Random Thoughts on Hunter Biden, Domestic Violence, and Disarming Those Who Haven’t Been Convicted of a Crime.

One of the most entertaining aspects of Hunter Biden being indicted on three gun-related charges due to his drug use is the reaction of those on the left side of the political spectrum. They’re screaming that given how few people are prosecuted for lying on 4473 forms, the only reason he’s been charged is his prominent father.

Note that the Venn diagram of the people who are making this argument and those who blew a blood vessel when a man whose conviction was overturned for gun possession while under a domestic violence restraining order is almost a perfect circle. Yet the legal principles are virtually the same.

In the domestic violence case, US v. Rahimi, the target is a certified scumbag who’d been involved in at least five prior crimes involving firearms and had beaten the hell out of his girlfriend. Zackey Rahimi was the subject of a domestic violence restraining order which prohibited him from possessing a firearm and had been convicted of violating that order.

When the Fifth Circuit circuit overturned his conviction based on the lack of a history or tradition in this country of voiding the gun rights of people who hadn’t been convicted of a crime, the reaction was as if they’d OK’d human sacrifice, dogs living with cats…you know mass hysteria.

As the always-sane and even-keeled Ian Millhiser at Vox put it . . .

There is also a reason why the government did not disarm domestic abusers in the past: Domestic violence was not deemed a criminal offense for most of American history. When women were denied equal citizenship, the men who wrote and enforced the laws viewed wife-beating as a mere “familial affair” beyond the province of the courts. Legislators and judges alike saw domestic abuse as a natural part of family life, to be dealt with privately and punished only in the most extreme and murderous situations.

In other words, thanks to the Supreme Court and Bruen, because the Founders were OK with wife-beating, wife-beaters can now have guns!

That, of course, was not at all what the Fifth Circuit ruled. While noting that society had all kinds of opportunities to charge, convict and imprison Zackey Rahimi for a laundry list of felonies and other crimes that would have kept him from owning a gun (at least legally), it had chosen — time and time again — to give him a pass.

Since Rahimi hadn’t yet been convicted of a crime, and there’s no history or tradition of disarming people who are similarly innocent until proven guilty in this country, the Court of Appeals ruled the ban on gun possession for people under a domestic violence restraining order is unconstitutional under Bruen.

So the same people who are arguing the Biden indictment is a political hit job because drug use is no biggie and that the feds almost never prosecute on the 4473 lying charge (about 300 times a year, and he was also charged with gun possession while using narcotics), are the same people who are having aneurisms over the Fifth Circuit ruling.

Set aside the fact that lying — for whatever reason — on a federal form is a crime. Hunter’s father’s administration has weaponized the DOJ and ATF in never-before-seen ways against gun manufacturers, sellers, and owners. The Biden DOJ is actively pursuing hundreds of these charges against individuals based on a law that Hunter’s father helped make happen.

That’s right, old Joe himself helped write and pass the Brady bill that criminalized…lying on a 4473 form. How great is that?

But what’s really delicious here is that Hunter’s own attorney is now arguing that the statute — the one his father made a reality — is unconstitutional.

“The only change that has occurred between when they investigated [this alleged crime] and today is that the law changed,” [Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe] Lowell said. “But the law didn’t change in favor of the prosecution. The law changed against it.”

Lowell was, of course, referring to Bruen and the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in Rahimi. I’m sure he’s also noted that a federal District Judge in Oklahoma has ruled that the federal ban on gun ownership by marijuana users is unconstitutional. So we’re about to be treated to Hunter Biden’s attorney arguing against his father’s weaponized Department of Justice that’s prosecuting someone — a known drug user — who hasn’t been convicted of a crime.

Lowell will claim the law is unconstitutional because, as the Fifth Circuit says, someone who hasn’t been convicted of anything — drug use, domestic abuse, influence peddling, whatever — can’t be disarmed, and the law that the younger Biden broke — the one his father wrote — is unconstitutional.

That’s actually an argument with which many of us are sympathetic. Non-criminals shouldn’t have their civil rights taken away. Court orders can be abused. Just like a red flag confiscation law, a domestic violence restraining orders can be used as weapons in contentious break-ups against exes.

There are reasonable arguments on both sides as to whether someone under a domestic violence order should possess firearms. Just as there are similarly reasonable arguments about drug users, particularly users of marijuana in states where it’s been legalized. And then there’s the matter of the Second Amendment rights of those who have, at any time in their lives, been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

Anyone who read the Bruen decision closely and understood the ruling’s implications no doubt anticipated much of this. It was a (slow-moving) dagger aimed directly at the heart of a huge range of the the gun control laws in this country, including “assault weapons” bansmagazine capacity limits, waiting periods, and many more. As we knew, it would take time for all of those knock-on effects of the ruling to play themselves out.

We’re about to see it play out in the Rahimi case. The Supreme Court, on the last day of its session, granted cert in the DOJ’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. That case will be argued in November. So we’re going to see how the Justices square the circle of the Second Amendment’s text, history, and tradition with the, uh, balanced interests of society in denying gun rights to at least some people who haven’t committed crimes.

You have yourself a good weekend.