Does Warriors head coach need lesson on Constitution?

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Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has turned out to be a social justice warrior and his target is guns.

During an interview with the San Jose Mercury News Kerr opened fire on the National Rifle Association, blaming the 5.5-million-member organization for blocking what he considers “sensible gun laws.”

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr is a gun control advocate. (Screen snip, YouTube, Global News)

Described by Fox News as “an outspoken critic of President Trump,” the basketball coach told the newspaper, “The vast majority of people don’t think AR-15’s should be allowed in the hands of a citizen. Or high-capacity magazines.”

Various Second Amendment legal scholars might remind Kerr that constitutional rights are not subject to a public popularity contest.

“They want background checks,” Kerr continued.

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And “they” have background checks. It’s the law, especially in California, where no firearm transfer is legally allowed to occur without a background check. The law was designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and that’s what proponents promised. How’s that working out?

In 2017, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for that year (the most recent year for which data is available), California racked up 1,274 firearm-related homicides. Of those, 886 involved handguns, 37 were committed with rifles of any kind, another 34 involved shotguns and 317 involved firearms of unknown or unidentified type.

Crime-related guns still trade hands without background checks. Ammunition sales are regulated. Gang members in Los Angeles don’t head to Gun World or Guns Direct to buy their firearms at retail.

Most mass shooters in recent history passed background checks. Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger passed background checks and endured waiting periods for each of the handguns he bought. Of the six people he murdered, three were killed with some kind of knife and the other three were shot. According to the FBI data, in 2017 there were 258 people killed with knives or sharp instruments, but nobody is complaining about “knife violence” or prohibitions on cutting instruments, even though that number dwarfs the killings involving rifles or shotguns.

Fox News reported that, “Kerr, who won five NBA titles as a player and three as a coach, has been a supporter of strict gun control laws and was affected by gun violence himself when he was younger. Kerr’s father was shot and killed in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1984 by a group associated with the Islamic Holy War.”

This crime happened in another country halfway around the world, and it appears to have been related to terrorism, not random street crime. Had the elder Mr. Kerr died in a terrorist bombing, would that have been described by Fox as “bomb violence?”

Coach Kerr is entitled to an opinion, and his is shared by a lot of people. But opinions don’t trump constitutionally-enumerated rights.

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