Scalia Says Rocket Launchers Are Protected Under the Second Amendment


In an opinion that is sure to delight potential terrorists everywhere, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told Fox News Sunday that he believes all hand held weapons including rocket launchers are protected under the Second Amendment.

Here is the video:


Transcript from Think Progress:

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.

WALLACE: How do you decide that if you’re a textualist?

SCALIA: Very carefully.

Even more chilling than rocket launchers is that Scalia’s theoretical idea of hand held would also cover a small nuclear device that could fit in a briefcase, or any other mass casualty inflicting weapon that a person could carry. The idea that a rocket launcher could be protected under the Second Amendment is a very extreme view of the Founders’ intentions.

Conservatives have gone from a advocating a position of protecting the right to keep and bear arms to believing that nearly every weapon imaginable can and should be legally available to all Americans. I wonder how the NRA will defend the necessity of rocket launchers for hunting or personal protection? I can’t wait to hear somebody suggest that the next American mass shooting could have been prevented if the victims would have had rocket launchers.

It was fitting that Scalia, who along with Clarence Thomas has shattered all pretense of political neutrality on the High Court, would make his remarks on Fox News Sunday. Here is a Supreme Court Justice appearing on a program produced by a partisan cable news network to advance a radical position that could arm and empower mass killers.

Antonin Scalia’s interpretation of the constitution is one of the reasons why any serious conversation about keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals is nearly impossible to have. How can the nation have a reasonable dialogue about the role of accessibility to weapons and ammo in episodes of mass violence if one side of the discussion believes that rocket launchers are protected under the Second Amendment?

Justice Scalia’s legal reasoning based on a highly politicized interpretation of the Second Amendment is the domestic terrorist and mass murderer’s best friend.

19 Replies to “Scalia Says Rocket Launchers Are Protected Under the Second Amendment”

  1. Arms makers only care about profits, not human lives. If they can make a dollar, they’d be happy blowing up orphanages.

    And Scalia is their whore.

  2. It is scary to think that a Supreme Court justice understands the Constitution so little. Scalia is simply a disaster. If there were a way to impeach a sitting SC justice, he would get my first nomination, with Justice Thomas a close second. Neither one of them has any right to serve on the highest court in the country.

  3. I am sure our Forefathers that authored the constitution did not have the insight to the future of advanced weaponry….and btw, they did have cannons. Scalia is such a nitwit jackass!!

  4. Wow this guy is mad he is taking a literal i mean ultra literal approach to reading only hand held so if im strong enough to fire a drum feed mini-gun i can its so stupid i cant even believe it.
    what must poetry sound like to this fool if he reaches a stop sign does he just sit there until it says go. some one must really be making a mint off him to be willing pay his way here because i cant imagine how he became a supreme court justice in any other way

  5. I don’t believe this is coincidental. He makes this statement even as more and more rightwing militias, vigilantes, and Sovereign Citizens are arming themselves for what they call a coming race war…and very rich men, who have been fielding private artillery a long time, dare to parade it openly down the streets of small towns. You may suppose that if leftist groups, or minority groups, or OWS doing likewise, he’d be singing a whole different tune. Does he own a copy of “The Turner Diaries”? And did his ancestors come over on the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria together with Cristoforo Colombo and the ancestral Tancredos?

  6. When I read the headline, my reaction was “You HAVE got to be kidding!” Rocket launchers? I could see launching rockets for science… penetrating and probing tornadoes, for instance, or something like that – and I’m sure that there would be a way to get something like that licensed. I can’t think of a single self-defense use for a rocket launcher. I could barely think of a reason for an automatic weapon – after all, bullies like to travel and attack in packs (the singular schoolyard bully doesn’t fit reality as well as people think). That’s stretching it, however. A semi-automatic is sufficient for just about any situation a person can expect (considering worst-case scenarios).

    The logic I know behind the 2nd amendment is self-defense… whether against individuals or against tyrants. This (IMO) converts self-defense into right of ownership of property, and it doesn’t make sense.

    I think that they may be trying a different tack on the constitution… redefining things in terms of possessions and ownership. That would go along with the Republican mindset, and might (in their minds) strengthen the “right” of the rich to profit at the expense of everyone else.

  7. I am not a fan of Scalia, but this article severely distorts what he said. The video clip posted on this page clearly stating that non-handheld weapons are clearly not covered by the second amendment, but handheld rocket launchers will have to be decided on. He never stated which way he would side on the issue.

  8. It really is amazing that a guy with Scalia’s education can’t see simple facts. The 2nd Amendment says, “the right to KEEP and bear arms shall not be infringed.
    It could just as easily be interpreted that the 2nd Amendment relates that neither the right to KEEP arms, or to bear them shall be infringed.
    Nowhere is it implied that arms MUST be BOTH “kept” and “borne” for them to be protected by the 2nd Amendment. I don’t have to “keep” arms to maintain the right to bear them. If I borrow one from my neighbor, I am not “keeping” arms, but this does not affect my right to bear them.
    Just as I have the right to keep arms without bearing them, I also have the right to bear them, without keeping them.

    Which means, according to Scalia’s logic, a fully armed Cobra attack helicopter must be as equally protected as a deer rifle, since both are arms.

  9. Yes and he also said he doesn’t think the right to privacy is inherent in the Constitution.

    Take him God, he’s ready.

  10. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia on Fox talking hand held rocket launchers as a Constitutional right…

    Oh, goodie, we can look forward to that Roberts court’s ruling. The mentally unstable will be able to kill copious quantities of humans from blocks away, cos it says so right in the constitution. Will the NRA be dumping their stock in body armor manufacturers (no need for mass murderers to purchase that bulky and expensive gear)?

  11. I’ve got to agree with you there, Rick. As much as I dislike Scalia’s politics and constitutional interpretations, he makes it quite clear that he would weigh the issue of rocket launchers carefully.

  12. You’re right, the headline is misleading. But his true position is still completely insane–rocket launchers may or may not be protected. Even the NRA has never argued anything this preposterous.

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