The Right to Bear Rocket Launchers

I think this is taking being a constitutional 'originalist' and literal-ist a little too far.

During an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Antonin Scalia discussed his literal interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

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.

According to Supreme Court Justice Scalia, hand-held rocket launchers that can "bring down airplanes" are probably okay because the constitution says "bear," and -- technically -- you can bear a rocket launcher.

That's serious mental gymnastics. Perhaps Scalia should be competing at the Olympics.

The real problem is that this will now be adopted as constitutional canon by every wingnut under the sun and he may have just invited a challenge to laws that prohibit ownership of things like rocket-launchers.

  • Teaflax

    I will say this: at least that’s fairly consistent with the idea that the purpose of the armed populace is to be able to fight the army should it turn against them. If that is really what you think the 2nd amendment means, I don’t see why you’d draw the line even at rocket launchers. Surely, mortars, tanks, planes and more are all needed for people to stand even the remotest of chances against the most well-equipped army in the world?

  • nathkatun7

    A friend of mine who is deeply into spirituality has this favorite saying””Those that God will destroy he must first make them mad.” To be honest I still don’t get the full import of her statement. But listening to Antonin,Scalia, a sitting Supreme Court Justice, mouthing off that the right to bear arms may well include possessing “hand-held rocket launchers” makes me think that this country, including some of the most revered leaders, is going mad over this gun issue. So, what’s to prevent some crazy person from firing his “hand held rocket” to bring down planes?

    Slowly but surely, belief in the right to own guns is quickly surpassing belief in God. The greatest irony, of course, is the fact that many of the so called Christians, who believe in Jesus the Christ — sometimes called the Prince of Peace– are the most ardent and passionate believers in guns.

  • Draxiar

    I can’t believe our taxes go to paying this fuckwit instead of repairing infrastructure.

  • Razor

    You can pry my weaponized anthrax from my cold, dead, pus-excreting hand.

  • gescove

    I can’t bear Scalia. Therefore, he has no Constitutional right to exist. Be gone, I say!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Scalia is scum. Period.

  • Bob Rutledge

    As someone mentioned (I can’t remember where), one can also bear a suitcase nuke.

  • muselet

    Remember when Antonin Scalia was being held up in Righty circles as a legal genius? Someone whose personal charm, persuasive arguments and sheer brilliance would change the minds of even the most committed liberals? Someone whose nomination as Chief Justice would be confirmed by acclamation in the Senate?

    Good times. Good times.

    That this strange little man is still being taken seriously by anyone—that he’s an influential member of the Supreme Court—terrifies me.


    • Victor_the_Crab

      Those would be the same Righty circles who, according to Paul Krugman, consider Newt Gingrich to be smart.

    • IrishGrrrl


  • KAboink

    The insanity coming out of the SCOTUS right wing whackjobs like Scalia is the single most important reason to reelect President Obama.

  • JBShakes

    I’m telling you, one of these days one of the “textualists” on SCOTUS is actually going to take the time to read the part about “a well regulated militia” in the 2nd Amendment, and the NRA will be seriously screwed. It’s bound to happen sooner or later.

  • kushiro -

    Hey, people can bear children, too. So the next time I need to stand my ground against some punk, I’ll just chuck a couple of five-year-olds at him.

    • IrishGrrrl

      Well, what do you mean by “bear”? I can hold them in my arms and that is bearing. But one could, theoretically speakin, shoot them out of their v-jay-jay. Would that count as bearing? LOL It makes as much sense as Scalia’s logic, amiright?