…from Antonin Scalia.
By now everyone must have seen Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Canada) give
his condescending lesson on the Bill of Rights to Sen. Diane Feinstein
(D-Planet Earth). (If not, you can see
it here.) Of course, he
disregarded the response from a mere hysterical woman (who had tried to plug
the bullet holes in her friend with her fingers.) So, for a more “educated” and “serious”
rebuttal, I give you the honorable Justice Antonin Scalia.
Cruz: “Would she [Sen. Feinstein] deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress
to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second
Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she
consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment
shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that
Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights? Likewise,
would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and
seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and
not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the
Bill of Rights?”
Scalia: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.
“…nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
“ It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment ’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.”
District of Columbia v. Heller [Emphasis added.]