Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Antonin Scalia, died on Saturday.
His death, for more than the election of Barack Obama, or the potential election of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or even Michael Bloomberg is the biggest threat to guns rights in the United States, since the introduction of the Brady Bill in 1993.
No, that is not Hyperbole.
There was no greater friend to the Second Amendment on the Supreme Court than Justice Scalia. It was Justice Scalia that gave the Opinion of the Court in District of Columbia vs. Heller. Justice Scalia’s opinion in Heller shaped the outcome of McDonald vs. the City of Chicago, on which he voted for the majority.
Justice Scalia’s origianalism on the Second Amendment was well founded by historical prescient. If you have the time to listen to the two hours of oral arguments in Heller, it is an amazing lesson.
The Supreme Court has been gun-shy recently, and has refused to add gun rights cases to the docket. My fear is that in the absence of Justice Scalia, especially if (when) his seat is filled by a more liberal justice, the Supreme Court might revisit the issue of gun rights with the intent to reverse some of the more important parts of Heller and McDonald. While it would not be likely that the Supreme Court could completely reverse the decision that gun rights are individual rights, it can chip away at gun rights significantly. Such a decision would not be hard to do. Simply taking on a challenge to a state level assault weapon’s ban, and deciding that the AR-15, the most popular long arm in America, is a “dangerous or unusual weapon” and “not it common use” to uphold an AWB. Although the individual right would, technically, be maintained, the teeth to the right would be pulled.
I am not alone in this opinion, although it seems that the left is hopeful for a Scalia-free court to reverse the progress of gun rights in America.
An anti-gun Supreme Court is a far greater threat to gun rights than any president or legislator. The politicians can be voted out of office and new politicians voted in. But the Supreme Court holds sway for decades and generations. With the passing of Justice Scalia we must redouble our efforts, and then redouble them again to push for gun rights. Anti-gun legislation that does not get passed cannot go before the court to be upheld. We can no longer rely on the Supreme Court to protect our rights. All challenges to gun rights must be nipped in the bud.
I wanted to put some work into this post, I have a great deal of respect for Justice Scalia, even if I didn’t agree with him on every decision.
My heart is broken by all the people calling Justice Scalia a bigot, a racist, or a homophobe. It is disgusting to belittle a man who was a staunch defender of individual rights. Justice Scalia’s dissent in Maryland v. King, on the issue of 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search is blistering. Justice Scalia was an ardent defender of the 1st Amendment. His opinion in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association is a masterpiece in the defense of free speech. Justice Scalia was famous for noting that while he didn’t like flag burning, burning the flag is a protected form of free expression. Justice Scalia was a defender of property rights, joining the dissent in the much hated ruling in Kelo v. New London. Lastly, his dissent in King v. Burwell is beautiful.
While I may not completely agree with Scalia’s dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, allowing the popular culture to use it to cement Justice Scalia’s legacy is wrong and dangerous. To listen to way so many people have been talking about Justice Scalia, one would get the impression that they were absolutely fine with the government banning books, movies, and video games, seizing your property, banning your guns, taking your DNA and searching you with a proctoscope on the side of the highway during a dubious traffic stop, and limiting your ability to complain about it, as long as the gays can marry. On second though, that is exactly what progressives stand for, so no wonder they hate Justice Scalia.