The Judiciary

Scalia’s Wrong Interpretation of the Second Amendment

Justice Antonin Scalia believes in the theory of originalism. In other words, he believes the Constitution is a dead document, intended to reflect things the way they were in 1787 and never to change.

Unfortunately, Scalia had a chance to apply that theory by leading the Supreme Court in overturning the city of Washington’s ban on handguns. For Scalia and four other conservatives on the court, if militia in colonial times could have a musket in their home, then men today can have an automatic killer pistol in their home.

How simplistic. How wrong. How dangerous.

Still, there is a silver lining. Short of an outright ban, Scalia and company were forced to acknowledge the rights of cities and states to enact sensible gun regulations. So this is not a total victory for the gun-happy nuts at the NRA.

It’s still OK to require registration on handguns.

It’s still OK to restrict handguns to private homes.

It’s still OK to ban certain types of firearms and ammunition.

It’s still OK to require background checks and waiting periods.

It’s still OK to keep guns out of the hands of known criminals and the mentally ill.

Washington’s challenge is now to write new gun regulations that meet the court’s guidelines. Scalia’s challenge is to get a new powdered wig.

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Tags Antonin Scalia Conservatism in North America Conservatism in the United States National Rifle Association Originalism Politics of the United States Second Amendment to the United States Constitution United States federal courts

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