Some aspects of the Founding Fathers nation-building program--their continuing toleration of slavery and genocidal policies toward American Indians--are fit objects of national shame, not honor. But statesmen of succeeding generations--Lincoln foremost among them--would continue the quest for a "more perfect union." On the other hand, the challenges to national unity under our Constitution are, if anything, far greater than those confronting the infant nation in 1787. We see that the expression of the "popular will" can create a cacophony of discordant voices, leaving many baffled about the true meaning of majority rule. In far too many places around the world today, the expression of the "popular will" is nothing more than the unleashing of primordial forces of tribal and religious identity which further confound the goal of building stable and consensual governments.
One area where the popular will is divided is the area of gun control. The percentage of Americans who favor stricter gun laws is on the rise, though significant partisan divisions persist. Approximately 2 in 3 Americans surveyed for a new poll said that they support greater restrictions on gun ownership after a spate of recent mass shootings that have highlighted debates on expanding background checks and other measures.
The ulta-conservative Supreme Court is about to decide New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. This is a new Second Amendment case following the court’s recent decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. In Heller, Justice Antonin Scalia told us that the Second Amendment’s use of the term “bear arms” means to “wear, bear, or carry … upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose … of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.” Further, Scalia wrote, “self-defense … was the central component of the right itself.” However, “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings” are presumptively valid, implying that arms may be carried in non-sensitive places.
Without directly saying so Justice Scalia was balancing two rights of self -defense: the right of an individual to defend oneself versus the right of our nation to defend itself. In striking this balance, it is necessary to understand the current thinking of terrorist groups. International jihadist groups today, for instance, rely largely on local, lone actors to commit violence. In May 2016, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani implored followers in the West to attack in their home countries, rather than join the fight in Syria and Iraq. “The smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would if you were with us,” he declared. “If one of you hoped to reach the Islamic State, we wish we were in your place to punish the Crusaders day and night.” His call to arms was answered by followers thousands of miles away, manifesting itself in deadly violence in the United States and several of its European allies. In the United States, the deadliest Islamic State-inspired attack, which occurred in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016, was perpetrated by a native New Yorker living in Florida, acting alone. It is clear “[g]lobal jihadist groups in parts of Africa and Asia in the last year have expanded their abilities to strike local US interests, stoke insurgencies, and foster like-minded networks in neighboring countries.”
The Islamic State (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), also known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), is a Sunni jihadist group with a particularly violent ideology that calls itself a caliphate and claims religious authority over all Muslims. It was inspired by al Qaida but later publicly expelled from it. RAND terrorism experts have analyzed the group's financing, management, and organization; its savvy use of social media for recruitment and fundraising; and the instability that spawned the group as a regional problem in the Middle East. The Islamic State has released a video where a person with a New York accent tells Muslims in the United States to “take advantage” of America’s gun laws to obtain weapons and carry out attacks:
Take advantage of the fact that you can easily obtain a rifle or pistol in America. Spray the kuffar [infidels] with bullets so that their fear of the Muslims rises and they continue to reveal their hatred towards Islam.
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) has obtained a copy of a document, How Can I Train Myself for Jihad. The six-page document—which has reportedly been found in terrorist safe houses in Kabul, Afghanistan—advises that "military training is an obligation in Islam upon every sane, male, mature Muslim, whether rich or poor, whether studying or working and whether living in a Muslim or non-Muslim country.” The document explains:
"One should try to join a shooting club if possible and make regular visits to the firing range. There are many firearms courses available to the public in USA, ranging from one day to two weeks or more.....Do not make public announcements when going on such a course. Find one, book your place, go there, learn, come back home and keep it [to] yourself. Whilst on the course, keep your opinions to yourself, do not argue or debate with anyone, do not preach about Islam....You are going there to train for Jihad, not call people to Islam....obtain an assault rifle legally, preferably AK-47 or variations, learn how to use it properly and go and practice in the areas allowed for such training."
These are not theoretical statements of belief. These are statements which are heard and used by believers in such hatred. For instance, “[a]n American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people [ ] in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities said.” In a 9-1-1 call made shortly after the shooting began, the shooter swore allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and said the U.S. killing of Abu Waheeb in Iraq the previous month "triggered" the shooting.
This is not to say all Muslims are violent. Muslims have contributed much to America. Muslims fought with George Washington’s army and the largely Muslim kingdom of Morocco was the first country to recognize the US. The US wouldn’t look the way it does if it weren’t for a Muslim, Fazlur Rahman Khan, who revolutionized the building of skyscrapers. Without Ayub Ommaya, a Pakistani-American neurosurgeon lots of other Americans would be dead or suffering appalling pain. In 1963, the Muslim neurosurgeon invented an intraventricular catheter system that can be used for the aspiration of cerebrospinal fluid or the delivery of drugs.
That means not all terrorists are outside the U.S. Some are inside the U.S. Domestic terrorists also take advantage of America’s gun laws. “Easy access to firearms — especially certain types of firearms — can make acts of domestic terrorism more feasible to undertake and more lethal once they happen,” Joshua Geltzer, the deputy homeland security adviser has said. Asked if gun reforms were imperative to stopping domestic terrorism, Geltzer replied: “I think tackling things that feed into the domestic terrorism challenge is an imperative, and there are a lot of things that feed into it. Easy access to certain types of firearms feeds into it. But so does, for example, polarization fueled by disinformation. That can make recruitment to domestic terrorism causes easier and more likely.”
The common point is made by The Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS):
With a rise in domestic terrorism, it is increasingly important to analyze trends in terrorist tactics and targets. According to CSIS data, firearms were the most common weapon used in fatal attacks over the past five years by far-right, far-left, and Salafi-jihadist terrorists. In addition, the most common targets were individuals based on their ethnicity, race, or religion (such as African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims) for right-wing extremists; and government, military, and police targets for left-wing extremists and Salafi-jihadists.
Like it or not, these are the facts about guns in America today. These facts cannot be ignored in the debate about gun control in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The question to the conservative Supreme Court is whether the court will adopt the conservative position to protect our nation from guns, both foreign and domestic.
 https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/2019-ATA-SFR---SSCI.pdf, p.11
 https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-nightclub-shooting/index.html. It should be noted this was the deadliest mass shooting until the 2017 Las Vegas shooting killed 60 people.