For the Record

“As the great Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, his job was ‘to see that the game is played according to the rules whether I like them or not.’ If the public doesn’t like the rules, or the consequences to which the rules lead, then the public can change the rules via the ballot box. But that is very different from judges changing the rules by verbal sleight of hand, or by talking about ‘weighing of the constitutional right to bear arms’ against other considerations, as Justice Breyer puts it. That’s not his job. Not if ‘we the people’ are to govern ourselves, as the Constitution says. As for the merits or demerits of gun control laws themselves, a vast amount of evidence, both from the United States and from other countries, shows that keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens does not keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It is not uncommon for a tightening of gun control laws to be followed by an increase — not a decrease — in gun crimes, including murder. Conversely, there have been places and times where an increase in gun ownership has been followed by a reduction in crimes in general and murder in particular. Unfortunately, the media intelligentsia tend to favor gun control laws, so a lot of hard facts about the futility, or the counterproductive consequences of such laws, never reach the public through the media. … The media, like Justice Breyer, might do well to reflect on what is their job and what is the voting public’s job.” —economist Thomas Sowell

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