There has been a resurgence of discussion about gun violence prevention in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando. For those who may be less familiar with some of the gun terms used, and the legal principles at the heart of the discussion, here is a summary of ten basic and important facts:
Ask him to explain why civilians should have assault weapons, and why they should be able to buy them without background checks. Other countries have experienced mass murders with guns and done something about it; what's different about us that we can't, too?
"Guns aren't the issue. Look at Israel. They've got lots of guns and little gun-related violence." There's only one problem with this argument: It's not true. So the next time someone tells you that, "Israel shows we don't need gun control," here's what to tell them.
Three years, 400 legal challenges, and "millions of dollars in legal bills" later, all the gun lobby has had to show for its efforts is a body of case law affirming the right of the people to have strong gun laws.
Those who own guns and those who do not, to a surprising degree, have the same vision for America. After Tucson, is it too much to ask for a modicum of courage from Congress, and the President, to make that vision a reality?
Originalism has been manipulated by the right to mask its approach to determining the values enforced by the Constitution. The originalists of the right are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own text, and not to their own history.
The U.S. v. Skoien ruling is a bucket of cold water thrown on the "gun rights" celebration following the Supreme Court's decision last month in McDonald v. City of Chicago striking down Chicago's handgun ban.
Given that several states have gun laws far stronger than federal law, does McDonald lay the groundwork for the unraveling of gun restrictions? If the gun lobby thinks so, it is likely to be disappointed.
Contrary to the claims of the gun lobby, America's cities are not waiting expectantly to exercise this new-found right offered today by the Court. More guns means more gun deaths. It's as simple as that.
As the nation contemplates Justice Stevens' impending retirement and its implications, all Americans concerned about the daily tragedy of American gun violence should pause to recognize their debt of gratitude to him.
Maybe Kagan is no Lady Gaga when it comes to fashion. But for most Americans, the way Kagan outfits herself is just fine. What's in her mind and her heart are far more important than what's on her back, neck, or her ring finger.
If Chicago's law is struck down, it will no doubt be hailed by the NRA as a great victory, as was Heller. But the most ardent "gun rights" advocates can barely hide their disappointment with the practical impact.
While everything depends on what the Supreme Court writes in its final opinion, it appears that a majority of the Justices will say the Second Amendment allows Americans to have nearly all of the strong, common sense gun laws that they want.
Although the Chicago handgun ban Supreme Court case involves interesting constitutional issues, even if Chicago loses, such a ruling is unlikely to prove a serious threat to state and local gun regulation across-the-board.