I’m pretty sure Justice Scalia was alive when the Constitution was signed. That must be the case because no one else in the country speaks for the authors of that document more than he does. It’s almost as if he has some nifty kind of time-travel device that lets him communicate with Jefferson, Adams and Madison to get their opinions on modern era issues. Scalia, you see, is someone who doesn’t buy into the idea of the Constitution being a living a document. Despite what we’re all taught in elementary school, and what is later reinforced in every class on the Constitution thereafter, Scalia believes that it is not up to modern interpretation, but rather must be followed to the letter in both spirit and function. To put it in religious terms, Scalia believes the Constitution is the literal word of God, while most others tend to view it as a framework of God’s teachings.
This explains very easily his unwillingness to bend on any issue ever, because you know, that’s what the guys who wrote the Constitution really believed in: not compromising on a single issue, right?
So imagine my shock when I read a report on a Fox News interview with Justice Scalia whose headline said that he was addressing the nation’s gun laws and it wasn’t just a one word response to the question, “Does the Constitution allow for restrictions on our Second Amendment rights” in the negative. What Scalia actually said was, “Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed.” I had to do one of those cartoon-character head-slap moves where your head ends up vibrating for a good ten seconds as birds and stars float around you. Did he really just say that we could put restrictions on our right to bear arms? Okay…who replaced Justice Scalia with an android?
Then, as I read further, I picked up on what Scalia’s real message was, “…they are will depend on what the society understood was reasonable limitation.” The operative word in that quote is “was.” Once again, we see that Scalia is stuck in the past. Determined to bind us to social and legal standards of over two centuries ago, Scalia basically told everyone that in his opinion we can limit what kind of weapons we can own as it relates to the second amendment, but it has to be based on the standards of people who agreed to count African Slaves as being worth 66% of white Americans (you know, so that there could be a strategic political advantage when it came to deciding how many Representatives each state would have in the House because using humans as political bargaining chips is the way to roll). That’s right, if the people who didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing wouldn’t restrict the right to own a particular weapon, we simply cannot restrict it, according to Scalia.
Once again Scalia shows himself to be the social Luddite that he truly is. How can anyone alive in the late 18th century have had an opinion on a weapon that could fire hundreds of rounds in a minute?
Scalia wouldn’t even give a definitive answer on rocket launchers. After telling Chris Wallace that the Second Amendment doesn’t cover weapons that can’t be carried by hand, such as cannons, Wallace asked about hand-held rocket launchers that could take down airplanes. Scalia must get his theory on guns from the same pricks who think civilians should be able to buy anti-tank weapons if they have the funds, because he told Wallace, “it will have to be decided.” That’s his response to whether people should be able to walk into a store or browse to a website and purchase a fucking rocket launcher. So no, he’s not in favor of gun control, that’s sort of the point I guess. If we can’t even reasonably say that weapons capable of blowing structures and vehicles to smithereens aren’t out of bounds without any further discussion, how completely fucked are we about assault weapons?
If Scalia’s only requirement for whether a weapon is Constitutionally allowable for civilians to purchase is whether it can be carried by hand, think about what kinds of weapons are in bounds. Hand grenades. Molotov cocktails. Dynamite that you can just chuck at your enemy. Poison-tipped blow-darts. A dirty bomb in a suitcase. All of those can be picked up and carried by hand, and according to Justice Scalia the Second Amendment’s only restriction is that it “does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried.”
So just to summarize, we have a Supreme Court justice who believes not in interpreting the law of the land according to our own cultural and societal evolution, but based on social, political and legal morays of over 200 years ago. And this belief of his is so strong that he believes corporations should be able to buy elections, and civilians should be allowed to buy rocket launchers…maybe. He’s not sure. He’ll get back to us when that case is brought before him. Only Justice Scalia would call healing the sick Unconstitutional and owning a rocket launcher “iffy.”
Is being an old-fashioned, out-of-touch curmudgeon of a prick an impeachable offense? Do you think Justice Scalia has a definitive opinion on that one?