Tom Sowell on gun control and judicial activism

Thomas Sowell

His latest column is here.


Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that the Second Amendment to the Constitution means that individual Americans have a right to bear arms, what can we expect?

Those who have no confidence in ordinary Americans may expect a bloodbath, as the benighted masses start shooting each other, now that they can no longer be denied guns by their betters. People who think we shouldn’t be allowed to make our own medical decisions, or decisions about which schools our children attend, certainly are not likely to be happy with the idea that we can make our own decisions about how to defend ourselves.

When you stop and think about it, there is no obvious reason why issues like gun control should be ideological issues in the first place. It is ultimately an empirical question whether allowing ordinary citizens to have firearms will increase or decrease the amount of violence.

[…]If the end of gun control leads to a bloodbath of runaway shootings, then the Second Amendment can be repealed, just as other Constitutional Amendments have been repealed. Laws exist for people, not people for laws.

There is no point arguing, as many people do, that it is difficult to amend the Constitution. The fact that it doesn’t happen very often doesn’t mean that it is difficult. The people may not want it to happen, even if the intelligentsia are itching to change it.

When the people wanted it to happen, the Constitution was amended 4 times in 8 years, from 1913 through 1920.

The whole point of strict gun control or lax gun control is to reduce violent crime rates. All we have to do is look and see whether stricter gun control, like the UK handgun ban of 1997, raises or lowers violent crime rates. It’s not for judges to make that assessment – it’s for the people, and their legislators, to decide. I used to be a judicial activist supporter when I was younger. But not after I read Tom Sowell’s “Conflict of Visions” book.

This point about judges interpreting the law also applies to businesses and capitalism. If judges can change the rules that businesses operate under arbitrarily, then fewer people will start businesses. It’s bad enough that they have to put up with so many taxes and regulations. If one loopy judge can take away everything you own by legislating from the bench, then what is the point of even trying to start a business?

If you want jobs, you need small business. If you want small business, you need strict constructionist judges. If you want strict constructionist judges, you vote Republican. (And you get pro-life and pro-marriage for FREE!)

Thomas Sowell is my #1 favorite economist.

UPDATE: Hot Air wonders how the liberal SCOTUS guys can oppose the clear meaning of the Constitution so openly.

2 thoughts on “Tom Sowell on gun control and judicial activism”

  1. I read a blog post yesterday (accidentally – the writer usually has a tendency to make major mistakes in his analysis like thinking that Toyota’s recalls meant their cars were unsafe) where the author tried to claim that the majority ignored what the constitution actually said.

    You know – “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”.

    Basically, his arguement was this clause was put in to stop the British taking over again and only that purpose. Since Liz isn’t looking at invading at the moment, it’s defunct.

    Of course, his problem is that the cause says nothing about the Brits – it talks about freedom, which can be denied by anyone, including the very government setup by the constitution.


  2. I strongly believe we all need to own guns, to be able to protect us and our families, and be able to put food on the table for our families. All you activists need to get a life and relize that our forefathers fought for the rights that we have today, and all you activists are just spineless cowards! That are just trying to make it sound like you think you might know something, ya’ll don’t know anything. Gun control means having a firm grip on your firearm!!!


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