Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, decrying America’s demonization of guns, is predicting that the parade of new gun control laws, cheered on by President Obama, will hit the Supreme Court soon, possibly settling for ever the types of weapons that can be owned.
Scalia, whose legacy decision in the 2008 case of District of Columbia vs. Heller ended the ban on handguns in Washington, D.C., suggested that the Constitution allows limits on what Americans can own, but the only example he offered was a shoulder-launched rocket that would bring down jets.
And the wily judge suggested to an audience of Smithsonian Associates at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium Tuesday night that he is not just preparing for a new gun control challenge, but that he’s softening up one of his liberal colleague on guns.
The long-time duck hunter revealed that he’s taken Obama appointee Elena Kagan hunting several times, the last being for big game in Wyoming where she shot a whitetail doe. “She dropped that doe with one shot,” he said during an event that featured questions from NPR’s court reporter Nina Totenberg.
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Scalia explained why he wrote Heller, but wouldn’t discuss current gun control limits in Congress and the states. “There are doubtless cases on the way up,” he said, adding that limits on what weapons can be owned will likely be part of any new decision. “There are doubtless limits, but what they are we will see.”
Good. Let’s rock. Let’s get on with the preservation or diminution of our rights and freedoms. Time is wasting. It’s time to revisit the decisions in Heller and McDonald, not because, as Justice Ginsburg thinks, there might be a reversal of Heller on the horizon with a “future, wiser court,” but because Heller didn’t go far enough. The Supreme Court recognized our right to ownership of firearms, but didn’t specifically broach the issue of “bearing” those arms, i.e., carrying them for personal defense.
This relationship that appears to be developing between Scalia and Kagan is, I’m sure, very sweet and and all of that, but I wouldn’t count on her vote. Furthermore, the whole issue of duck hunting concerns me. The Second Amendment, as Scalia knows, isn’t about duck hunting, or deer hunting, or any other “sporting purpose.” The sporting purposes test imposed by the last round of onerous firearms laws, and enforced by the ATF, is entirely unconstitutional. I have said before that I think the test is misapplied, and that if it is a firearm, it has a sporting purpose. But proliferation of this test through the judiciary (from some future decision) is cowardly because it doesn’t formally recognize the truth, and that is that the second amendment exists in order to ameliorate tyranny.
But for the courts, just remember that we firearms owners aren’t likely to have any more respect for confiscatory policies (or anything that can enable confiscation such as universal background checks), onerous policies (such as counting the number of cartridges I can put in my magazine), or unconstitutional tests (like sporting purposes) coming from the courts than we would if it came from the Congress or the President. And just for the record, the Supreme Court became a laughingstock over the decision on Obamacare. You wouldn’t want to put the final nail in the coffin holding your honor or respectability, would you?
Be very careful. Think wisely. Don’t start things you cannot stop.
UPDATE: Thank you for the visit on this article. It is timely and important.