Scalia Summarized

(cross-posted at orange under my nom du orange)

Writes Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller:


“We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country… [but, you see, as Right Wing fucktards, we really don’t give a shit.  In fact, not only are we going to strike-down DC’s ban on a kind of firearm technology that didn’t exist when the Bill of Rights was ratified, we’re going to strike down trigger-lock requirements!]”

Why?  What was Scalia’s and the majority’s reasoning and rationale?  I quote and paraphrase:


“The historical narrative [is that insane gun fanatics own the Republican Party, and the Republican Party owns me.  Besides, I simply don’t give a shit if Saturday Night Specials flow like a flooded Potomac into the lower elevations of the District of Columbia.  What’s it to me?”

Sorry for the short diary “essay”, but here we have, in a 5-4 decision, another legacy of Republican Presidents putting hacks and goons on our Supreme Court.

Mu . . .


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  1. and hope like hell that we can contain the body count in the urban areas. But I’ll bet when/if the battleground reaches the suburbs, someone will be singing a different tune.  

    • pico on June 26, 2008 at 20:20

    I don’t disagree that Scalia is a tool, but it’s really hard to defend a complete ban on handguns against the Second Amendment, even with a broad reading.  That being said, I think the dissent had a slightly more convincing argument about the Amendment’s history and interpretation – although I fully recognize that I come to this discussion with a bias.

    You really should read the whole decision (pdf!) although it comes at nearly a whopping 160 pages.  It’s a lot about history and a lot about language, and I have to admit I found both the decision and the dissent interesting studies in a long-contentious amendment’s history.    The fundamental split is one of meaning – does the “militia” phrase incidate a possible use of legal firearms, or the possible use of legal firearms?  The grammar provides no help: both interpretations are correct.  The history is no help, either: both interpretations have been used by courts and legislatures.  It’s a tangle of thorns.

  2. Absolutely.  It is a right of the individual and must be protected and defended exactly like our other rights (speech, assembly, etc.)

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”  -Thomas Jefferson

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”  -Thomas Jefferson

    “…ban… firearm technology that didn’t exist…”  The only way I can agree to this is if the government, at all levels, is also restricted to single-shot, muzzle-loading, black-powder muskets.

    The purpose, the very heart, of declaring our individual right “to keep and bear arms” is self-defense, including

    “…to protect themselves against tyranny in government”.  Again, from Thomas Jefferson, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  Using myself as the example, the government entity bent on tyranny is not going to be dissuaded by me packing a musket that has a maximum effective range of around 200 yards and takes me 20 seconds to reload after each shot.

    Giving up our right to keep and bear effective, modern arms is not the solution to crime and/or violence in our society.  However, it would be, and has historically always been, a major step toward complete totalitarian control of a population.

    • Mu on June 26, 2008 at 23:05

    . . . “well-settled” by the U.S. Supreme Court for over 50 years.  The “conservatives” of the Plessy Court won that day, too.

    Mu . . .


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