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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York September 17, 2012. Scalia on Monday escalated a war of words with a prominent appeals court judge, saying the judge lied in a recent criticism of Scalia's judicial
The debate over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and his recent "behavior", to use the least pejorative term, usually boils down to whether you think the man has had some sort of episode that has now rendered him not right in the head, or whether one of the nine determiners of What Our Laws Mean These Days has suddenly realized that there is literally nothing anyone can do to remove him from the post and said eff it, letting the freak flag fly high and waggling it around the heads of the rest of us whenever he gets the chance, just because. All right, I admit that was plenty pejorative—but what can you say, when faced with things like this?
In a speech in Montana on Monday, the jurist was asked about the Second Amendment and what arms were protected by that provision of the Constitution. That “remains to be determined,” he replied. As one example, he asked if people have a right to “bear shoulder-fired rocket launchers?” Perhaps they do, Scalia suggested. The answer would turn on the historical understanding of the Framers, who Scalia said included the Second Amendment in part to preserve the right of people to revolt against a tyrannical leader.
Plenty of people have asked the rhetorical question as to whether the most paranoid among us ought to be able to stockpile tanks and grenades and rocket launchers, but it is almost always framed as the obviously ridiculous scenario that nobody but a crackpot would seriously defend. With Scalia, though, you get the distinct feeling that he's contemplating it. Did the Framers intend that any citizen really ought to be able to wander around with a rocket launcher, just in case they felt a government helicopter was infringing upon their daily dose of freedoms? It hinges on the other half of Scalia's pseudo-intellectual fart, on the notion that the purpose of the amendment was not to ensure security, but to encourage revolution. If you claim the intent of the Second Amendment is to assure the right of the people to openly rebel against their government and murder its agents, under whatever nebulous definition of necessary any given group of them might dream up, then obviously muskets would not do; the intent would be to give the maniacs enough weapons not merely to fight, but to win, a possibility that just sent a half-million of them into orgasm just thinking about.

While Winkler gives a blunt summery of why this particular fever dream is, indeed, just a fever dream, I'm more interested in why Supreme Court Justice Fever Dream seems to keep coming up with these things. He has always been one whose interpretation of the Constitution has been impressively liquid, where the preferred decision in each case seems to come first and then various contradictory subsets of supposedly deeply-held beliefs get stapled to it as necessary to pad out the page count; states' rights are sacrosanct in one case, a week later they might not apply at all, or be so much as mentioned; precedent is a convenient crutch in one case, but a nonentity in the next half-dozen; the majority of the Court is condemned for not deferring to the congressional will whenever possible, one day, only to be followed the next by an open mocking of the notion that mere elected representatives can be trusted to decide anything at all, in the next. Scalia is a wonderful example of what government by royal fiat would be like; there are laws, to be sure, but the laws mean different things on different days depending on who's asking and how much the fellow likes you. He even did us the favor of condemning himself, in his own book, for having opinions in the past that contradict with those that he needed in more recent cases, thus completing the circle of believing every possible thing at every convenient time. A modicum of self-awareness is always an intellectual mark in favor of a scattered mind; it at least shows he fully intends to be scattered, and is not merely drifting into it out of stupidity.

Put me down on the side that says he has gone a little bit nuts. He was always a crank, certainly, but the royal streak has been coming out more, the racial streak has been thickening steadily, and the conspiracy streak has been adorned with bells and sequins and now can be seen riding on a unicycle right through the middle of oral arguments. He keeps muttering things that come rather directly from the conspiracy fringe and from the worst dullards of the tea party, and I don't think he ever quite did that before. It is symptom of something.

It looks like we may be hearing more of this rocket launcher premise, though. Critically, Scalia has a habit of giving speeches signaling exactly how he intends to change his core beliefs in accordance with next term's needs. If that's the case then we can look forward to a rip-roaring unicycle session at some point in the next year, and a (presumable) dissent in some case in which Scalia announces, with his usual gusto, that the American people ought to now have the right to murder the government via whatever technological means they might be able to afford, perhaps with a subnote on how since some people cannot afford rocket launchers or grenades or tanks or land mines or guided missiles, a careful reading of the Constitution indicates that the government ought to be subsidizing those purchases. To ensure our freedoms, of course.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Justice Argle Bargle, master of muse. (9+ / 0-)

    He'd be a better match, sweeping a mews. Literally and figuratively.

    I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

    by AllanTBG on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:05:44 PM PDT

  •  Consider that the right to keep arms (6+ / 0-)

    is joined at the hip with bearing them.

    "The right to keep and bear arms ...".

    So, if you can own a rocket launcher, I theorize one can also own an IED, which is certainly an arm ... ask anyone who served in Iraq.

    And if you can keep it, you can bear it. Anywhere.

    I therefore propose that someone form an Osama bin Laden fan club, that the President thereof procure an IED of suitable size, and that said person stow the IED beneath their seat as carry-on luggage.

    While sitting next to the good justice on his next flight.

    Note I'm not saying the IED should be detonated, merely that Justice Scalia should spend an entire flight looking at it in all its glorious Second Amendosity.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:07:41 PM PDT

  •  You get the feeling his dad slapped him around (7+ / 0-)

    a lot when he was a kid?

    I do.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:07:55 PM PDT

  •  So if Scalia thinks overthrowing tyranny is why (20+ / 0-)

    we have a 2nd Amendment and he's appointed for life to high office in the government does he for one nanosecond realize he's saying it's OK for people to shoot him with a rocket launcher because FREEDUM!?

    Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:09:21 PM PDT

  •  According to the intent of the founding fathers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    patriot spear, a2nite, Bob Love

    people clearly should have this right.

  •  Did he really? (5+ / 0-)

    Did he really espouse the idea that the Framers' intent was to be able to resist a tyrannical government? That's a current trope of the second amendment absolutists, but from what I have read there is doubt that the Framers had this in mind.

    You can observe a lot just by watching. - Yogi Berra

    by kayak58 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:10:57 PM PDT

    •  This is nothing new, though (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      that interpretation has existed for a long time. It is currently in fashion on the right as they realize their numbers are term limited by social evolution. But it isn't new.

      The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

      by bastrop on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:15:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually (14+ / 0-)

      All the 2nd amendment did was move responsibility for arming local "well regulated" militias from the Federal government to the states. The Constitution also makes clear these militias are subservient to the US Government. So the idea that the 2nd amendment was established in anyway to overthrow a tyrannical US Government is absolute nonsense.

      I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

      by jhecht on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:20:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I keep thinking Obama should conscript every adult (3+ / 0-)

        into a national militia, order everyone to store their arms in a well-regulated armory, and tell them to go home and take a nap.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10 UID: 8519

        by Bob Love on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:31:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  At no point did the founders believe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, antirove

        the 2nd amendment trumped Congress's power to establish a biannual standing army.  The amendment's original draft also had a line exempting conscientious objectors from its provisions, which is hard to square with an individual right.   But forget the well-regulated militia, why does Scalia think there's a right to keep OR bear arms, rather than a right to keep AND bear arms?

        Scalia's of course trying to move the goalposts.  If there's ambiguity about individual ownership of a howitzer, surely there's a Constitutional right to an AR-15, right?  Of course, more handguns are used to kill more people, and those can't be outright banned by a city or state.  Any further damage beyond Heller or MacDonald is just at the margins.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:34:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do we much care about "Actually" ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        Because James Madison and his contemporaries spilled a great deal of ink around the issue of militias (trust in) , standing armies (opposition to/fear of) and the concerns about "brigandage", "servile insurrection" and "native uprising" .

        And yes, at the time, I believe Madison and The Virginians (although possibly not Geo. Washington,) DID believe that "the tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants."  

        But I also thought that whole issue got sorted out at Appomattox Courthouse.

        Or is it just a matter of purile selfishness (MY 2nd Amendment rights, MINE ! MINE!) combined with Freud's  "castration complex" fears  and subconscious homophobia  (My Gun is My Junk, Don't You Touch My Junk, Dude!!)

    •  There's no doubt. (0+ / 0-)

      Why else would you guarantee the people the means to rise up in armed insurrection, unless that's what you meant?

      Never mud wrestle with a pig. You only get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.

      by SpamNunn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:24:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What freedoms? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, blue aardvark

    If, as it seems to be the case, he is not interested in using the power of the court to reign in fourth amendment abuse by the executive branch, yet sees the second amendment as a remedy for such abuse, is he inviting those rocket launchers to target him personally?

    Which version of Scalia in Wonderland are ostensible right wing revolutionaries supposed to be fighting for?

    To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

    by RadicalParrot on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:11:23 PM PDT

  •  Well-regulated (7+ / 0-)

    The amendment they're fond of quoting says "Well-regulated militia". Well-regulated. Well-regulated. States and the Federal government can regulate the militia, which is this context means the armed citizenry. If Uncle Sam bans rocket launchers or nukes or AR-15's from being privately owned, that's a regulation that the government can make...because the militia must be well-regulated.

    Read the whole amendment, wingnuts. You and your locked and loaded fetish objects can be well-regulated. Sorry if this tends to infringe on your mutated sense of your own manhood.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:11:57 PM PDT

  •  It's a fair question in the new normal. (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, where in the 2nd Amendment does it limit the type of armament I may own?

    I am fully trained and qualified to fire everything from a 1911 up to a TOW-2 Missle Launcher-  ground based or vehicle mounted.

    Deer hunting would become a messy breeze.

    (The sad thing is I know folks who might actually bobble their head in agreement to this line of irresponsible and unhinged thinking)

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. Reinhold Niebuhr

    by patriot spear on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:12:22 PM PDT

  •  So you and your 8 militia buddies... (5+ / 0-)

    ...stand on top of that hill with your rocket launchers and oozies...

    and we'll send a drone by at about 20,000 feet and take you out in about 3 seconds.

    Thanks for playing.

  •  "If I had a rocket launcher" (5+ / 0-)

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:12:58 PM PDT

  •  That dude makes money on the side... (1+ / 0-)

    writing lines for Grandpa Simpson.  Seriously.  It has to be.

    "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

    by quiet in NC on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:14:38 PM PDT

  •  among the fever swamps of the most ardent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    supporters of the Second Amendment, there is a theory floating that the original framers of the Constitution intended that the average Joe has a right to any weapon available to the military.  Part of their logic revolves around the arming of various volunteer militias, first by the King during the French and Indian Wars and later by the nascent US government.

    This ignores that the NG has largely taken over the role of these early militias and also implies that I have a right to an F-16 or even a tactical nuke should I have enough cash.

    Most of these sorts are the type such as the minister who is making a point of taking his AR-15 strapped to his back around to stores to protest his state's lack of an open carry law.  Wonder how long before he comes to grief?

    These are the "original constructionists" such as Scalia who hearken to an earlier day before the current corpus of SCOTUS decisions of the last two centuries and insist upon their own unique take on what the Original Framers really meant.

  •  Holy Shit. Just Got This in the Mail for VA GOV (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, 417els, antirove
    When he was in the state senate, Ken Cuccinelli voted against making it a crime to carry missile launchers into airport terminals. Who knows what commonsense public safety measures he'd block as governor?

    This isn't about taking away your hunting rifle. But surely we can all agree it's a bad idea to carry missile launchers in airports.

    Are Scalia and Cuch cut from the same cloth?
  •  Until this issue is settled... (4+ / 0-)

    I'm just gonna launch my rockets via trebuchet.

  •  Why does Scalia have to hurt people with his vile (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, voicemail


    While not all republicans are bigots, all bigots are republicans.

    by Maximilien Robespierre on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:17:55 PM PDT

  •  Why is this such a crazy question to ask? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In your mind, is it also no brainer that this kid should be arrested?

    I think its a feature of authoritarian or unimaginative minds to tend to want to stop certain questions from being asked. i always tell my students, there are no stupid questions!

    •  Maybe, but if he was putting together a multiple (0+ / 0-)

      rocket rocket launcher with exploding warheads, well then certainly. There are ancient Chinese plans for a launcher that could fire off 100 'fire-arrow' rockets in a matter of seconds, assuming no accidents during ignition phase.

      But, hey, what about flamethrowers? Theoretically, one could hunt and cook deer at the same time...or take out armed Colbert-eating bears in a grizzly fashion. And, um yes, there are plans 'on the internet' for DIY versions. Just call it a large BBQ pit fire starter or something like that.

      But hey, woodworkers--yeah I mean you--the gung-ho makester guy who might otherwise waste time working on a giant trebuchet to launch smelly dead cows at a competing high schools football team bus! Check out Leonardo da Vinci's plans for a giant crossbow. The design called for a 27 yard wide bow (over 70 feet wide), mounted on 12 wheels, made of commonly available wood, capable of shooting large rocks, flaming bombs...and dare I suggest this giant bus-sized crossbow is up to the challenge of intimidating any arrogant tyrant's black helicopter or SWAT team urban battle wagon! Perhaps this weapon too would be worthy of Scalia's blessing.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:21:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since he's part of the government can we use a (0+ / 0-)

    2nd amendment solution against him?

    Just kidding

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:19:11 PM PDT

  •  Scalia in Wonderland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The more I have to listen to his 'thoughts', the more he sounds like he's gone through the looking glass.

    "When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master— that's all."

    Sounds exactly like one of his legal arguments, doesn't it?

    "You are beautiful and angular. If you were a gas, you would be inert." - Dieter

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:19:41 PM PDT

  •  Can I have a tank please? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

    by pajoly on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:20:27 PM PDT

  •  Something's thickening steadily. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In your text, you said it was his racial streak.
    I'm pretty sure it's his arteries.

  •  "The answer would turn on the historical (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, Bob Love, 417els

    understanding of the Framers."
    That was from 222 years ago, has nothing changed?
    Next thing you know Scalia will show up on the bench in a periwig and knee breeches.
    He's certifiable.

    •  Yup, and microwave heat rays (0+ / 0-)

      that fry your innards, they're fine too.

      The Framers routinely used fire, so I think Madison would have been okay with that, and citizens carrying lethal lasers too.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10 UID: 8519

      by Bob Love on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:52:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, I think Scalia is right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That is why I've argued that the Second Amendment is a dangerous anachronism and must be repealed.

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    by journeyman on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:22:10 PM PDT

  •  "Original Intent" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, trumpeter, 417els

    Scalia claims he's concerned only with what was originally intended by the founders.

    Then he extends their arguments to cover items like rocket launchers that they never could have imagined.

    It is illogic on a profoundly basic level.

    "Original Intent" = whatever the fuck Scalia wants to happen.

  •  Can't wait for this guy to meet Jesus. (0+ / 0-)

    It'll be the ultimate wake-up call for Scalia, and a huge blessing to the country.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10 UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:22:51 PM PDT

  •  Please. He addressed this in Heller. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, social liberal
    Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152-153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489-490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students' Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession 2817*2817 of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.[26]

    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons." See 4 Blackstone 148-149 (1769); 3 B. Wilson, Works of the Honourable James Wilson 79 (1804); J. Dunlap, The New-York Justice 8 (1815); C. Humphreys, A Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky 482 (1822); 1 W. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes and Indictable Misdemeanors 271-272 (1831); H. Stephen, Summary of the Criminal Law 48 (1840); E. Lewis, An Abridgment of the Criminal Law of the United States 64 (1847); F. Wharton, A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States 726 (1852). See also State v. Langford, 10 N.C. 381, 383-384 (1824); O'Neill v. State, 16 Ala. 65, 67 (1849); English v. State, 35 Tex. 473, 476 (1871); State v. Lanier, 71 N.C. 288, 289 (1874).

    It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

    Never mud wrestle with a pig. You only get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.

    by SpamNunn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:23:18 PM PDT

  •  Yes yes we do just as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    an old SNL Skit(if memory serves) shows that we also have the Right to  Literately Carry Around Nuke Warheads at all times including the Living-room,wish I could find a video of that one.

  •  How does US get a tyrannical government? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love

    I suppose this leader has dissolved Congress, Senate and Supreme Court and has the support of the military. That means if the people have the right to revolt they will be fighting the military. With what arms? To have any chance they will need everything the military has. Since that is ridiculous there is no reason for people to have any sort of powerful weapon. It's stupid and shows Scalia to be stupid. But we knew that. It has been proven a country can change it's leaders with millions in the street. Not one shot needs to be fired.

    •  the russian people defeated the soviet army (0+ / 0-)

      with molotov cocktails. and the soviet army was probably stronger than our current military.

      i could quote you a dozen examples where the people have defeated well armed, well trained, apparently invincible armies.

      so what you consider to be a "stupid" argument is only stupid because you are ignoring thousands of years of history.

  •  Its a Whoopdeedoo Nutbasket Party! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zbob, sburles, 417els

    Anton Chigurrh Scalia in the lead on his Unicycle. This will be excellent.

    Now I know how the Roman plebes felt around 392 AD. Goths and Visigoths are circling the Senate and the Leaders of the Republic wear lampshades as evening wear.  

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:26:07 PM PDT

  •  There is a paradox (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sburles, 417els

    buried in the "musings" of Scalia.

    The Constitution does not provide any mechanism for destroying the Constitution.

    The Constitution defines America, and is the supreme law of the land. Creating a scenario, outwith a Constitutional Convention of 3/4ths of the States, would not be constitutional.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:28:41 PM PDT

  •  Davy Crockett (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    •  Drawback - range 2 miles, zone of nuclear death (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was perhaps 1.5 miles, plus well, that messy fickle fallout plume, which means firing it imposed a rather high risk of suicide, fratricide, etc. and rather indiscriminating when it comes to those (noncombatants perhaps) who might fall inside the kill zone (instant versus hours, days or weeks later). Mutually assured destruction wasn't just a feature of 'strategic' 100 Megaton ICBMs. This was the tactical nuke version.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:30:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I propose (0+ / 0-)

    That the SC makes mandatory that the President and members of Congress wear a bomb necklace while in office. If we think they are tyrannical we explode them. The Neckbomb Commission  will be in charge of deciding if there is tyranny or not and they will selected by each state through their assemblies. The members of the Commission should also wear a similar contraption and then the remote control for those ones should be in the hand of the state governors. The state governors should wear one too and that should be in the hands of the voters through bombing booths situated in each state's districts.

    When we have that in place then we can have gun control measures, meanwhile free for all on manpads, claymores, RPGS, antitank missiles and ninja stars

  •  citizens have a constitutional (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    right to a fair minded, non partisan, and compassionate scotus, but with the likes of scalia and his ilk controlling the agenda the citizens are being denied their constitutional rights.

  •  In 2012 he said they may be ok because handheld (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This isn't the first time he's talked about rocket launchers. He was on Fox in July 2012 and in response to a question from Chris Wallace he said:

    WALLACE: What about… a weapon that can fire a hundred shots in a minute?

    SCALIA: We’ll see. Obviously the Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried — it’s to keep and “bear,” so it doesn’t apply to cannons — but I suppose here are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided.


    The Court should be embarrassed by him. I don't remember him being so unhinged when he first got on the court.

    •  privately owned cannon (0+ / 0-)

      most likely are included . . . and were recognized and their use authorized from before the Revolution through the Civil War.  At least 1,700 Letters of Marque were issued to privately owned (and armed) warships (Privateers") during the revolution, and thousands more during the War of 1812.  The larger of the vessels would carry as many as 20 privately owned cannon.  Both the Union and the Confederacy "licensed" privateers during the Civil War.

      It's fair to say that Scalia is probably wrong here . . . the Founders apparently found no fault with privately owned cannon, and may well have intended to include them under the 2nd Amendment.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:10:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nah, lusting after your own nuke (0+ / 0-)

    is so I Want My Country Black and Charred. We communitarians need to stand together in our paranoia. So I am off to my council meeting to see if our city will raise and equip our own army. We will then march on Portland before they can get organized. We're coming Bill in Portland, Maine. Better hide!

    "I'd rather be Ultra-Brite than Pepsodent." — Henry Decay

    by Mike732 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:36:10 PM PDT

  •  If Scalia had a rocket launcher ... (0+ / 0-)

    he'd make somebody pay.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:49:50 PM PDT

  •  yep (0+ / 0-)

    "...the preferred decision in each case seems to come first and then various contradictory subsets of supposedly deeply-held beliefs get stapled to it as necessary to pad out the page count..."

    Absolutely right.  That is Scalia to a "T"

  •  OK, so if Scalia has a brain tumor, or goes into (0+ / 0-)

    a foam-at-the-mouth schizophrenic break in camera, or any other overt mental breakdown, do any of his prior votes get thrown out? Can we revisit any of the 5-4 decisions in light of his undeniable-any-more unfitness for office?

    This is not necessarily pure speculation!

  •  Scalia is sort of correct, but wrong (0+ / 0-)

    It's true that the 2nd (and 10th) Amendment, along with the Senate, the Electoral College, the 3/5 Compromise, and a host of other procedural details in the Constitution was intended to protect that states from a tyrannical, abolitionist federal government. But that tyrannical, abolitionist government has already come and gone, 150 years ago. None of the elements of the Constitution were sufficient to stop it, but almost all of them are still in there, still plaguing us today. And we are so disunited that there is no real chance of fixing it, ever.

  •  Scalia might want to read some history... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pajoly, Hunter

    In the post revolutionary years, as people were trying to figure out if they were going to be one nation or 13... one of the big debates was "do we have a national military, like the British, or do we allow the states to maintain their own militias, as sovereign powers?"

    In the Constitution, the second amendment was written to end this debate - allowing each state to retain its own military. Though it did not bar a national one either.

    It has NOTHING to do with rebellion. Shay's Rebellion pointed that out quite clearly back in the day.

    Granted, the purpose it was for is no longer practical anyway... but just read the thing... it says it right there... militias. And when you read the debates of the period, its there too... state militias.

    There were two questions of key concern at the time:

    1: What do we do when Pennsylvania violates the rights of New York? Answer: fire canons across the state borders until those Quakers are quaking in their boots.

    2: Who pays for a military? Answer: Not my state. You want a federal military, you pony up for it.

    The Constitution was written to turn a loose federation of former colonies into a nation. But not everyone was willing to give up full sovereignty. So they let them keep their state militias, and then built a federal government they hoped would prevent issue number 1 up there from coming up, and which would ensure issue number 2 was a shared burden for what they expected to be a very small national military who's only purpose would be to handle things like pirates or sack Canada (that last option didn't go so well)...

    In that context... the right to carry a shoulder mounted rocket launcher was not at issue in the least... But likewise, the right to a hunting rifle... was not covered as it was just an assumed thing for anyone on the frontier in the day. How else would they kill my people... er... stand their ground... or something like that...

    There was likely no thought to a personal right to arms... from lack of being an issue in controversy.

    The roaches always win if you turn out the lights.

    by Jyotai on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:31:51 PM PDT

    •  This is the best historical perspective (0+ / 0-)

      I have ever read on the topic. Thank you. I feel smarter just having read it. I've never seen a post from you. You should do an entire diary on the topic, with references.

      I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

      by pajoly on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:00:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arms against tyranny (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, Old Sailor

    Does Scalia's argument that the 2nd Amendment gives citizens the right to revolt against government tyranny, give us the right to violently eliminate tyrannical Supreme Court justices?

  •  I wonder if Justice Scalia has ever seen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    film of an AC-130 Spectre in operation. A rocket launcher is about as useful as child's slingshot if one of those is firing on your location.

    Which is to say, the Federal Government can do stuff that no civilian can possibly afford to cope with. Not even close. Not even millionaires.

    Billionaires, maybe. I suppose if the Koch brothers were willing to drop $1B on building a Fortress of Dickitude they might be able to hold out against the US Army for a few days.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:45:15 PM PDT

  •  Right to form alliances (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    If the people have a Constitutional right to rebel, they must have the right to succeed. So of course they have a right to all the weaponry that the government has, or else letting them have a few hunting rifles and pistols would presumably lead only to useless bloodshed.

    Also they probably have a right to form alliances with foreign powers.  The alliance of the Colonies with France certainly made success much easier, if it was not absolutely essential.  The French had their own reasons for getting involved. The Confederates failed to make any useful alliances, and they failed.  So basically treason is allowed by the Constitution, according to Scalia.

  •  Procedural question... (0+ / 0-)

    Is crass advertising allowed in the threads? Does it warrant an HR?

    The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

    by Old Sailor on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:40:33 PM PDT

  •  We have a constitutional right to overthrow ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    our government by armed insurrection, coup, etc.?

    the right of people to revolt against a tyrannical leader.
    I wonder if the Supreme Court can be part of the 'tyrannical government', or is the use of the word 'leader' directed at the Executive Branch?

    Stop pretending to be an intelligent human being, Scalia. You're a knucklehead. How you got that job is still a mystery.

    I’m not a big fan of vegetable gardens. Like my chickens, I prefer my salads to be cage free.

    by glb3 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:18:33 PM PDT

    •  Scalia, you may possess an intimate ... (0+ / 0-)

      knowledge of the law, but what you lack is something that a law school can never teach a student...wisdom and empathy. These 'gifts' are what the public desperately needs from their Supreme Court Justices., not arrogance and indifference.

      I’m not a big fan of vegetable gardens. Like my chickens, I prefer my salads to be cage free.

      by glb3 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:10:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hella Yeah! what about "rockets red glare" do you (0+ / 0-)

    not understand - now that BATF is now BATFE, the UFA just needs more tweaking, just like anyone (private security contractors and your local Barney Fife) can have a drone

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:25:09 PM PDT

  •  Does his "Freak Flag" have "pompous boob" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    ..boldly emblazoned in ALL CAPS?

    I loved it when I learned that Hunter S. Thompson ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County including Aspen on the Freak Power ticket.

    Might have won if he focused on the campaign..

    We need to find a way forward to make sure that we can stop terrorists while protecting privacy and liberty of innocent Americans - Then Senator... Barack Obama

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:58:50 PM PDT

  •  Arguing over a dyslexic misprint (0+ / 0-)

    It was meant to read - "Arm Bears"

    Colbert's gonna have a fit.

    We need to find a way forward to make sure that we can stop terrorists while protecting privacy and liberty of innocent Americans - Then Senator... Barack Obama

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:09:30 PM PDT

  •  The rocket launcher is an important question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    It is a good thing that someone brought this up and that he responded to it.

    The question is key to understanding why, even under the contorted version of the Second Amendment Scalia crafter in Heller, bans on assault weapons are constitutional.

    Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
    In concocting a self-defense story of the Second Amendment, Scalia had to specifically disavow the militia theory. In 2010's McDonald case, Alito and the plurality said that self-defense was the Amendment's "central component." Setting aside the ridiculousness [This is in fact the only Amendment that TELLS US exactly what its central purpose was, and, honey, it ain't self-defense]. The Amendment extends only as far as legitimate self-defense interests. One day, bans on extended magazines and assault weapons will be upheld by the court, citing exactly the words of the Roberts Five from Heller and McDonald.

    Thank Justice Scalia for Gun Control

  •  omigod I agree with Scalia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    The Founding Fathers wanted us to have the ammo to take out tyrants, so if someone were to take Scalia out, that would just be exercising Second Amendment Remedies, right?

  •  Isn't it funny that the wingnuts scream ridculous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    slippery slope argument when RPGs are brought up as a possibility given the very high-powered & fast-firing weapons we have now, but the second licensing is mentioned they scream "slippery slope!!!!! confiscation is certain!!!!!!"

    Just saying.

    “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it … we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:42:40 PM PDT

    •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

      There is only one reason government could want to know what arms I possess. It is to take them. California has already proven this

      Sam Adams1776
      Molon Labe
      qui tacet consentit

      The right to KEEP and BEAR arms--to BEAR them--if it has military utility to a soldier--if it can be BORNE--it is of legitimate value to civilians as the purpose of the 2A is to ensure the people are ABLE to defend against tyranny.

      I would point that in a FREE society, prior restraint has no place and therefore abuse of rights can result in MANY deaths. The choice is between a free society or one where we are subjects. Choose your poison.

      Also the mere keeping and bearing of arms is no threat. What CAN be regulated is how we use them. It is already illegal to steal or kill regardless of weapon type. People still steal and kill, don't they.

      How does disarming the potential viictim change the calculus and make you safer? It doesn't and can't. It certainly won;t protect you from your would be protectors (government) Governments have killed many millions more of its own citizens/subjects than any number of criminals (ordinary ones, not government actors operating under the color of law)

      And  I have noticed that progressives haveproblems with math--its why I guess they believe taxing people makes for prosperity. And spending more than you make also makes for posperity.

      I will give you an economic lesson:
      (I should charge you money for I am teaching you here today)

      The first law of economics:

      You cannot consume more than you produce.

      another way to put it: in physics we would say entropy is positive (i.e. energy output < energy input)

      I am guessing progressives at their core--even if they deny it, believe in perpetual motion (a utopian view to be sure)

      You people better change or there WILL be a total economic collapse and it will be violent. Especially when all those dependent on government cheese stop getting their cheese! Good luck with that when the machine stops as it WILL.

      SamAdams1776 III
      Molon Labe
      qui tacet consentit

  •  I see this as no different (0+ / 0-)

    than reading the phrase 'promote the general welfare' and applying it to mean that Congress can do anything it wants to and there are no limits on its authority and reach.

    When I ask liberals to show me in the Constitution where the government is authorized to do x or y, I generally get the "promote the general welfare' argument.  Well, Congress can create Social Security or welfare or medicare because it says so in the Constitution.  Where?  'to promote the general welfare'

    oh, seriously?  Well, if 'promote the general welfare' means Congress can do whatever you want, then the word 'arms' can mean rocket launchers, tanks or whatever I want it to mean.

    There is absolutely no difference between the two trains of thought.

  •  Scalia is little more than a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    Fox News troll.

  •  Keeping and bearing arms (0+ / 0-)

    First, the Bill of Rights (BOR) does NOT grant rights. According to it's preamble (almost never published with it--gee I wonder why); its function is to RESTRAIN GOVERNMENT--not the people.

    The BOR happens to enumerate some rights, but as the 9th points out, the list is not complete--this amandment was one that was meant to satisy the Federalists that were afraid that enumerating some might limit the people if the gpvernment grew to big for its britches--as it certainly has--wellto anyone except Marxists/Communists (Progressives) which ultimately fall under a Hobbsian view of government, rather than a Lockean one.

    The 10th restricts the federal government to only those powers SPECIFICALLY enumerated and is defacto denied all other powers not granted them specifically--those being retained by the states or (this is a legal or) the people themselves. That has been entirely ignored for more than 125 years--so much for the Constitutional protections!

    The progressives view of "well regulated" is in contradiction to "shall not be infringed" and besides, only people can possess rights (they may also exercise powers), but government may exercise powers ONLY; government has no rights--only natural people have rights!

    The founders were clear in the Federalist papers and in the Declaration of Independence thatthe people as a last resort have not only a right but a DUTY to overthrow tyranny. It is not something they say should be done for light or transient causes--but only when there is a clear series of abuses designed to reduce the people to absolute despotism--obviously if you wait until you are under despotism, it is too late.

    I agree, that today, many people are all too happy to trade their freedom for economic as well as personal security, but that they do, does not remove my rights--and my rights are not subject to the democratic process, not to arguments grounded in social utility.

    Many people believe that being able to vote is what makes you free; it does not.

    I am reminded of the words of Johann Wolfgang Geothe: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

    This is the problem today.

    You are not free when you depend upon government. Government should serve you, not control you.

    you are controlled.

    The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental--not only for defense of self, but of the common liberty. Keeping means owning and bearing means being able to carry them.

    One does not carry nukes and nukes will not be used if there a revolution is required (which unless there is a willing restoration of the people's rights, almost certainly will happen--and not by a handful but by several millions and will include active duty, reserve and guard who will be part of that revolution--I say this as an army office myself--believe me we are talking about these issues quietly among ourselves--I am guessing 70% will side with those revolting) as well as police (about 55-60% will side with the revolt--many of those of course serve also in the reserve/guard.

    The arms that are protected are anything a person would carry and have combat value--so protected arms include handguns, rifles of any kind--including FULL AUTO, and yes RPGs. and hand-held destructive devices such as handgrenades and those are easy to manufacture. But from a techncal point of view as the founders would tell us if they could--THOSE are the arms that are most valuable---not fighter jets, tanks, nukes, etc...

    Those silly arguments are by those trying to deflect away from the insurrectionist view by using absurdity.

    Overthrowing the government simpley requires a sufficient number willing to kill and die, secure comms, (PGP is VERY reliable and even the NSA can't break a 3072-bit RSA asymmetric key--not in a reasonable time frame--well, not until the invention of a quantum computer anyway. Get PGP encryption software for free at gpg4win dot com, by the way!

    Aside from that, being able to deny them comms is do-able to those of us who understand the infrastructure--which of course I do. And of course, guns, and ammunition are also crucial, and coordination of attacks which relies on good secure comms.  

    YES, armed revolution is still possible, the leviathan that is our government is not yet so big as to stop it, if enough want it or need it--contrary to naysayers.  And of course this is the point of the Second Amendment--not hunting and sports.

    I think though we can shrink the leviathan by using the second method of amending the Constitution--something I have been advocating for years--and now Mark Levin sees its values and it has the progressives wetting their pants.
    The states created the federal government, the can neuter it still. They need to, or armed revolution is a certainty, and it will beviolent and bloody and there is no guarantee the nation will stay together, nor any guarantee that freedom will be the result--at least in some regions.

    By the way, in 1787, the primary meaning of the verb "to regulate" meant "to adjust to some standard" or "to put in good working order. These are more consistent with the meaning of the founders when one reads the writings of Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist papers. They were not government control freaks back--these people subscribed to the Locean world view, not Hobbes'.

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