(Bloomberg) -- A dissenting justice’s list of US mass shootings drew a pointed rebuttal from a colleague in the majority as the Supreme Court overturned a New York law that barred most people from carrying a handgun in public.
Writing for three dissenters, Justice Stephen Breyer said the majority’s ruling would “severely burden” efforts by states to curb rising gun violence, now the mostly likely cause of death among US children and adolescents.
Read the full opinion and dissent here.
Breyer listed more than a dozen recent mass shootings, including rampages that left a total of more than 30 people dead at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store and an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.
That approach drew a sharp response from Justice Samuel Alito in a concurring opinion.
“How does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo?” Alito wrote. “The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.”
Alito added that the “real thrust of today’s dissent is that guns are bad.”
Breyer rejected that characterization, saying guns have legitimate purposes, including hunting and self defense.
“Balancing these lawful uses against the dangers of firearms is primarily the responsibility of elected bodies, such as legislatures,” Breyer wrote. He said firearm regulation “presents a complex problem -- one that should be solved by legislatures rather than courts.”
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