The National Rifle Association spokespeople like to use Justice Antonin Scalia as a supporter of the Second Amendment to the extent they claim you can’t place limits on gun ownership and use.
The NRA is devoid of integrity. It espouses its “love for the right to own guns, any guns.” The moment POTUS 45 declared to the National Governors Association, “”Don’t worry about the NRA. They’re on our side” … I knew that the BS (and I don’t mean “Boy Scouts”) train was back on the tracks.
Last week, I quoted the late Justice Warren Burger, who called the NRA leadership “pernicious liars.” Of course, Justice Burger would be considered a liberal judge with whom the NRA would disagree.
It should therefore come as a surprise that the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, often quoted as supporting the position of the NRA, did no such thing!
In 2008, Justice Scalia led a five-justice majority to recognize, for the first time in American history, that “law-abiding, responsible citizens” have a right to own a handgun in defense of their homes. Note: They said “handgun.” The case was District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). The NRA uses it to this day to support its gun-slinging positions. What the NRA has done is to use “selective reasoning.” I, therefore, will do the same thing — only I’m going to use “selective incontrovertible fact.”
A passage that has come back to haunt the NRA because people who can read are talking about it right now is Scalia’s subsequent warning that people shouldn’t read too much into the fundamental right he helped announce. Scalia emphasized that “long-standing 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,” were still fair game.
Justice Scalia opined that the Second Amendment is restricted to weapons “in common use at the time” and further stated it left the government with many tools for combating handgun violence, including regulation.
Since the Heller decision, lower courts have upheld numerous restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns. On many occasions, including twice in the last year, the Supreme Court has refused to hear lower court appeals of cases regulating ownership and sale of weapons in which regulation was approved.
There is a profound disconnect between the actual meaning of the Second Amendment, as it is understood by courts, and the political uses of the Second Amendment, as it is invoked in federal and state legislatures and as a basis for attacking politicians who think in good faith about how best to save lives.
If you are one of the folks who like to debate the weapons issue, just remember — the reason the federal government ducks gun regulation to this day is that the U.S. Congress is owned by the NRA. States, however, are free to regulate and protect their citizens. That seems the only way to proceed until the upcoming midterm elections.
The wonder of the youth of today is that they are not tolerating the cowardly comments and positions of politicians anymore. They are taking action. Many millions more will be able to vote for the first time during the midterms in November.
If you want to watch how successful these students are, watch the flip-flops (at least in talking points) that congressional members are now making.
I totally support the upcoming student protest demonstration planned for March 14 in Moorhead and hope that Fargo and other communities will join the Moorhead students in supporting the cause.
For those who say students should not demonstrate — that they should stay in school and shut up — I say what I’ve said to the NRA: You go to hell, and let our young people demonstrate the courage and guts the adults don’t have.
If you believe that government regulation of weapons will cause it to confiscate all of your guns, then wear your Nazi emblems on your shirt sleeves where they belong — because that’s how you must view this wonderful country of ours.
We live in trying times, but the good times will return. It’s Mueller time. Amen.