the Massachusetts Supreme Court was simply wrong in its decision.  So what is the point of reprinting parts of the bad decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court?  You would, at minimum, expect USA Today to inform its readers that the case had been struck down.

Even the New Jersey AG had to admit that New Jersey’s ban on stun guns is unconstitutional, based on the Caetano decision.

Ignorance? Laziness? Stupidity?  All three?  Who knows.  Maybe the writer had a deadline, a hangover, and is suffering from Trump Election Syndrome.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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