Responding to George Will’s misleading column on the Supreme Court’s recent gun control decision

Jul 3, 2022 | op-ed

George Will had a column that was published in the Washington Post that condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen. Will relied heavily on an Amicus brief from retired federal Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig which cited the 1897 Supreme Court case Robertson v. Baldwin to justify bans on concealed handguns. Not surprisingly, the Washington Post didn’t publish this letter, but we think that it is a strong letter. The Supreme Court cases discussed below are available here.

Dear Letters Editor:

George Will misses a historical fact in his critique of Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion in last week’s gun ruling (“The Supreme Court’s gun ruling is a serious misfire,” June 23, 2022). Will cites the Supreme Court’s Robertson v. Baldwin ruling in 1897 to justify bans on concealed handguns, but doesn’t mention that the same justices decided the infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. That ruling upheld the separate but equal doctrine and allowed racial segregation to continue. Robertson also discriminated against blacks with its restrictions on concealed carry. Blacks, the most vulnerable members of society, were prevented from being able to defend themselves. Unfortunately, Will relies on such an infamously racist court to attack Thomas’ opinion. The May-issue laws in New York and six other states continued that discrimination. 

Sincerely,

John R Lott, Jr., Ph.D.

johnrlott

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