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Culture War Roundup for the week of May 13, 2024

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The Brooklyn District Attorney's website reports:

“Ghost guns are a threat to New Yorkers everywhere, and my Office is working tirelessly with our partners in law enforcement to stop their proliferation. Today’s sentence should send a message to anyone who, like this defendant, would try to evade critically important background checks and registration requirements to manufacture and stockpile these dangerous weapons. Every ghost gun we take off the street is a win for public safety.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Dexter Taylor, 53, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Abena Darkeh to 10 years in prison. He was convicted of two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon; three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon; five counts of criminal possession of a firearm; unlawful possession of pistol ammunition; and prohibition on unfinished frames or receivers on April 16, 2024, following a jury trial.

Taylor, also known as CarbonMike, was both a CTRL-Pew 3d printing enthusiast and a New Yorker, a combination that Didn't Go Well.

The specific charges and sentencing are complex, but if I'm reading matters correctly, almost all sentences run concurrently, so the headline charge about ghost guns, like the charges about possession of pistol ammunition and so on, are kinda swamped by a ten-year sentence for 'assault weapons' and for 'owning five firearms'. There are a few border issues on the text of the statutes, but there's not a ton to argue on whether Taylor complied with these statutes.

((Not least of all because many are vague or broad enough that it's very much up to the local DA to make the decision anyway.))

There's a lot to be debated about whether the laws are constitutional, but not much chance that it matters. The New York Assault Weapons Ban has been the target of prolonged lawfare since before Bruen, with the FPC currently supporting Lane after the state was getting good enough reception in Vanchoff v James about lacking credible threats of prosecution, and that's the case with the stance furthest along. Other statutes, like possession of ammunition or "ammunition feeding devices" without a matching pistol permit, are difficult to write cases to challenge before enforcement at all. Even if the statutes for each of the longer sentences are overturned, bail pending appeal is extremely unlikely. Taylor will have served most if not all of his sentence first, especially given the glacial pace that courts have set for these matters (cfe Duncan).

Taylor also makes the argument that he did not have a fair day in court, and while almost every defendant does that to some extent, his argument is unusually compelling. No few gunnies finding a pull quote from the judge allegedly claiming that "Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York." but the gameplay about objections, if honestly stated, is as bad or worse. (I'm unable to find a direct trial transcript.).

Also doesn't matter. There is a right to an impartial judge, but this mostly covers matters like giant campaign donations or hating an entire nationality or literally copying text from a party's submissions, rather than just figuratively being on the prosecutor's side. Even assuming Taylor's (and his lawyer's) summary is accurate and complete, the appeals courts don't care that lower courts hate people accused of making guns.

In some ways, Taylor might be the ideal test case: nothing in the visible court records or DA chest-beating show nefarious intent like violent personal history or planned mass shooting or intent to resell (and New York law places a presumption on multiple possession as for sale), he (was) traditionally employed, he credibly claims that he's never fired a single one of the guns, and at 52, he's aged out of the various high-criminal-risk age brackets. To beat the HBDers to the punch, he's even visibly a minority.

((To beat the HBDers with a stick, if we're framing absolutely everything as part of the progressive stack, I think there's strong evidence that the real top of the stack is whatever matches the politics today in a far more direct manner than mere race.))

Of course, the Brooklyn DA brought the case, knowing that. The judge acted like this, in this case, knowing that. And no matter how dim you might think they are, they're winning, and this know what it takes to win. Whether that's because the courts punt on serious cases because defendants fail to present long evidence of futile requests, because they credibly believe that Taylor's not Perfect Enough for the courts to actually handle or for various gun rights orgs to fund, or because even if they're wrong they'll never suffer for it, doesn't really matter. It's possible that Brooklyn DA took the case because Taylor's social media made it easier to prove, it might be that we're only gonna hear about this case out of many because of said social media, and it doesn't really matter.

There's a lot of ways to snark, in "What's the penalty for being late?" fashion, about how Taylor's non-violent noncompliance with a law has gotten a much longer sentence than nutjobs who were separately violent, or a comparable sentence to a man who literally burned another man to death on the pyre of an Approved Cause. And that's not entirely fair, because the federal system doesn't have parole and New York does, and anyway there's a million different squiggly little variables about the crimes and sentences, and there's nowhere near enough cases to make a deep statistical analysis even if I wanted to try. Gun control advocates will certainly quibble, at the edges, about whether this is really 'non-violent non-violent', since there's always the possibility of later bad acts or theft or loss or mental break.

And Taylor ain't dead yet, despite an (alleged) no-knock raid. The actuarials put decent odds on him even seeing the light of day as a free man again, parole or no. Unlike Mr. Lee, had Taylor expressed his dislike of current law enforcement with a bit what the ATF calls a destructive device through a bit of what I call a broken window, the odds would not be looking so good. But there's no magic court case, here, and no golden BB. This isn't even the strawman of a scifi writer drawing up villains who just want their laws as threats to hang over innocent men. If you are ruled by people who hate you, giving puppy-dog eyes and saying this is just a paperwork crime and no one was hurt won't buy you a cup of coffee before you get absolutely reamed in all the least fun ways, and contra a once-prolific-now-banned poster here, everyone who cares about this stuff is ruled by men who hate them.

This is what table stakes looks like.

giving puppy-dog eyes and saying this is just a paperwork crime and no one was hurt won't buy you a cup of coffee before you get absolutely reamed in all the least fun ways

Not to be melodramatic, but I am once again reminded of Solzhenitsyn:

If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm?

But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis placements in our universe, and both· the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?"

And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer.

Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer sault from one state into another.

We have been happily borne-or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way-down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a'thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all.

That's all there is to it! You are arrested!

And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?"

That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.

Except that in your desperation the fake circus moon will blink at you: "It's a mistake! They'll set things right!"

When you're hauled in front of "Judge" Darkeh who articulates her spitting contempt for the American Constitution, the rational expectation would be that you're about to receive justice in a pretty similar fashion to what those victims of the Soviets received, but few of us ever learn that lesson, instead clinging to the hope that eventually there will be someone that sets things right.

And if I'm too much of a coward to end myself before that point, at least I hope I'll have the presence of mind to see that there is no reason other than they're strong and I'm pathetically weak, and so not bother with this pitiful question.

When you're hauled in front of "Judge" Darkeh who articulates her spitting contempt for the American Constitution, the rational expectation would be that you're about to receive justice in a pretty similar fashion to what those victims of the Soviets received, but few of us ever learn that lesson, instead clinging to the hope that eventually there will be someone that sets things right.

And if that hope is dashed, one does not blame the system, but instead accepts that you did indeed receive justice. Because to assume you screwed up (even to the point of being executed) is tolerable; to assume the institutions are malevolent juggernauts who would punish an innocent man is not.

At least, that's what someone on the right does. The left always blames the system. Thus when the left has taken the system, the right has no way of defeating it.

Cute narrative, but demonstrably false.

[Taylor’s lawyer] Varghese continued: “Remember, these are all political appointees, and I don’t see a judge granting him bail pending appeal. So we may try, we may try and pray, but it’s highly unlikely.”

I think you’ll have a very hard time finding right-wingers happy to bend over and take it. What’s more universal than blaming the people in charge?

Hard time?! Can you name even one right-winger not bending over and taking a hard woke tool in his ass?! There is no escape!!!

  • -14


He will be dead before the next inauguration.

  • -24

Shall we bet?

Rittenhouse has bent the knee but even if he hadn't, we're not that far gone yet.

Do you actually believe that? Your whole post history here seems to me to be basically delusional histrionics, but I can't tell if you're serious or trolling.

Either way, I would be happy to take your money.

Will you take a bet on this? Test your convictions. I will give you great odds. 5 to 1?

The hell he will. What could possibly make you think this?

Judging by four years ago, the hysteria will ramp up steeply right about now. He is an obvious rallying point.

More comments

predictions are one of the best ways available to debug one's own cognition. In this case, it seems very unlikely to me that Rittenhouse will, in fact, be dead before the next inauguration.

I'll even do you one better: not only will he be alive on inauguration day, but no attempts on his life will have been observed.

And we can go even further. Not only will he be alive, and not only will there be no attempts on his life, but he will not be prosecuted or persecuted to any extent greater than the default blue-tribe discrimination in employment. None of the self-defense cases from the Floyd Riots were killed by left-wingers; Gardner was harassed into suicide, and others were successfully prosecuted, but none of them were actually murdered, and they've already taken their shot at Rittenhouse from a legal perspective. If you want to solve a problem, it helps to not catastrophize that problem out of all proportion. The situation is bad enough without needlessly embracing despair.

I largely agree, but he is currently facing a wrongful death lawsuit by Anthony Huber's father. I imagine he's going to be hounded by very well-funded civil suits for a long time as revenge for getting off. Still, this is a far shot from state prosecution or murder.

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Greg Abbott?

And that’s not what I said. Chill out.

That being your best example only validates my conclusion that death is the only escape.

  • -14

That's enough.

You've filled the mod queue with these low-effort comments. Many people are reporting you with some variation of "Does he need help?"

You either do indeed need help or else you're trolling. If this is a bid for sympathy, you are in the wrong place. If you just came here to spew nihilistic doomerism, you are also in the wrong place.

You've earned multiple warnings and your posting has not improved. I'm banning you for a week and next time will move straight to a permaban if you repeat the pattern.

This is needs help or else trolling:

I was merely drunk. I thought that removes responsibility for our choices in current year? Or is it only for female sexual choices?

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Why? His ass is practically armored.

My favorite was Hawaii, where they said "That doesn't vibe with our 'Aloha spirit' so we're going to ignore it." So, why are federal gun laws enforced in gun-friendly states?

So, why are federal gun laws enforced in gun-friendly states?

I can think of several factors that contribute to this.

First, what does it mean for a state to be "gun-friendly"? I mean, most people on the pro-gun side support "reasonable" restrictions — where "reasonable" is often heavily influenced by status-quo bias (the conservative side of the leftward ratchet) — and the "2nd Amendment right to personal nukes" position is mostly just a few fringe (if vocal) libertarian types. And states are not politically homogenous; even your most "gun-friendly" state is going to have plenty of people — particularly in the cities — who support increasing gun restrictions.

In particular, the people in state government — particularly the lawyers and paper-pushing bureaucrats — you'd be counting on to push and coordinate this resistance to enforcement skew both urban and especially college-educated, which means they skew left and anti-gun. (Personnel is policy, and modern forms of government ensure urban leftist personnel.)

Second, way too many on the right are believers in "the rule of law." Like the sportsman who will not respond to a cheating opponent by cheating back because he has too much "respect for the game," they believe in the importance of procedure over outcome — following the rules and doing the right thing over getting better results. They are deontologists and virtue ethicists, not utilitarians. Fiat justitia ruat caelum. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Better to suffer defeat, torture, and death while upholding your values than to attain a political victory by compromising them. (Because God will reward you for the former and damn you for the latter.)

Indeed, for any "the left is doing [x], why isn't the right doing [x] back?" question you can pose, you're sure to find someone on the right insisting that our steadfast, virtuous refusal to do [x] is the thing that separates us from the left, that to do [x] back would not just be sinking to the level of our enemies, it would be to become our enemy, and that anyone who would consider doing [x] is a leftist, no matter their other positions.

Third, quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. What works for the left against the right will not necessarily work for the right against the left. Leftists can get away with doing things for left-wing causes that would see rightists punished severely if they tried to use them for right-wing ones. It's not hypocrisy, it's hierarchy.

I think a lot of what you say about the right is pre-2021 right. They realized they get no mercy and now are willing to sacrifice their principles.

I would say Desantis war with Disney is a prime example. The right traditionally would have been against punishing Disney for Free Speech, but backed Desantis when he went after Disney within the rules of the law. Even though the Spirit of Free Speech was against doing anything. When you have institutional power to punish your enemies the right seems down with it now. The no pacifist in a foxhole standard has emerged. It’s better to win sacrificing principle than lose and end up dead. Abbott has also challenged a lot of legal principles and challenged Biden to try and stop him when he’s probably wrong on the law. The right also got aggressive with abortion using bad means to do it like Texas civil suit law. My guess is if Hillary was the 2024 candidate and destroyed her hard drive and lost lock her up would be attempted versus just being a campaign slogan.

When the right feels threatened they can do more. Pinochet was on the right and his plan worked. Until recently the right didn’t realize the system was risks. It was just annoying HR ladies and an occasional weirdos to laugh about on college campuses.

It’s not like the right has been opposed to force when it’s necessary. We killed a lot of commies. The right didn’t realize they were in a war until recently.

This, of course, is exactly the same thing that leftist, or members of any other group, tell themselves -- when They break their stated principles for expediency, it's because They are treacherous faithless hypocrites; when We break our stated principles for expediency, it's because We really need to play dirty to win. As for principles like tolerance of differennt ideas, freedom of speech, or body autonomy, approximately nobody gives or ever gave a damn about them; a smattering of individuals here and there may care, but in practice they are ad hoc weapons against customs or laws one doesn't like.

No, leftists are consistent in that they actually write papers about how free speech is a white supremacist social construct that must be abolished etc. etc., see Derrick Bell and Richard Delgado. You have to give them credit for that at least.

Current freedom of speech doctrine accords protection to commercial speech and pornography, limits governmental regulation of private contributions to political campaigns, and forbids sanctions for hate speech. Such rules operate in the often-stirring language of individual freedom, but their effect is more likely to be regressive than progressive

"We need to play dirty to win More Progress" is their stated principle.

This, of course, is exactly the same thing that leftist, or members of any other group, tell themselves -- when They break their stated principles for expediency, it's because They are treacherous faithless hypocrites; when We break our stated principles for expediency, it's because We really need to play dirty to win.

I don't see any assertions about "we" or "they" in the post above. One can conclude that "principles" are no longer maintainable without needing to apply any judgement on the outgroup. All that is needed is a recognition of fundamental conflict.

I don’t know about that.

The American right has plenty of history with speech restrictions, especially around sexual content. DeSantis is not breaking new ground. He’s approaching from a more secular angle, but it’s the same old song and dance of a Moral Majority. Same for Texas jurisprudence.

Nor is the situation uniquely dire for the right! Keep in mind previous acts of defying the Feds have ended with the 101st Airborne deployed to high school. Or at least a good old FBI shootout. Compared to that the cultural and legal battles are tame.

I think what you’re observing is better explained by the libertarian wing receding from its high-water mark during Obama’s presidency. Trump’s branding has polarized the Republican base and it dominates any media coverage.

I agree they have done it in the past. But what is happening now is different. In the past it was doing it from a position of strength. Now it’s being down as a counterattack.

Nor is the situation uniquely dire for the right! Keep in mind previous acts of defying the Feds have ended with the 101st Airborne deployed to high school.

Rumors from within DHS tells me that the federal government couldn't find anyone willing to go against the Texas state government during the border brouhaha. There's a decent chance of the federal government simply lacking a monopoly on force these days.

I think what you’re observing is better explained by the libertarian wing receding from its high-water mark during Obama’s presidency.

I don't see how that's an explanation rather than a restatement of the original observation.

Sliders was pretty clear about 2021 as an inflection point. In my opinion, that’s way too late.

The current backlash is a development of populism which has been brewing (at least) since Obama was in office. Crediting DeSantis and Abbott with reinventing conservative opposition? That’s the same kind of mistake as people insisting Trump is going to abolish democracy. He’s not special. They’re not special. For that matter, Obama wasn’t special, either. The situation circa 2010 was uniquely suited to a libertarian opposition. Since then, that support has been redirected to Trump’s platform.

Describing that as “the right realizing they were in a war” is, uh, cope.

It's been as while since I was into econ, so I'll probably butcher some of these ideas, but some brilliant soul had the idea that the best way to model the behavior of individual companies is to a assume their actions can have no impact on supply, demand, employment or any broader trend. They're scarcely more than amoebas in the ocean, driven by forces far beyond their comprehension, let alone their ability to influence them. It is this form of analysis, a vain attempt to present itself of as rational, that I think is the cope, and it's probably worse in politics than it was in economics.

The situation circa 2010 was uniquely suited to a libertarian opposition.

I don't see how that explains anything. It's not like the move away from libertarianism was primarily motivated by the opposition to the left, which is still extremely hostile to it. It was a repudiation of the neocon agenda first. To the extent it went against libertarianism, it was focused on economics, and to the extent that was different from what the establishment of either party wanted to do, it boiled down to the opposition immigration and free trade. Even after Trump took power, he did remarkably little to exercise it in order to implement a cultural agenda. At the tail end of his presidency we started seeing some executive orders that would herald the type of opposition we see coming from DeSantis and Abbot, but they came so late that Biden repealed them before they could have any impact.

In my opinion this shows that his timeline is mostly correct, and the fact that DeSantis and Abbot are being singled out for criticism shows they're doing something different from the other Republican governors.

"The right realizing that they were at war", might not be the right explanation for what we're seeing, but at least it's an explanation. I still don't see your argument as anything more than a restatement of the fact that the right moved away from libertarianism.

I see 2021 as a time where the right got comfortable adopting tactics the left had been using longer.

Before 2021 I thought the GOP stayed towards traditional powers like voter backlashes or challenging things in the Supreme Court.

Post 2021 they have added more direct challenges like busing illegals to blue states, giving a FU to Biden on the border when I think his position wins in court, muddling things up in lawfare (which is different from doing what a court tells you to do), etc.

Desantis and Abbott are probably fairly uncommon political talents, just like Obama was and Trump is.

I want to die in my sleep I wanta to die in my sleep I want to deie in my sleep

I can make it happen. DM me.

Please don’t threaten him with a good time.

Also, he’s already banned.

Wouldn't you rather die in a war?

No, not at all, absolutely not, my one and only goal in life is to minimize my personal suffering, and for that the only important thing is choosing the exit moment.

If that is your one and only goal, then why haven't you killed yourself already and prevented decades of potential suffering?

That doesn't seem like a very good goal, and judging by your interactions here, it doesn't seem to be working for you all that well. If you are not currently suffering quite badly, you're faking it really well.

It is not a good goal, but it is an egoistic goal, and I'm quite fine with being egoistic at an exclusion of everything else. I'm just timing the peak intolerability of the world.

I'm not quite sure what "egoistical" means, but aiming to minimize your suffering in a way that does not in fact minimize your suffering and quite possibly maximizes it seems like a pretty good example of a self-defeating strategy.

To be fair, the Aloha Spirit stuff was downstream of using a state statute to evaluate the state constitution.

To be less fair, that's not how that works for anything else. And the state constitutional provision had the exact same text as the federal Second Amendment. Which the Hawaii Supreme Court decided just didn't apply, with or without any aloha spirit.

Why do you care about ink smudges on dead wood? The only thing that matters is who can kill or indefinitely imprison whom without any consequences. There is no tooth fairy, and there is no constitution.

If nothing else, we care because others care. Whatever your beliefs about the Powers That Be, they are not yet omnipotent, and flagrant (well... more flagrant anyways) disregard of the constitution will radicalize some normies into enemies.

I'm not convinced that they were tools that are broken rather than blunted, but even if they are splintered beyond repair, how and when and what happened is worth knowing. Regardless of what matters in the long run, these tools are almost certainly not the only tools vulnerable to the same things.

It will be worth knowing only to civilizations five millennia in the future, if there are those, of course.

The only thing that matters is who can kill or indefinitely imprison whom without any consequences.

Yes, and we need only look around us, look at history and who's been winning, to see the clear answer to that question.

So what are, practically, the mechanisms that can be used to (legally) remove a judge that had publicly declared intent to betray the constitution?

Like what if the South just suddenly decided "13a doesn't exist in this here courtroom" and boldly ignored the Supreme Court?

Does the Marshall of the Supreme Court get to arrest people for contempt? Does the federation magically go poof? Does the ghost of General Sherman start haunting anybody? Do the slave auctions go on unmolested?

Along with the the impeachment process -- in New York, technically just 'removal', requires recommendation from the governor followed by two-thirds of the State Senate, gfl -- trial-level criminal court judges are appointed by the Mayor of New York City for a lengthy period, mandatory retirement at age 70. Judge Abena Darkeh's current term is set to expire in 2030, so you could just hold the New York City mayoral office for six years time, along with taking over the recommendation system. Again, gfl.

((There's also a rule about residence, but I have no clue if/how it's enforced.))

So what are, practically, the mechanisms that can be used to (legally) remove a judge that had publicly declared intent to betray the constitution.

None. The only theoretical option is impeachment, but those who would impeach and convict in New York are also anti-Second-Amendment.

This sounds remarkably similar to the problems the Union faced in the South, after defeating the Confederacy.

I think that a higher court could issue a Writ of Mandamus requiring them to apply the law as directed. Defiance of that would lead to contempt of court and jail time.

In theory, would the classic federal "deprivation of rights under color of law" rules not apply to judges, especially state-level ones? I don't see that as a hugely likely possibility: it's not a hill much of the high-status right, especially the DOJ, wants to die on, and would be a pretty big culture war escalation. But it seems a theoretical option.

No, judges have absolute immunity for their official acts.

everyone who cares about this stuff is ruled by men who hate them.

Indeed. The Supreme Court position on the right to keep and bear arms is "Sure, people have the right to keep and bear arms. That doesn't mean any particular person has the right to own or carry a gun." Very conservative position, actually.

The current SC is not exactly shy about overturning precedent, have they recently affirmed this position or is it an older decision?

To add to The_Nybbler's point, oral arguments in Rahimi were November 2023, a case where an incredibly unsympathetic defendant (alleged multiple shooter, drug dealer, and girlfriend beater) was indicted for possessing a firearm while subject to a domestic restraining order. We won't know for certain how the court rules until the opinion drops, and that probably won't happen for a month (or up to three).

But it's extremely unlikely that this will result in a significantly broadened understanding of the Second Amendment. The most optimistic takes in the gunnie world hope that the Court will allow Rahimi's conviction and just require a finding of 'dangerousness'. Most expect that they'll overturn the lower court, or leave only the most narrow process grounds to protect Rahimi.

And there are reasons beyond oral argument tea-leaf reading for that. It's already happened before in Gary/Greer, where unsympathetic plaintiffs made it easy for the court to decide that for process reasons a prohibited person didn't need to be proven to know they were prohibited.

But even more broadly, there's just not that much of the court touching this right to protect all but the most aggressive infringements in the cleanest-cut cases across the wide scope of all people in a jurisdiction, and sometimes not even that, even as case after case was teed up.

If the Court wanted to protect the rights of people who hadn't been violent, they had a case where a man was banned from possessing guns because he was convicted of counterfeiting cassette tapes in 1987. And they punted. If the Court wanted to protect the rights of people who had suffered mental illness long ago and recovered, they had a case where a man was banned from possessing guns because he had a depressive episode in 1999. And they punted. States requiring guns to have technologies that don't exist? Taking private property without warrant or compensation or grandfathering? License denials for driving while black a police encounter that did not result in an arrest or any evidence of wrongdoing? Punt punt punt.

The best result the gunnie sphere other than Bruen was Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016! and see the massive resistance in O'Neil v Neronha, only finished in 2022). After that, there's maybe the GVR on Duncan v Bonta... except they GVR'd it to the Ninth Circuit, which even at the time had literally never allowed the Second Amendment to do anything, and since broke rules to slow Duncan down further. It's not like Bruen is even the only example: Caniglia v. Strom, was more a Fourth Amendment case, but see the later punts on the massive resistance it has faced by lower courts.

Maybe I get surprised here, or VanDerStok is where (... in 2026? assuming it doesn't get punted then?). But despite an environment with a massive variety of low-hanging fruit, these are the only things the Court cared about, and that's not random.

The current SC is not exactly shy about overturning precedent

Big disagree. I know the current zeitgeist is that this is a super radical, extreme court that sweeps away precedent with the flick of the wrist, but the court I actually observe is very moderate, with a Chief Justice whose most salient characteristic is his desire to direct the court towards the narrowest rulings possible on any given case. When I read or listen to oral arguments, I certainly don't get the impression that any of the justices think that there's no reason to think about precedent.

The Supreme Court has recently overturned only one precedent in a rightward direction, Roe. The last gun case it decided was Bruen. Various states (including New York, which lost Bruen) immediately made laws to restrict guns and gun carry despite Bruen, and various circuits have upheld them, and also upheld or refused to overturn older laws which should clearly be stricken by Bruen. The Supreme Court took up none of those cases. Instead, it took up a Fifth Circuit case, Rahimi, where the Fifth Circuit struck down a gun control law based on Bruen, with the clear intent of reinstating it. The message is clear: the right to keep and bear arms is an academic curiosity only, it doesn't actually mean you have the right to own or carry a gun.