Scalia on the Second

From a WSJ write-up of an interview of Justice Scalia on Fox News over the weekend:

“Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed,” he said. “What they are will depend on what the society understood was reasonable limitation” when the Constitution was written. He cited, for example, a misdemeanor at the time, of carrying a frightening looking weapon such as a “head ax”.

Fox’s Chris Wallace asked about weapons that can fire off a hundred shots in a minute, in reference to the recent mass murder in a movie theater in Aurora.

“We’ll see,” said Justice Scalia, referring to the need to wait on a court case that gets at the question. He then volunteered that the second amendment refers to the right to “keep and bear” arms, so that it “does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried…It doesn’t apply to cannons."

Then the justice asked himself about “hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes.” About that, he ventured only, “it will have to be decided.”

It is worth noting that Scalia is likely to be on the permissive side whenever gun rights are the topic du jour. Therefore gun rights advocates are always going to sound the alarm any time he openly ponders restrictions.

Changes to gun legislation and gun cases are almost always occurring, so there will likely be at least a few opportunities over the next few years for Scalia to clarify just what limitations he believes can be imposed under his 'strict constructionist' approach. The eyes of America will certainly be watching...

No comments:

Post a Comment