Roe and handgun ruling do a better job of that than any progressive politician ever could’ve. Here’s why:
Whatever you think about the court’s twin decisions on abortion and gun carry, one thing’s clear: both those decisions will put huge, new burdens on police departments, which can only lead to one of two outcomes:
- Minor offenses (including many drug offenses) will not be investigated and/or prosecuted as aggressively, because local law enforcement will be too tied up trying to enforce tons and tons of very-hard-to-enforce and complex new anti-abortion laws, which don’t only mean closing abortion clinics, and making sure no one is doing them clandestinely, but also potentially stopping people from leaving certain states or even cities or counties, and also at the very least going through people’s mail. (Which the federal government may not allow, but of course the Supreme Court can review that, too.)
- State legislatures use all the new laws as a pretense for adding all kinds of new cops with all kinds of power, and the country moves inexorably in the direction of becoming a police state.
Which is more likely? Answer that for yourself. But the idea that Justice Kavanaugh put across in his concurring opinion (p. 124~ in the link that follows here) that the court’s Roe decision somehow simplifies things by actually being “neutral” on abortion by overturning Roe, is either naive or mendacious, and also ridiculous.
Of course, states that ban abortions outright will have major expenses coming their way in terms of taking care of the many more babies that will now be born, and the women who will now be forced to carry them against their will.
These aren’t just medical risks and expenses, but costs associated with jobs and housing and transportation and childcare and so many other things. Think states are going to start pouring money into all of that to compensate for the increased need? No way. No need to. Let’s not forget, these are the same states that continually, actively try to cut back on things like food stamps and school lunches.
But as Justice Alito points out, as Justice Barrett has before, unwanted children can be easily adopted these days, so that solves that:
“A woman who puts her new-born up for adoption today has little reason to fear that the baby will not find a suitable home“Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health p. 42
In part of an answer to the question I asked above, yes, if anything, these states are more likely to put more money into law enforcement. And because for reasons I explain below, they see this as a religious crusade, so enforcing new abortion bans will be seen in large swaths of the country as a completely necessary and a personal obligation to God himself.
So they will prioritize these “crimes” and other lesser crimes will have to be de-emphasized even with beefed up police forces and DA offices.
Net effect: defunding other anti-criminal activity. Defunding the police.
Quick side note: during the Trump Presidency, Trump himself–while talking big about supporting law enforcement–did everything in his power to defund the police as well. This included eliminating tax breaks for cities and municipalities, and fighting to prevent them from getting COVID relief funds. Mainly because people in those places tended not to have voted for him, and he wanted to punish them. But what’s one of the main expenses of any city or municipality? Police. Usually around 35% of a city budget, at least.
Now let’s turn to the handgun ruling, which is extremely ironic because there have been handgun regulations in place in many states for more than a hundred years, which Justice Thomas tells us we must ignore, while Justice Alito (with Justice Thomas signing on) tells us just a day later we must heed centuries old abortion restrictions. But I’m not getting into that any further here.
Just point out a simple, common sense fact. With more people carrying guns around, more people are going to get shot. Incidents where people in the past might’ve ended up getting punched in the face, will now end with gunshot wounds.
But will it really be that bad? Will people who keep firearms at home for self protection suddenly decide to start walking around with them?
Why not? Why not carry it out to your car in the morning and throw it in your glove compartment? Which constitutes legal concealed carry. Who knows what might happen on your way to/from work? And anyway that gun’s doing you no good at home, if you’re not at home.
Which means police will be responding to a lot more shootings, and violent crime is always prioritized, which means they’ll have a lot fewer resources to police more petty crimes.
Also right now, in big cities, one of the most effective tools police have in deescalating a confrontation is if they find a concealed gun on someone. Because right now that happens, it’s over. That person is instantly removed from the conflict. And usually it’s done. I’ve seen it. More than once. It’s a powerful tool for the police they now won’t have in the future.
In fact, police may now be delayed or prevented from responding to other calls, as they will have to wait and check if a handgun a person may be carrying is legally registered or not. Perhaps during that time, hot tempers will cool. Perhaps they’ll simmer and boil over. Either way, if the handgun is legal, police won’t be able to do anything except let the person with it go. Until shots are fired. And then they may have to go back to the same scene, again wasting their time and ability to respond to other calls.
Finally, police are going to now be spending countless hours off the streets, in courtrooms, defending themselves as they’re forced to explain why they believed someone was using a gun in a threatening way, and not just nonchalantly carrying it around, like you do with a gun now, since you now have an almost completely absolute right to do that. Including an 18-year old kid on the way to school. (Though he can’t bring it in to the school. Nor can you bring it into a bar. Or courthouse. Why not?)
Net effect: defunding the police.