Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad:
The Washington Post says GOP support for gun law offers hope for more reform
Fifteen Republicans in the Senate and 14 in the House have teamed up with congressional Democrats this week to break more than 25 years of inaction on gun safety. That these Republicans, many of whom had A- or A-plus ratings from the National Rifle Association, defied the gun lobby with their support of the Bipartisan Safe Communities Act suggests they saw the political danger of doing nothing about gun violence holding the land. . Indeed, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Who voted for the bill, confessed so much when he said he hoped GOP support for the measure “will be viewed in favor of voters” as the party seeks to regain the majority later. year.
The public sense of gun safety, which has been steadily building with every mass shooting, ultimately forcing Republicans to abandon their irresistible opposition, gives hope that the legislation, signed by President Biden on Saturday, will be the first and not the last step to bring some. rationality to the gun laws of the nation.
The 80-page bill, produced by a small group of Republican and Democratic senators in the aftermath of back-to-back mass shootings at a Buffalo grocery store and Texas school, is a far cry from the harsh but ordinary measures long sought. of gun control attorneys. There are no universal background checks, no ban on large-capacity magazines, no requirements for safe storage of weapons and no action – not even raising the minimum age of purchase – on assault weapons. This, however, does not diminish the significance of what has been achieved.
Among the worthy reforms: enhanced background checks for younger gun buyers to include youth and mental health archives; incentives for states to adopt red flag laws that allow guns to be temporarily confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge; more severe penalties on illegal gun purchases; and a revision of federal law intended to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers to close the “heart branch.” Those measures – along with billions of new federal dollars to expand mental health programs and improve school safety – will save lives.
Credit for the hard work of forming a compromise on which both sides could agree goes to Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) And John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Assisted by Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) And Thom Tillis. (R-N.C.). Mr Murphy was recently elected to the Senate in 2012 when a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state and was tireless in his quest for ordinary reasonable gun control despite many setbacks. Mr Cornyn’s willingness to negotiate – and his refusal to withdraw even if faced with withered criticism from former President Donald Trump, Fox News and his state GOP party – is equally commendable. Such is his honesty in standing up against the NRA. “We worked with the NRA, listened to their concerns, but ultimately I think they just – they have a membership and a business model that won’t allow them to support any legislation,” Mr Cornyn said.
Passing the bill came a day after the Supreme Court expanded gun rights by demolishing a New York City law restricting the carrying of guns publicly. That ill-advised and dangerous decision may have moderated any celebration of the gun law, but it cannot extinguish the public sentiment that has risen in support of reasonable gun safety laws.
According to the New York Times, the SCOTTISH puts gun rights over human life
The Supreme Court this week accepted a vision of the Second Amendment that is deeply in conflict with precedent and the dangers that American communities face today, overturning the long-standing practice of letting states decide for themselves how to regulate a gun publicly.
This decision reveals the wide chasm between ideologues on the court and those Americans – ordinary people and their representatives in Congress – who want this country to be safer against guns. As the Supreme Court issued its 135-page verdict, the Senate, across the street, approved an 80-page bipartisan bill that tightens restrictions on who can own and buy a gun. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Friday, and President Biden signed it on Saturday. That success came after decades of virtually no congressional action on gun safety and was prompted by public outrage over a series of mass shootings, including the recent massacres in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo.
Gun enthusiasts and gun manufacturers have long sought a verdict like the one the court handed down Thursday: Its decision in the case, New York State Rifle & amp; Pistol Association v. Bruen, there is a claim that the Second Amendment goes beyond reasonable efforts to protect public safety. The United States as it exists today – filled with insufficiently regulated, high-powered weapons and afflicted by astonishingly high rates of gun suicide and suicide – is the society their favorite policies have created. The best that gun control advocates can hope for after the Bruen decision is what Congress has passed: a gradual legislative adjustment.
In its 6-to-3 verdict, the overwhelming majority of Republican-elected judges overturned a century-old New York law that set strict limits for handguns. But the decision will also affect similar laws in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii and California. Many of these are states with some of the lowest rates of gun deaths in the country. Extensive research has shown that strict regulation of firearms leads to fewer deaths.
Relying on a highly selective reading of history, Judge Clarence Thomas wrote in his majority opinion that these gun restrictions violate the court’s new interpretation of the Second Amendment. (It was only in 2008, with its decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller, that conservatives on the court guessed an individual’s right to bear arms hidden somewhere in the 27 words of the Second Amendment.)
New York law requires that a person seeking to covertly carry a license for a handgun must show a good reason for doing so, known as a proper reason, which covers police officers and others who may show a reason to fear for their own safety.
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual can exercise only after proving to government officers some special need,” Judge Thomas wrote. “It’s not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carrying for self-defense.”
The majority left open the ability of states to ban guns from certain “sensitive” places like schools and government buildings, but it warned that “there is no historical basis for New York City to effectively declare Manhattan Island a” sensitive place. “
What about, say, the subway, the site of a mass shooting in April? The court did not say, as Judge Stephen Breyer noted in his disagreement.
That leaves an opening for the states to decide which spaces are outside borders. New York Governor Kathy Hochul plans to recall Parliament for a special session to address the decision precisely for that reason. Lawmakers will consider legislation that could indicate New York City’s public transit system as a sensitive location, along with schools, parks, hospitals and office buildings, and buffer zones around them. The state should also set comprehensive training requirements for concealed weapons permits.
Lawmakers in several other states who are likely to be affected by the decision said they are working to adjust their laws to comply with the court’s new rule on permissible regulation of firearms.
The judges quarreled openly in their written opinions in the Bruen verdict, where the three Liberals on the court point to various sad statistics on mass shootings and suicides, while Judge Samuel Alito asked what some of those deaths had to do with gun regulations.
Their disagreement reflects a sad truth about gun violence in the United States: there are several separate and deadly crises occurring at the same time – suicide by gunfire, homicides linked to domestic violence, gang killings and spectacular mass shootings.
Cities, states, and the federal government have approached these overlapping crises in a variety of ways and with varying degrees of success. Broadly speaking, regulating guns saves lives. More guns and less regulation of them results in more deaths. The new legislation aims to address several types of gun violence at once.
Called the Bipartite Safer Communities Act, the law will improve background checks for potential gun buyers under age 21, which may have helped prevent the mass shooting in Uvalde. It directs millions of dollars to states to implement so-called red flag laws or other emergency intervention efforts that will help stop homicides and suicides related to domestic violence. It adds “major dating partners” to the list of domestic abusers banned from buying guns, which is now limited to spouses and domestic partners. It also directs millions of dollars to mental health and school safety programs.
The specifics of this bill matter. Equally important is the fact that bipartisan legislation addresses an issue that has hindered Congress for decades. It is not entirely true how some supporters of the new bill claim that there has not been any gun control legislation passed in the past 30 years. Congress passed, and President Trump signed, a minor update to the National Immediate Criminal Background Control System in 2018. But no legislation equal to the size of the problem has reached the president’s desk.
With this new law, though limited, legislators at least respond to the fundamental mandate of every elected government to protect its citizens. Considering the political paralysis in Congress on so many other issues, any progress on guns is progressive.
The Wall Street Journal suggests that abortion will continue to be widely available after the Supreme Court decision on Roe v.
Now that the Supreme Court has quashed Roe v. Wade, abortion could soon become illegal in half the country. Or so Democrats warn. But it is impossible to know how the debate will take place in many states. And a study this month by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, suggests that the practical consequences for abortion could be much less severe.
Many GOP states have increased abortion regulation in recent years, including parental consent and notification requirements for minors and required waiting periods. However, abortions increased 8% nationwide between 2017 and 2020, according to Guttmacher’s survey of abortionists.
More abortions are not something to celebrate, especially since births at the same time decreased by 6% in the same period. But Guttmacher claims it can be a positive development “if it means people get the health care they want and need.” This is a silent acknowledgment that stricter laws in GOP states have not prevented women from getting abortions.
One reason is that left-wing states have expanded access to abortion. Abortions increased by 25% between 2017 and 2020 in Illinois as more pregnant women came from surrounding states with more restrictive laws. Illinois in 2018 also began covering abortions with state Medicaid funds. Abortion providers have responded to growing demand by opening more clinics.
Progressives claim that traveling to other states to have an abortion will be a major difficulty for women. But the Guttmacher report suggests that thousands of women are already doing so. Many employers in recent months have also offered to cover the travel costs of employees in states where abortion is prohibited to abort elsewhere.
Abortions have also increased because “local and national abortion funds have increased their capacity and helped even more people pay for their abortions,” the report says. Many pro-abortion rights groups have used Roe’s possible demise to speed up their fundraising. The Supreme Court ruling on Friday will be a fundraising boon for Planed Parenthood.
States that are more likely to ban abortion are already regulating it more strictly, so the Court’s decision may have a smaller impact in those states. The Guttmacher report notes that because restrictions in recent years “have been adopted in states generally considered hostile to abortion rights already, they may not have played as much of a role as the initiatives expanding access” in other states.
This evidence from an abortion rights group suggests that abortion will continue to be widely available after the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade. States will respond to the Court’s decision in different ways, and that is the beauty of the U.S. federalist system.
The Los Angeles Times says an overturned Roe should serve as a call to action – fight to get it back
In a formidable and sometimes unfathomable decision, the Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade. It is a dark time in America because this once respected institution has taken the rare and terrible path of depriving people of their rights.
With its 5-4 decision the court abolished the constitutional right to abortion to the point of sustainability of the fetus outside the womb, forcing the nation back 50 years to a time when state legislators decided whether to allow pregnant women control of their bodies. .
Or maybe the court brought us back even further in time. Part of the justification for overthrowing Roe was because centuries of history indicate that abortion was criminalized. “When the majority says we should read our fundamental charter as viewed at the time of ratification (except that we can also check it against the Dark Ages), it consigns women to second-class citizenship,” the three dissenting judges wrote.
The decision came as no surprise, as a draft was leaked earlier this year. But it is nevertheless gigantic that the Supreme Court has chosen to remove a constitutional right. The consequences will be swift and severe: 13 states have escape laws and others have pre-Roe bans still on the books. In Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi – the state that brought the case that led to the verdict on Friday – the ban will take effect hours after Roe is revoked.
Even if we don’t go back to the time of back abortions, that is in the face of uncertainty. For those living in states that are illegal or severely restricting the procedure, abortion will now involve traveling hundreds of miles outside the state to find care – with all the accompanying costs – or to get medical abortion pills. But obtaining the drugs by mail could be considered a crime under these state laws and subject to prosecution. Some states are considering how to ban the pills.
As always, abortion restrictions fall heaviest on those who already have trouble accessing health care – people of color, people in rural areas, people with disabilities and those on low incomes who have less ability to pay for the procedure as well as arranging child care and time. away from work while they go to another state for abortion care.
This is not a simple matter to return a controversial matter to the states to decide, as Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. sounds in his opinion. The Supreme Court deprives people of the right to control their own bodies and allows state policy to determine the existence of fundamental freedom.
Roe v. Wade was guaranteed the right to choose a path – whether to end or continue a pregnancy. It is incalculable how much that freedom, that opportunity, that choice to control one’s body shapes a person’s life. And everyone, not just those who can get pregnant, should be outraged that the court would do more to make sure people can carry a concealed gun in public than defend the right of Americans to make personal reproductive decisions.
The three Liberal judges who disagreed with this decision – Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – ended their opinion with this heartbreaking code: “With sorrow – for this Court, but more, for the many millions of Americans. women who have today lost fundamental constitutional protection – we disagree. “
So be angry about what the court did. Feel betrayed that Brett M. Kavanaugh, Neil M. Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett all said during their Senate confirmation hearings that Roe was a precedent, which many took to mean they would not seek to overturn it.
The Conservatives on the court have forced this nation back to an age that most Americans don’t remember well, if at all. The work now falls on this generation to restore the right to abortion and personal liberty.
What advocates for abortion rights do – and what everyone should focus on – is how to make abortion accessible across the nation in a post-Roe world. Dozens of organizations across the country are raising money to help poor people without resources to travel for abortion.
Some states have introduced motions to sanctify the right to abortion in their constitutions. California is one of them. Lawmakers here have also introduced bills to help fund abortions and thwart other states ’efforts to criminalize any of their residents when seeking abortions in this state.
The Biden administration is exploring options to help women get abortions as well – including declaring a public health crisis, which could protect doctors in states that allow abortion when they provide the procedure to people from states that don’t allow it. The Food and Drug Administration already allows abortion pills to be sent to a person after a telesana consultation. There is a movement for the Food and Drug Administration to declare that its federal authorization of the use and shipment of the drugs nationwide exceeds any state attempting to prohibit the sale or receipt of them. Unfortunately, the Women’s Health Protection Act, a federal bill that would ensure the right to abortion, has been passed in the Senate recently.
This is just the beginning of a battle for reproductive rights in America, and perhaps for other rights as well. In his concurring opinion, Judge Clarence Thomas wrote that the court should reconsider important decisions on contraception, sodomy laws, and same-sex marriage. If that seems unthinkable, consider how unlikely it seemed even a year ago that Roe vs. Wade would fall.
The decision, when it came on Friday, was no surprise. Even before the dramatic leak of Judge Samuel Alito’s draft opinion last month, it was widely predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would seize the opportunity presented by the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case to overturn the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade. This, after all, was the goal of President Trump’s three Supreme Court elections – and the culmination of a decades-long campaign by anti-abortionists to return to states the authority to ban the procedure. But the announcement still came as a shock. The global influence of the United States means that the decision to remove the constitutional right to abortion of a woman there resonates far beyond its shores.
The speed with which several U.S. states have reacted is annoying; already, abortion was banned in 10, with 11 more expected to follow soon. While all women should be allowed to control their own lives and bodies, there are times when denying this is particularly cruel. Americans who oppose forced pregnancy and childbirth now face the terror of rape and incest victims, including children, forced to become mothers. The United States is exceptional in its lack of federal maternity provisions; children as well as parents will suffer the consequences of unwanted additions to their families, with poor and blacks the worst affected.
Early signs are that the most extreme Republican parliaments could try to prevent girls and women from traveling outside the state for medical treatment, and impose additional restrictions on care delivered remotely including medications sent by mail. The possibility of personal data stored online, including menstrual programs, to be used against women causes a justifying alarm. Fidinte is Roe v. Wade to protect access to abortion for half a century, politicians can no longer do that. Abortion will now become a key issue in mid-fall this fall.
How this will turn out will depend on public opinion; Survey data suggests that 85% of Americans support legal abortion in some circumstances, and Democrats hope that could work to their advantage. But the right to abortion is an impressive force. In retrospect, President Obama’s decision not to code Roe v. Wade into federal law, and the election of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg not to retire when he could be appointing a replacement, looks like catastrophic mistakes.
The three Liberal judges who disagreed said they did so with grief for “many millions of American women” and also for the court itself. With this decision, he chose to reopen deep wounds. The 14th amendment on which Roe v. Wade rested gave rights to former slaves, and is the basis for other crucial decisions including same-sex marriage. Rejecting Roe v. Wade in the way they did, and against the wishes of Chief Justice John Roberts (who argued to retain it, allowing Mississippi’s 15-week rule to stand), the hard right side of the court seized control.
Unprecedented division, and much increased distress and risk for those who are denied safe health care, will be the result. While it is reassuring to note moves elsewhere towards liberalization, U.S. anti-abortionists are far from unique, as tightened restrictions in Poland and the situation in Northern Ireland show. It’s too early to say whether Trump’s judges and their supporters have moved on from an electoral perspective. If there is an early lesson to be drawn, it is that once acquired, women’s rights must be constantly defended.