What About Times Square?! CNN Goes Ballistic on SCOTUS Gun Ruling

The biggest benefit of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down New York State’s arduous restrictions on the concealed carrying of firearms is that the right to do so would not be restricted to just the rich, famous, well-connected, or those who once wore the badge, but would be a right enjoyed by any law-abiding New York citizen. But on CNN Newsroom immediately after the news broke on Thursday, they decried the right to conceal carry outside the home being considered a “first-class right” along with free speech. And one of their most voiced concerns was people carrying in Times Square.

“And we’re still reading through the opinion now, but the conservative majority here, guys, is really going back to this idea that Second Amendment has really become a second-class right,” Jessica Schneider noted in her hastily cobbled together report. “This is something that we’ve heard Justice Thomas say in opinions, we’ve heard him say it this public, Justice Alito as well, saying that they believe that the Second Amendment has become a second-class right.”

Hinting that this ruling would lead to more mass shootings, Schneider dropped the first mention of Times Square:

And then, of course, this is a nation right now grappling with gun violence, several mass shootings in the last few months. And the concern from the attorney general in New York at oral arguments here was that this law applied to the whole of New York State, including not only the rural parts of New York State but also New York City. And the concern that if this law is struck down, which it today, that people would have an easier time carrying concealed handguns in very populated places like Times Square.

Of course, the city dwellers at CNN couldn’t care less about the rights of those in rural upstate New York or even those who live in the crime-infested portions of the city.

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National correspondent Jason Carroll was the embodiment of that sentiment as he parroted Democratic talking points of liberal Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales, who called the ruling “a nightmare for public safety.”

“[B]ecause of this ruling now, they are expecting suicides, domestic incidents to street crime, all of these things to rise as a result of this,” Carroll added. And touting how radical liberal lawmakers in the state planned to use “every tool at this point at their disposal,” he boasted about the possible “roadblocks” they will “throw up” to stop their citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights:

So, what are some of the things that that might look like? Well, perhaps what they will try to do is throw up other roadblocks to try to prevent people from getting these types of permits. It could be making these permits more cost-prohibitive, deeper background checks perhaps, or maybe changing some of the training requirements in order to get a handgun.

Again, they want to make the permits “cost-prohibitive” to keep this right exclusive to the elite.

Despite repeatedly admitting that they didn’t know what the opinion said because they were still reading it, that didn’t stop them from making wild accusations about what the ruling actually did. For instance, CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers suggested it wasn’t clear if Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, had allowed states to bar guns from certain locations such as “the subway, in stadiums, at public events, that sort of thing.”

Chief masturbation expert and chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also whined about “the conservatives on the Supreme Court” viewing “the Second Amendment to be a first-class right like the First Amendment.”

He also claimed their goal was “to be able to carry guns anywhere, anytime without any sort of regulation by the government, without background checks, without restrictions on where you can take a weapon, without restrictions on how you can carry a weapon.”

“Now, they haven’t gone that far yet,” he was forced to admit before adding, “but they are clearly moving in that direction.”

But as The Reload founder Stephen Gutowski reported, Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice Robert wrote in a concurrent opinion that background checks were still intact. “The pair said ‘shall-issue’ laws which require an applicant to go through training and a background check before receiving a permit to carry, but require all qualified applicants to be issued a permit instead of leaving the final decision up to state officials, are consistent with the Second Amendment,” he wrote.

For more outrageous takes based on poor to no understanding of the laws in play, they leaned on senior political analyst David Gergen, who asserted that the conservative justices had “endorsed” allowing gangs to skulk around Times Square with guns:

First of all, the notion that this court has now endorsed the idea that here in Times Square, amidst all the hubbub and human reaction and potential of gangs and so forth and so on, that people can be easily carrying around concealed weapons. That’s just startling. It is like, what, are you, crazy, in Times Square? So, I think there is that element.

Since David is either too thick to understand the law or is intentionally lying, let’s break it down. If someone can’t legally buy a gun, they can’t carry it concealed legally nor get the permit to do so. And if they bought a gun illegally, they’re likely to have been or would carry it illegally regardless of the ruling.

Gergen concluded by arguing that this ruling would add to the angst about the future of the country and claimed it was “anti-democratic.”

And as they were nearing the end of the hour, co-host Poppy Harlow bemoaned the ruling for having “enormous implications” and “wiping away any distinction between having a gun in your home for self-defense as decided in Heller, and now carrying it outside of your home.”

These anti-Second Amendment, anti-average American rants were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Whole Foods Market and Verizon. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Newsroom
June 23, 2022
10:34:45 a.m. Eastern

(…)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER: And we’re still reading through the opinion now, but the conservative majority here, guys, is really going back to this idea that Second Amendment has really become a second-class right.

This is something that we’ve heard Justice Thomas say in opinions, we’ve heard him say it this public, Justice Alito as well, saying that they believe that the Second Amendment has become a second-class right. And now in this particular opinion, they’re striking down this New York gun law.

We’re reading through the opinion to see if they are going any further as it pertains to the Second Amendment, but this is big. This is going to strike down this law in New York. There are about five other states who have similar laws, so those likely will no longer be able to be in effect.

And then, of course, this is a nation right now grappling with gun violence, several mass shootings in the last few months. And the concern from the attorney general in New York at oral arguments here was that this law applied to the whole of New York State, including not only the rural parts of New York State but also New York City. And the concern that if this law is struck down, which it today, that people would have an easier time carrying concealed handguns in very populated places like Times Square.

So, the fallout still remains to be seen. We’ve seen Governor Hochul say that if the Supreme Court acts like it has today, that she and the legislature will more to try to enact some other law. But for now, this New York gun law struck down, we’ll read through the rest of the opinion to see how much broader it might be, guys.

SCIUTTO: Yeah. The New York mayor, Eric Adams, just days ago, said the effect — the negative effect, he believed, this will have on policing crime in New York.

Jeffrey Toobin, this is a law that stood for more than a century, passed Supreme Court muster for more than a century. What does this mean for other gun safety laws around the country whether they relate to concealed weapons or other restrictions on guns?

TOOBIN: One useful way of thinking about the way the court is approaching the Second Amendment is to think about the First Amendment. You know, we know that in the United States you have the right under the First Amendment to say pretty much anything anywhere because we have freedom of speech in the United States.

What the conservatives on the Supreme Court are saying is we want the Second Amendment to be a first-class right like the First Amendment. And we want to be able to carry guns anywhere, anytime without any sort of regulation by the government, without background checks, without restrictions on where you can take a weapon, without restrictions on how you can carry a weapon.

Now, they haven’t gone that far yet but they are clearly moving in that direction. And, you know, we can’t separate this issue from what is going on in the world where, you know, we have a tremendous problem with gun violence in this country, we have mass shootings, we have 18- year-olds with access to AR-14s – 15s, and the Supreme Court is moving in the direction of saying the government cannot regulate that traffic at all.

SCIUTTO: It’s huge. It’s huge.

HARLOW: Let’s bring in also our CNN legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer Joan Biskupic, I think, is coming in. Jennifer Rodgers is also here. We have Jason Carroll.

Jennifer Rodgers, to you. What we don’t know yet because we’re reading through the opinion, but it is really critical, is there a carve-out? I mean, Heller in 2008 told us the Second Amendment is not unlimited and there are constraints. And the big part of the oral argument was, you know, sensitive places, like the subway, and that is going to be a big part of this decision.

JENNIFER RODGERS: Yeah. And, Poppy, these issues, law enforcement issues, public safety issue, have usually been left to the states and local governments because they’re the ones who know what the dangers are and what the citizens need to be protected. So, we definitely need to wait for that.

I mean, Justice Thomas’ language apparently, as the state will have to show that gun regulation is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation. So, the question becomes, as you look back at that, has that been traditional that states and localities can regulate in areas like that, whether particular public safety dangers that a rise in the subway, in stadiums, at public events, that sort of thing.

So, that is what certainly the government in New York State and these other states are going to be looking to see whether they can do that.

HARLOW: Okay. Thank you.

Joan Biskupic, I know that you’re poring through this, we are too right here. But do we know bigger picture if this court, after striking down the New York law, changed the framework of how this court assesses the Second Amendment right? Because if they change the framework significantly, that means a host of gun laws on the books now could all be re-litigated.

JOAN BISKUPIC: It is bigger, Poppy, and I’ll tell you why. It is the difference between having Clarence Thomas write this opinion and Antonin Scalia write it when Anthony Kennedy was still on the court.

Everything is different now because we have the six-justice supermajority. It’s so different because the ruling back in 2008 involved only handguns in the home for self-defense.

This is the first time the Supreme Court has extended that ruling outside to the streets for concealed weapons being carried and it also just broadens the possibility for challenges to other gun laws nationwide. So, yes, this is much bigger.

SCIUTTO: Jeffrey Toobin, does this render moot the difficult negotiations we’ve been covering on the Hill for years to pass simple gun safety regulations, like the one quite modest that has just gotten through on Capitol Hill or is about to get through, we believe?

TOOBIN: The one thing it guarantees is that any sort of gun regulation, including what was just agreed to by the senators, will be challenged in court. I mean, there is no question about that. This expands the Second Amendment right. What we don’t know is if it completely eliminates the possibility for any sort of gun regulation.

Again, I am just working my way through the opinion. It is possible that red flag laws may still be intact after this. But any sort of regulation that tells people what kind of gun you can carry and where you can carry it as long as you say you are doing it for self-defense, its very hard for me to imagine how any of those could be upheld anymore.

(…)

10:47:25 a.m. Eastern

JASON CARROLL: Well, I think the Brooklyn D.A. really just said it best. [Coughs] Just came out with a statement just a short while ago, Eric Gonzales calling it a “nightmare for public safety.” Saying, because of this ruling now, they are expecting suicides, domestic incidents to street crime, all of these things to rise as a result of this, basically saying that they must meet this critical setback with every tool at this point at their disposal.

So, the question, Jim, then becomes what tools might they have. New York’s governor, as well as New York’s mayor, have been preparing for this moment for quite some time. New York’s governor said that she would do everything that she could. So, it is understandable at this point that she probably already at this point has some sort of draft legislation on her desk to try to meet this setback.

So, what are some of the things that that might look like? Well, perhaps what they will try to do is throw up other roadblocks to try to prevent people from getting these types of permits. It could be making these permits more cost-prohibitive, deeper background checks perhaps, or maybe changing some of the training requirements in order to get a handgun.

But it is very clear, law enforcement looking at this as a major setback.

HARLOW: David Gergen, to you here.

Thomas, significant that he wrote this opinion given how long he has said that the Second Amendment, in his view, has been treated as a second-class right. When you look at the opinion, page 23, “nothing in the Second Amendment,” he writes, “text draws a home public distinction with the respect to the right to keep or bear arms.”

Now, the question is the political implications of this, in your mind. As we’ve seen by the way more of the public polling, even new polling out this morning, moving in favor of more regulations on gun ownership.

DAVID GERGEN: Absolutely. I think this is going to be a startling decision in two respects. First of all, the notion that this court has now endorsed the idea that here in Times Square, amidst all the hubbub and human reaction and potential of gangs and so forth and so on, that people can be easily carrying around concealed weapons. That’s just startling. It is like, what, are you, crazy, in Times Square? So, I think there is that element.

But, secondly, I don’t think the country saw this coming. Yes, the New York officials had been looking at it, but the country’s head has not been here.

And I think it’s going to add to the sense increasingly in the country, especially when the abortion decision comes down that we have a Supreme Court that is out of touch with the modern-day realities, that this does not representing what the democracy, the democratic views of the country. They have gone off on their own — in their own crusade. It comes at a time when people are very, very worried about the strength of our democracy, and I think this will be seen as anti-democratic by a lot.

(…)

10:55:14 a.m. Eastern

SCIUTTO: A decision from the Supreme Court with enormous implications for this country as it relates to gun rights, reactions to gun violence, including the one we see under way on Capitol Hill right now, and whether those attempts to regulate guns enhance or broaden gun safety measures can survive court muster. Poppy, this has enormous, enormous implications.

HARLOW: Enormous implications, this court wiping away any distinction between having a gun in your home for self-defense as decided in Heller, and now carrying it outside of your home, also which we’ll discuss throughout the day here on CNN.

Jim, as you know, this court has now changed the framework of how courts going forward have to look at gun rights and the Second Amendment, no longer the two-part framework, looking now at text and history, which means a lot of the current gun laws could be reheard and re-litigated –

SCIUTTO: Challenged.

HARLOW: — and challenged. You’re exactly right.

Thank you for joining us today for this significant breaking news.

(…)

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