This is why pro-gun lobbies are so important, and why all lawyers are not bad. Believe me, those lobbies and their attorneys have been pouring money into SCOTUS scrutiny because they know it is coming, and Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has confirmed it. (to clarify my title – Scalia did not say pro gun lobbies and their attorneys are important. I said it.)
Scalia, one of the high court’s most conservative justices, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the majority opinion in the landmark 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller stated the extent of gun ownership “will have to be decided in future cases.”
“We’ll see,” he said.
His comments also follow those of lawmakers who have called for tougher gun-related laws in the wake of the shootings – most recently New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg and New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Democrats who said Sunday they will introduce legislation this week to “make it harder for criminals to anonymously stockpile ammunition through the Internet, as was done before the recent tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado.”
They are scheduled to announce the bill to the public Monday outside City Hall in New York City. Source: Fox News
HOWEVER, Scalia’s comment on the Second Amendment goes much further than “we’ll see:”
WALLACE: Let’s turn to a story in the news now. With the massacre in Colorado, and that is gun control. You wrote in 2008 the opinion in District of Columbia v Heller, the majority opinion that said the Second Amendment means what it says, people have a right to bear arms. Question: How far does that constitutional right go. Can a legislature ban semi-automatic weapons, or can it ban magazines that carry a hundred rounds without violating an individual’s constitutional right to bear arm?
SCALIA: What the opinion in Heller said is that it will have to be decided in future cases what limitation on the right to keep and bear arms are permissable. Some undoubtedly are because there were some that were acknowledged at the time. For example, there was a tort called “afrighting,” which if you carried around a really horrible weapon, just to scare people, like a head axe or something, that was, I believe, a misdemeanor. So yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed. What they are will depend on what society understood were reasonable limitations at the time. There were certain location limitations…
WALLACE: What about technological limitations? Obviously, we are not now talking about a handgun or a musket. We are talking about a weapon that can fire 100 shots in a minute.
SCALIA: We’ll see. Obviously the Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be handcarried – to keep and bear, so it doesn’t apply to cannons, but I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be decided.
WALLACE: How can you decide that if you are a textualist?
SCALIA: Very carefully. My starting point, and probably my ending point will be what limitations are within the understood limitations that the society had at the time. They had some limitations on the nature of arms that could be born. We’ll see what those limitations are as applied to modern weapons.
The Second Amendment does not grant US citizens the right to own and bear arms. It recognizes that right, already granted by God, and makes darn sure the government KNOWS they (the government) cannot tamper with it.
Problems is — modern government is not nearly as smart as those first American politicians (though they THINK they are) and modern politicians are hell-bent on subjecting every American to the yoke of government — just like the government burden of King George from which our forefathers went to war to free us.
Whenever a left-wing, liberal/progressive politician begins to speak of “common sense” gun regulation, there is a near audible gasp from Americans coast to coast. The reason? Common sense is in extremely short supply among the political practitioners of the political left. It is one of the characteristics that marks them, sets them apart, sanctifies them, for the world to recognize. There simply is NO COMMON SENSE amongst them.
When they use “common sense’ and “reasonable” in referring to gun control laws then you know it is time to hide your guns (as many Americans are busily doing today).
Before you cast your vote in November, and even in your primaries if they have not yet occurred, remember that there will likely be several Supreme Court appointments made by the next president. If you read or listen to Scalia’s explanation of how interpreting the Constitution should be done, it will make complete sense to you, and you will vote for Romney, because he is the only hope we have for more Scalias on the Supreme Court. Thanks to AF Branco at Conservative Daily News for the brilliant cartoon.