Rocket Launchers and the Second Amendment

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw) Guest Blogger

I have discussed the Second Amendment and the difficulties I have in allowing citizens to own semi-automatic weapons and large capacity clips of ammunition in the past, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a recent Fox News interview, just took my concern over semi-automatic weapons and shot it down.. with a shoulder firing rocket! 

“Referring to the recent shooting in Aurora, CO, host Chris Wallace asked the Supreme Court Justice about gun control, and whether the Second Amendment allows for any limitations to gun rights. Scalia admitted there could be, such as “frighting” (carrying a big ax just to scare people), but they would still have to be determined with an 18th-Century perspective in mind.  According to his originalism, if a weapon can be hand-held, though, it probably still falls under the right to “bear arms”:

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.”   Think Progress

OK.  I get it now.  Under Justice Scalia’s originalist reading of the Constitution, he might not allow you to carry a big Axe around to frighten people, but a shoulder firing rocket launcher might be legal!  At what point do we decide that public safety just might trump a radical reading of the Constitution?  This is the same justice that opined in the District of Columbia v. Heller case that reasonable restrictions to the Second Amendment might be allowed by the Court.  Heller

Maybe Justice Scalia needs to see the photos of the carnage a semi-automatic weapon or a shoulder fired rocket launcher can create. Under this thinking, RPG’s might be legal for all citizens to own and carry.  Grenades can be hand-held and therefore under Justice Scalia’s warped sense of thinking, they too might be legal for citizens to carry.  Do we draw the limit at briefcase nukes that can be carried in one’s hand?

Obviously the theory that Justice Scalia is promoting can be carried to extreme and hilarious lengths.  The real scary part is that Justice Scalia doesn’t understand how hilarious and dangerous his concepts are in the real world.  I am also confused why Scalia is allowed by Chief Justice Roberts to go on Fox News and opine about issues that just may end up in front of the Supreme Court.  Isn’t this interview evidence that Justice Scalia has already made up his mind on the issue of other portable weapons?

What do you think of these comments by Justice Scalia and does his concept of originalism go too far?  Since Justice Scalia thinks that these kind of weapons may be legal, is it too far-fetched to wonder if the current crop of right-wing Militia’s are free to purchase these kind of weapons, even if they hope to use them against the government?

Additional Reference: Prof. Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago

165 thoughts on “Rocket Launchers and the Second Amendment

  1. “The real scary part is that Justice Scalia doesn’t understand how hilarious and dangerous his concepts are in the real world.”

    I don’t purport to know what he understands, but perhaps he believes that the greater danger is the threat a living Constitution poses to our liberties. And, I have heard him state the obvious: there is a process by which the Constitution can be amended if we don’t like what it does or does not allow.

  2. What do you think of these comments by Justice Scalia and does his concept of originalism go too far?

    I think he loves the worship of the extreme right wing.

  3. Usually when people reincarnate they carry baggage from a previous life but live in the times of the new life. Seems that Scalia’s latest incarnation got screwed up. He carries baggage from the previous life but is still living in the times of that life. Or he just likes messin’ with us.

  4. When I read “Maybe Justice Scalia needs to see the photos of the carnage a semi-automatic weapon … can create”, the first question that come to my mind is just how familiar the author actually is with firearms. My guess would be “Not very.”

    Semi-autos are nothing special. Hunting rifles are often semi-auto. Pistols are often semi-auto. All semi-automatic means is that the spent round is ejected and a fresh round is put into the chamber. Semi-auto does not mean “machine gun.” Semi-auto does not mean “spraying bullets.” It’s still just one shot for every pull of the trigger.

    I don’t think Scalia is actually saying that shoulder fired rocket launchers and such are protected under the 2nd Amendment. (If he is, I disagree with him.) I think what he’s saying is that’s a question the court has never actually decided. When you’re overreacting to and overstating the meaning of what Scalia said.

    I get that you “have difficulties” with rights you don’t like. That doesn’t mean those rights should go away. In fact, I’m not even sure where in the Constitution you think the Federal government is empowered to make those rights go away. The rights of the people are not granted by the Constitution, The Constitution merely protects the rights that are inherent. (See “We Don’t Need No Steenking 2nd Amendment” for more.)

  5. There is a difference between a rocket launcher and the warhead. The rocket warhead is classified as “ordnance” and is not “arms” under the Second Amendment. A rocket launcher is basically a tube with a sight and trigger mechanism.

    There are rocket hobbyists who can buy their rocket supplies from he local hobby shop. It is not illegal to fire rockets as long as they do not run afoul of FAA restrictions.

    As for launching projectiles, has anyone seen the “Punkin’ Chunkin’ ” show on TV? Some of those things could bring down a low-flying airplane if they had the aim right.

    This video shows the Aludium Q36 Pumpkin Modulator from Morton, Illinois, shooting a pumpkin 4,491 feet, setting a Guiness World Record in 1998. Three years later, the same air cannon launched a pumpkin 4,860 feet, which remains the longest pumpkin chuck ever.

  6. As JT suggests, will Justice Scalia recuse himself when, inevitably, these very questions arise before the Supreme Court. Just as inevitably, I believe he will argue his comments do not require that.
    My life doesn’t permit me to have it both ways; perhaps Justice Scalia lives in another reality.

  7. “but they would still have to be determined with an 18th-Century perspective in mind.”

    I don’t think they had glocks or magnums or semi any things in the 18th-Century
    So by that way of thinking everyone has the right to bear a musket. (I think rifles were just about to be invented but may have already been so cut em a break single shot ball and powder rifles a la Sharpe’s Rifles)

  8. Speaking as someone who’s lived in the USA and who is from the UK, the other extreme of the gun control spectrum, I feel that the USA would do itself a disservice if it got rid of the 2nd amendment. I feel the only reason the state does not want citizens to have weapons is to lessen the chance of the citizens rebelling against the state. There are numerous example of this in history, especially in China.

  9. I believe the Swiss are required to keep a fully automatic rifle and so many rounds of ammunition. Every Swiss a rifleman. And they are expected to re-qualify yearly.

    If it is good enough for the Swiss it ought to be good enough for us since we have a Constitution which allows us to do just that. I am pretty sure the founders would agree that if you have access to weapon superior to a flintlock then by all means use it. They didnt limit arms to a 16th century matchlock after all.

  10. Roman Berry,
    One only has to see the amount of the damage done by a semi-automatic weapon with a large capacity clip as was used in Aurora, Colorado to know it is more lethal than one without the large clip.
    I am not suggesting that the 2nd amendment should be done away with. I am only asking how far will Scalia go and that reasonable people may agree that using originalism in reviewing 2nd Amendment cases may be a faulty approach.

  11. OS,
    Was that a Scalia designed pumpkin chucker? Secondly, the rocket is just the ammo for the launcher, isn’t it? Both can and are carried by one man in the military.

  12. Jo,
    The breech loading rifle was invented well before the American Revolution by a Scotsman named Patrick Ferguson. Major Ferguson was killed at the Battle of Kings Mountain in October 1780. It was not in wide use because the industrial machine tools of the day were not capable of mass producing it. That is probably a good thing for the Revolution. It was made in too few numbers to influence the outcome of the war. The breech loading rifle was a much better weapon than the muzzle loaders of the day. The founding fathers who wrote the Constitution knew all about Major Ferguson and his rifle.

    In those days, practically every gunsmith in the world was in an arms race (pun intended) to be the first to build a workable repeating rifle. The founding fathers knew about that too, and from what I have read, saw the value of that effort. Finally, in 1849 Walter Hunt patented a repeating rifle he called “the Volitional Repeater.” Revolvers had already been invented, but a revolver cylinder did not work very well in a rifle because the gases expelled with each shot was too close to the shooter’s face.

  13. What Mayfly said, plus……

    We don’t need pre-judgements. We don’t need him to promote weapon carrying or use. We don’t need a nitwit, however “brilliant” he is.

    Someone said; God help us if we should get a President who is an strict idealist (in contrast to the usual type). He could in his eargerness to do the right thing lead us into disaster.

    Unfortunately, at this point, it looks like both types will sink us.

    I’m coming out of the closet. Romney for clown.

  14. Getting back to the original question posed, Justice Scalia appears to be living in an alternate universe. I would love to see him retire from the court to go on a much more lucrative speaking tour. Write a book, make speeches to selected audiences, go for long walks. Not likely, but one can dream.

  15. Raff, some rocket launchers are reusable launch tubes, such as the famous Bazooka of WW-II. Some are one time, “fire and throw away” weapons.

    The rocket is just the propulsion. The real weapon is the warhead. The rocket engine on many rocket weapons burns out quickly, after which it is a ballistic projectile. Kind of like the watermelon or pumpkin after it leaves the barrel of the launcher.

  16. We citizens have to bear arms not only to defend against the Canadians coming across the border, but to quell a takeover by some homegrown takeover artists such as the Koch Brothers and Romneycare givers. A hand held rocket launcher does not seem to be an extreme weapon and it is what is needed to keep the Koch Brothers at bay, whether they be in Bay Saint Louis or Bay of Biscay.

  17. What struck me most odd about Scalia’s comments, was that he said a cannon would not be allowed because the amendment says ‘to bear arms.’ This seems like an odd side bar to me, to carve out this distinction, and therefore likely to be some lynchpin in the structure of his second amendment positions.

    What relevance does this specific notion of ‘to bear arms’ being to actually carry a weapon, have to the current debate on the ability to regulate certain types of weaponry? I would think that ‘to bear arms’ would apply to a cannon drawn behind a horse to be used in battle, to a weapon carried by more than one person, to a weapon that was pushed or pulled, and other armaments.

    I have heard the argument that ‘to bear arms’ was relevant to military activity around the time of the writing of the constitution, but do not recall it being used so specially for carrying by a person.

  18. A U.S. Navy warship brought down a civilian Iranian airplane by mistake. Bad day.

    Don’t take over our embassy. That’s an act of war. Don’t shoot down civilian airplanes.

  19. “Isn’t this interview evidence that Justice Scalia has already made up his mind on the issue of other portable weapons?”
    Scalia has repeatedly proven he is a right wing ideologue. If for no other reason he is proof of why Obama needs a second term. (Since Bader Ginsberg, for one, has announced plans to retire)
    Scalia is also proof perfect of the prof’s assertion that the way the court is made up needs to be changed.
    OS it is an alternate uiniverse, he has a job for life, pretty much no matter what he does.

  20. If you’re an originalist, isn’t an individual right to bear arms more plausibly derived from the Ninth or Tenth amendment?

    If there is an individual right to bear arms contained in the Second Amendment, it is because of precedent. The text is clearly about militia.

  21. Isn’t it odd that your Plutocrats haven’t organised a change to the 2nd Amendment yet? The only thing they have to fear is the disenfranchised citizen wanting his future back.

    Something will be done about the 2nd Amendment in the USofA when rich people (or celebrities perhaps) start getting shot en masse by poor people.

  22. I would say Title 26 USC Section 5845 would effectively regulate the shoulder fire rocket launcher as a destructive device (4 ounces of propellant for the rocket and 1/4 ounce charge for the warhead) So from a statutory point of view it would certainly be illegal.

    I belive the intent is to differenciate what can be regulated without a global ban on all or significantly all firearms. The contention seems to be in how the regulation is applied.

    One side of the firearms debate wants no guns and the other wants freedom to own guns. I would find it very hard to accept the vast majority of the latter would be comfortable wtih Stinger AA rockets as being free to buy anywhere but the latter fears a death by a thousand cuts by chipping away one step at a time until no guns are allowed. This is the reason the semi-automatic rifle issue is a hot button for them. It represents that if the semi automatic rifle is taken away, the rifle, the handgun, the shotgun and the single shot .22 will be next.

  23. At least his thinking is consistent; he also thinks that there is no generalized right to privacy and that the Griswold decision is wrong. The framers did not anticipate abortion. No doubt their wives, or women in general did: various plants as abortifacients and useful in birth control have been valued world-wide for thousands of years, but to Scalia I’m sure that doesn’t count. Probably to the framers too, i suspect that men never got too involved in nuts and bolts of ‘women’s business’ for the overwhelming length of human history.

    OS, you make an interesting point regarding the launcher (which may be legal as a hand-held weapon in Scalia’s frame of logic) but that the actual missile, as ordnance, is illegal. I read your comment and thought, ‘I’ve heard something like that before’:

  24. Just make sure you stay out of the way of the doves so you can shoot them with a little bird shot gun after they’re let out of the cage. Make sure you don’t catch a lead pellet in your face.

  25. Raff, the missile is the ammunition. As for launchers, there are some rifles that are fitted with a grenade launcher. Those look like overgrown shotgun shells. Most rocket propelled grenades need a tube launcher. The famous Russian RPG-7 you see on the news from the Middle East is so simple a child can operate it, literally.

    Here is a segment from the Military Channel. (annoying lead-in commercial warning):

  26. Thanks OS I thought it was around that time that it was invented but that it was not widely used until later.

  27. It is not the size nor content of the weapon in the hand that concerns me so much. It is the size and content of the brain controlling the hand that controls the weapon.
    …… George W Bush comes to mind…..
    Maybe we are looking at this backwards, citizens should have the right to bear arms and governments can’t! ….I bet the governments then would be more responsive to the needs of the citizens. 😮

  28. I read this and realize that Scalia is a supremely stupid man in this sense. One can be extremely intelligent, extremely well-educated and have extremely great knowledge, while at the same time being supremely stupid. Stupidity as I define it is the inability to recognize that there are viewpoints different from ones’ own that might possibly be valid. Being supremely stupid is to be so absolutely convinced of your own superior insight, that all other views pale in comparison to yours. The supremely stupid are the most dangerous to us all in that they are so covinced of their “superior” intelligence that they never fear doing harm.

    To have parsed the 2nd amendment as hand-held weaponry is just plain silly.

  29. Mike Spindell 1, July 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Has anyone ever told you that you should go to ComPsych? I’m not going.

  30. I was going to say, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is just really stupid but Mike beat me to it so,

    I agree with Mike.

  31. Blouise

    Scalia is brilliant and should be the guide to what a Justice should be. The Constitution was written to be followed not torn up by a bunch of nut jobs who act on emotion.

  32. firefly
    You asked,
    Does anyone here know how Scalia feels about laser guns?

    Simply put are laser guns considered arms?

  33. When are all of you Liberals going to realize that it is not the weapon but rather the person using the weapon who causes all of the damage. A gun by itself can do no harm (logic for those who have a brain) and outlawing any type of weapon will not prevent those who want one to obtain access.

  34. Jim sez:
    “Scalia is brilliant and should be the guide to what a Justice should be. The Constitution was written to be followed not torn up by a bunch of nut jobs who act on emotion.”


    Wow! Just…!

    I am speechless. If it were not so late and I have early appointments in the morning, I would tackle a few of Jim’s logical fallacies but don’t even know where to start. Like trying to untangle the Gordian Knot of illogic of the ill informed. Ummmmm….trying to think of a word….oh yeah…..Wazzock.

  35. Otteray Scribe

    Tell me where I have gone wrong with the following:

    When are all of you Liberals going to realize that it is not the weapon but rather the person using the weapon who causes all of the damage. A gun by itself can do no harm (logic for those who have a brain) and outlawing any type of weapon will not prevent those who want one to obtain access.

  36. I haven’t had a taxi ride since I was in Chicago. Gave him a tip, but he didn’t back anything but a dirty look.

  37. Let’s see,

    The Chicago police pull their cars over and talk to the professional girls. What for? They see me coming along with my computer bag and everything, then they leave. I didn’t tell the police to leave. They were just talking to the girls.

  38. Oh my, Jim sent me a video from a B movie.🙄 Jim, I have seen that clip more times than I care to think about. And as I said, it is late and I have to see a criminal defendant first thing in the morning. I don’t feel like entertaining or educating you this evening.

  39. Bron

    I have guns and I am not compelled to kill. As a result, you are wrong! People kill not guns. Guns and any other weapon can do no harm by itself.

  40. Jim,
    The NRA talking point is not rooted in fact. If the Aurora shooter was not able to buy a high capacity clip legally, it would have been very difficult for him to get one illegally. What does the NRA think of rocket launchers?
    By the way, a loaded gun can kill on its own without a human to pull the trigger.

  41. rafflaw

    The Aurora killer if not able to get a high capacity clip would have used another method. A loaded gun left alone will not kill anybody. What percentage of deaths occur as a result of a loaded gun not being touched by anybody?

  42. Jim,
    You don’t have any facts to back that claim. We know that it is legal to get them now and he bought thousands of rounds of ammo legally. If it restrictions were in place it would have been more difficult for him to have killed and wounded so many people. JIm, you stated that guns cannot kill without a human pulling the trigger, but we know weapons do fire sometimes when dropped or jostled. You didn’t ask how many people are killed by guns firing without a human pulling the trigger.
    According to Justice Scalia”s suggestion, any weapon that can be carried on your person may be legal. Does that open the door for fully automatic weapons? Will the Marine Squad Automatic Weapon be available to the public under Scalia’s thinking?
    There are more restrictions on owning a dog than buying the weapons and ammo used by the alleged Aurora shooter.

  43. “If they kill my dog, they’re going to be dead. And I don’t even have a dog” — Well, maybe they DID kill him, then. 😦

  44. Bron-

    Regarding your comment of July 29 at 3:12 PM:

    The Swiss are sane. The American people elected George W. Bush President of the United States. TWICE!

  45. Pamlico County has more black bears than any other county in NC. They are involved in a lot of traffic fatalities. The right to arm bears has been a slogun here for many years. We armed them when we were fighting the British. The Confederates armed them in the fight against the Yankees. U boat survivors who washed ashore were rounded up by the bears. Da Bears! If you want to get Scalia on a real rant, ask him about ScaliaCare.

  46. “Maybe Justice Scalia needs to see the photos of the carnage a semi-automatic weapon or a shoulder fired rocket launcher can create.”

    Just how are “semi-automatic weapons” and “shoulder fired rockets” put in the same category?

    Seriously Rafflaw, you might want to tone down the hysteria and perhaps do some research before committing pen to paper in lieu of sounding panic-stricken and confused.

    Gun control or carry permits won’t stop mass murder

    “Tighter restrictions on gun purchasing — for example, eliminating multiple gun sales and closing the gun-show loophole — may help reduce America’s gun violence problem generally, but mass murder is unlike most other forms of violent conflict.

    Mass killers are determined, deliberate and dead-set on murder. They plan methodically to execute their victims, finding the means no matter what laws or other impediments the state attempts to place in their way. To them, the will to kill cannot be denied.”

    Per the issue of rocket launchers, I live in New York and we New Yorkers cannot own rocket launchers and I have no problem with that.

  47. One of the meaning of “arms” is “weapons.” The word “weapons” does not exclude swords, hatchets, bayonets, etc.

    To “bear arms” means to “carry weapons”; all of the above are weapons commonly used at the time the Constitution was written.

    So, would Scalia be okay with moviegoers carrying rifles with bayonets attached into crowded theaters?

    Or into crowded shopping malls?

    Or into churches and other places of worship?

    And, if not why not?

    How about swords and hatchets?

    They don’t kill either. It’s the people using them who do the killing.

    Scalia needs to be more consistent.

    P.S. The word “abortion” does not appear in the Constitution, so how can Scalia oppose abortion, when the Framers never mentioned abortion in the Constitution?

    Scalia follows the “original intent” only when it suits him.

    Stun guns are weapons; is Scalia okay with every American carrying a stun gun everywhere?

    True, stun guns were not available when the Framers wrote the Constitution, but then neither were AK- 47s or 9mm handguns, which Scalia refuses to deny American as their weapon of choice.

  48. In 1990, I was having a conversation with a DC lawyer about a litigation I was unwillingly involved in. He said, “For a mere $600 you can purchase an uzi on the street in DC any day of the week.” I asked, “Is the price lower on weekends?”

  49. HenMan

    You said the American People voted twice for Bush. That argument means the same American people are stupid for voting for Obama.

  50. Bob,
    It isn’t hysteria when a Supreme Court Justice says it. If he is ok with shoulder fired missles then just about any automatic or semi-automatic weapon is fair game. The will to kill can be denied or made more difficult, even if the killer is deranged. If the Aurora shooter was unable to obtain the items and/or quantities of guns and ammo, at least it makes it more difficult for him to kill.
    Shouldn’t mentally ill people have to be reviewed before they are allowed weapons of this type? The only chance we have of preventing these kind of massacres is to attempt to do something. Just claiming bad people will do bad things is not the answer.

  51. “You said the American People voted twice for Bush. That argument means the same American people are stupid for voting for Obama.”

    No Jim,

    That argument means simply that there were enough people who voted for an
    incompetent person, to be able to allow his party to steal two elections. Obama got elected because people were so disgusted with the policies of the Bush years and the traitorous conservatives that backed them, selling out our country.

  52. Mike Spindell

    If anybody is incompetent it is Obama. He has no clue on how to govern. He has no business experience and that is why unemployment is still high and not coming down anytime soon. Chicago, his pride, has a terrible murder problem but has one of the toughest gun control laws in the country. Obama will be returning there in January and can advocate Emmanuel’s policies to see if they will work. Finally, He won’t release his college records because he knows exactly what check he put when it comes to ethnicity. If he will release his college transcripts then I will support Romney releasing his tax returns.

  53. Elaine M, rafflaw

    One year after the election in 2000, it was determined that Bush would have won anyway. There was no stealing of an election. That kind of rhetoric only shows how ignorant you are. I am completely aware of all of the left’s arguments in the re-count but there are so many ifs that would have to take place, you could win the lottery 200 times before the outcome you were looking for would have happened.

  54. “If anybody is incompetent it is Obama. He has no clue on how to govern. He has no business experience and that is why unemployment is still high and not coming down anytime soon.”

    This begs the question that business experience is the primary requisite in the type of leadership skills statesmanship requires. Because business is a top down authoritarian type of management structure, the counter argument that business is not the proper experience set to drive the skills a statesman requires (which includes diplomacy and consensus building – antithetical skills to the top down management set) is not only valid, but more convincing over time. Business drives to a single metric – profit. Statesmanship drives to multiple metrics, some of them not related to profit at all. All in all, the Diplomatic Corps is probably a better training ground for political leaders than the business world.

  55. Rafflaw: “The will to kill can be denied or made more difficult, even if the killer is deranged. If the Aurora shooter was unable to obtain the items and/or quantities of guns and ammo, at least it makes it more difficult for him to kill.
    Shouldn’t mentally ill people have to be reviewed before they are allowed weapons of this type? The only chance we have of preventing these kind of massacres is to attempt to do something. Just claiming bad people will do bad things is not the answer.”


    You’re not reasoning clearly. The shootings in Colorado are not representative of anything but itself. Holmes had a will to kill and NOTHING was going to get in his way. Whoever he couldn’t kill with guns he was going to kill with improvised explosives. Simply because one man employs a particular item as a tool for mass murder it does not follow that others are planning or are liable to do the same.

    To formulate a legislative strategy based on a unique event such as what happened in Colorado is nothing more than legislating from panic.

    This is the same type of reasoning that brought us the Patriot Act.

  56. Bob,
    I disagree with you completely. My reasoning is sound. Just because someone could have used other means to do his/her killing is not excuse for reasonable protective restrictions. This kind of killing is unfortunately no longer unique as you suggest. The idea that reasonable restrictions to help prevent a deranged shooter killing scores is similar to the over reaching privacy restrictions in the Patriot Act is also not viable. Even when you put it in bold letters. Even the writer that you linked to said the following “Postscript: I do support wholeheartedly certain reasonable gun restrictions — steps designed to reduce our nation’s overall rate of firearms violence. Still, murder in its most extreme form, as in the Colorado shooting, is particularly difficult to prevent through gun regulations, or other strategies, for that matter. Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try nonetheless.”

    If someone has a will to kill, then he/she should be prevented from purchasing weapons of this type and ammo in this quantity. If it prevents one mass killing, and is not over reaching, then it is worth it. The proper legislation would not prevent the normal person from legally buying these weapons and ammo.

  57. Jim,
    I think you are confusing the popular vote in Florida when Elaine and I were discussing the national popular vote totals. And you recall is not correct even on the Florida totals. Not to mention the the scrubbing of the voter rolls by the Florida GOP prior to the election.

  58. For one thing, it does look like the deterioration in Holmes’ mental state could have been a fairly rapid and unexpected thing, certainly not a long, drawn-out, recognizable process that doctors, neighbors and family would have been able to detect. If he had to buy small quantities of ammunition at a time, and had to go through a more deliberate process to arm himself to the teeth, he might have had time to show the world that he was coming unglued, and perhaps a person or two (or a doctor or a teacher or a landlord or neighbor or two) could have seen something obvious enough to react to. As it was, for him to be able to get 50 packages in a little over a month, and to put together this kind of carnage without any real obstacle, IS inevitably a part of the problem we need to address as a culture.

    Everybody wants to blame a psychiatrist for this crime. WHY? If it takes no time at all to buy weapons of mass destruction, how much time would it take for a psychiatrist (seeing someone at most an hour per week) to figure out that there might be danger coming? Should she have magically SEEN IT IN HIS EYES? Should she have presumed it because he had anger issues? Should she have gone farther than any hospital emergency room would go if someone presented in an agitated mental state? Resources are hard to come by and hard to judge; guns should be harder to get than mental health services.

  59. “He has no business experience and that is why unemployment is still high and not coming down anytime soon.”


    Business experience? Hmm…..Let’s see.

    G.W. Bush…..3 failed businesses all serving as Saudi and CIA fronts.
    Bill Clinton……No business experience.
    G.H.W. Bush..Business experience limited to companies that were CIA fronts.
    Ronald Reagan……No business experience.
    Jimmy Carter…..Peanut Farmer.
    Gerald Ford……No business experience.
    Richard Nixon……No business experience
    LBJ…….No business experience
    JFK……No business experience
    Dwight Eisenhower…….No business experience
    Harry Truman……Haberdasher in Kansas City.
    FDR……No business experience
    Herbert Hoover……Mining Engineer
    Calvin Coolidge…….No business experience
    Warren G. Harding…….No business experience
    Woodrow Wilson…….No business experience
    William H. Taft……..No business experience
    Theodore Roosevelt…….No business experience
    William McKinley………No business

    So of the 19 Presidents since 1900, 14 had no business experience. Of those 19, 12 were Republican/Conservatives. Of those 12, 9 had no business experience. Considering that “no business experience” includes the icons
    Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower, it would seem that “business experience” ranks low in the priorities of Presidential experience. Now 3 of those 12 Republicans HAD business experience. Herbert Hoover then had the “Great Depression”. G.H.W. Bush lost office because of a bad recession, even after a “victorious” war. G.W. Bush led the economic collapse of 2008.

    Seriously Jim, to be pontificating on something you obviously know little about given the actual history is fatuous. Oh Yeah, Mitt Romney’s business experience: buying companies, leveraging their debt, outsourcing jobs and sending them into bankruptcy. Just the “business experience” this country needs. Hint to you Jim: FOXNews, The WSJ, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, NR and all the rest you probably put too much faith in, given your lack of knowledge, are all full of sh**t.

  60. Mike Spindell

    You said,

    Oh Yeah, Mitt Romney’s business experience: buying companies, leveraging their debt, outsourcing jobs and sending them into bankruptcy

    That is a lie. Most of the companies were already heading to bankruptcy and Romney turned some around, fixed up others for as long as they could go, and others broke apart and shipped overseas to protect those who had money invested in them. That is a good thing and shows that he is good at what he does. He fixed the Olympics and again shows he is good at what he does.
    Let’s see. Obama has added 5 trillion to our debt, has broken his promise about deficits, unemployment is still above 8%, and worse if his policies are enacted fully our debt will be about 25 trillion in 10 years. He can’t blame Republicans because he had both houses of congress for two years and he can’t hide that fact.

  61. Jim,

    I notice that you didn’t respond to my main argument. What you did was parrot the Romney talking points you’ve been spoon fed and repeated the lie thaqt runn

  62. continued: repeated the lie that running a hedge fund like Bain Capital makes someone a businessman, when all it does is create money, not products. As for the Olympics, he had unlimited funds and the full support of the LDS, which ensured its success. I’m still waiting to hear how Reagan and Ike could be great Presidents without business experience. Do you have any insights to offer other than parroting false talking points?

  63. Rafflaw: “If someone has a will to kill, then he/she should be prevented from purchasing weapons of this type and ammo in this quantity. If it prevents one mass killing, and is not over reaching, then it is worth it. The proper legislation would not prevent the normal person from legally buying these weapons and ammo.”

    I agree. I just don’t agree that using the tragedy in Colorado as a springboard for legislation is proper. The Patriot Act was the product of just such panic-driven legislation.

  64. Bob,
    When does the statute of limitations run out on a mass killing so that we can discuss legislation that may save lives? Has the statute run on Columbine which happened in 1999?, or the shooting of a sitting Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords in January, 2011? 5 or 6 were killed there and about 18 shot in total. I could go on and on. The Virginia Tech killings, the NIU killings, etc. Mother Jones adds up 56 mass killings in the last 30 years.

    So when can Americans finally discuss legislation to deter and maybe prevent so many sad killings without you considering that it is panic driven legislation? If we don’t start discussing the problem, then nothing will get done. When you have a Supreme Court Justice who at one point wrote in the Heller case that reasonable restrictions could pass constitutional muster, is now stating rocket launchers may be ok, shouldn’t sane and reasonable discussion on an old problem be had before he gets the chance to vote yes on allowing military weapons in the hands of anyone?

  65. I don’t really see anything wrong in using the Aurora shooting as a “springboard for legislation.” Indeed, half the legislation we get is a result of some legislator viewing some event as a problem and trying to design a legislative solution so that the problem will be dealt with going forward. The committees hold hearings where they call in witnesses who have had this or that problem that illustrates the alleged need for the legislation. So victims of mass shootings would testify in support of some bill that would deal with that problem — nothing improper about it. Whether the legislation is “panic-driven” or not has a lot to do with how fast and how emotionally and how [without true debate]-ly the backers of the bill are. In the case of the post-9/11 legislation that stripped citizens of their civil rights, the legislation was passed in a panic deliberately whipped up in order to pass it. In fact, the naming of the patriot act “The Patriot Act” was an example of the worst kind of propaganda in that it made it seem like any opposition to it was unpatriotic! That was panic plus a public shaming for anyone who would even wait long enough to enter into genuine debate!

    “Here we are being killed and threatened and HE DOESN’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING TO HELP US!” was the characterization of any opponent of the legislation that swept up the national conscience and threw it in the trash.

    So we “use” events to point us toward legislation. If it’s about time we considered the legislation, that’s not such a bad thing. What if we had NO heathcare bill and there was a serious pandemic that weakened the whole country and threatened the GNP? Would that be reason to deal with it? Or should we wait until the panic dies down?

  66. Malisha 1, July 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    “If they kill my dog, they’re going to be dead. And I don’t even have a dog” — Well, maybe they DID kill him, then.😦
    I don’t have a dog, and I would shoot them if they shot my dog. Ruby Ridge.

  67. Mike Spindell

    My only comment about lack of business experience was due to high unemployment. Obama only wants regulation and high taxes not to mention a country that mirrors the socialist tenants of Europe. That mindset only leads to more debt and America’s demise.

  68. Jim,
    You may want to double check your facts on the tax issue. Taxes have actually been lowered during Obama’s tenure. He has requested an increase of the tax rates above $250,000, but that has not been accepted as of yet.

  69. Jim,

    Once again you produce talking points, rather than truth. Unemployment rose due to the banking scandal that came about because the Bush Administration refused to exercise oversight on the large banks that played games with the mortgage market and then proceeded to aid those banks, but not the people most hurt by the banking industry. You also conveniently forget that the unnecessary Bush tax cuts cost us one trillion$ in debt. Also your amnesia about two unneeded wars raise the national debt another two trillion$ and that was before Obama took office. Also too, both Bush and Cheney did have the
    experience of being “businessmen” before they took office. That there is no logic to your arguments is simply because you cannot make logical arguments, but only repeat talking points you’ve heard.

    Now I would still like your answer on why the two Presidents conservatives consider the greatest Presidents of the twentieth century had no business experience and yet you think that it is important now? The answer is of course that the only thing Mitt Romney has going for him is his claim of business experience, since as Governor of Massachusetts he presided over a failing economy, rising joblessness and instituted health care reform which most Republicans today call “socialist”.

    The thing is Jim, you root for politics like a fan roots for a football team. It is all about “winning” and hating your opponents. The trouble is that in our system of government it is incumbent upon each of us to do their patriotic duty and find the facts/truth behind the propaganda, so that we are informed voters. You are demonstrating that you are failing in your patriotic duty and not only that, but you are really rooting for socialism……for the rich.

  70. Mike Spindell

    No, loosening banking standards was Barney Frank’s doing. Also, I blame people for being stupid and not reading their contracts. Getting an ARM was stupid and so was home equity loans. People should have read their contracts. Don’t blame anybody for your own problem,
    Obama has amassed more debt in 3 1/2 years than Bush did in 8 years. That is a fact.

    Romney’s unemployment rate was 4%. What else would you want? That always gets left out of the left’s talking points.

    I believe people should take responsibility for their own actions and stop making excuses for their problem. If you loose your job and can’t pay your mortgage then you move out into something you can afford. You get rid of your cell phone and all other electronic devices, turn off the air conditioner and get a fan, don’t go out to eat, etc. In other words get rid of everything that is not necessary. You also don’t try and get a job that pays the same wage for 99 weeks. You take whatever job is available and keep working until a better opportunity comes along. That way when you go to sleep at night you can feel good about what you did and not what someone else did for you.

  71. Jim, There has been 27 straght months of job creation despite Boehner and the republicans refusal to pass a jobs bill. You want to call stock market back, auto industry back, recession over , Iraq war ended, bin laden gone, and more a failure. thats okay you repubs dont have a clue what the word success or failure means or you would call Romney a failure, look at his record in Mass., and Obama a success.

  72. BTW Jim, I know someone who went through a very terrible time. At one point they thought seriously about getting a gun but luckily it was something that passed. Registration and difficulty of getting one was what stopped him. Had he been able to get one willy nilly I truly believe he could have harmed someone,
    No one knows if Holmes had had difficulty obtaining the weapons and ammo if the outcome would have been different. Just not getting an automatic could have helped reduce the carnage.

  73. leejcaroll

    Thanks for your comments however let me correct your mistakes.

    With our current population growth rate it is not about having positive job growth but rather creating enough jobs to keep up with the rate and Obama is way below what we need. Harry Reed ( Democrat Majority Leader in the Senate) refuses to vote on the House’s budget for 3 years now. Recession is not over. Last week’s GDP numbers prove that. The stock market is not back. Wait until October and you will see my point. Remember this comment and bring it back up in 3 months.

    5Trillion in debt in 3 1/2 years and projected 10 trillion more in 10 years under Obama’s policies is not success. Th ACA is going to put hospitals out of business. Just ask yourself how long you could stay in the hamburger business if you were required to provide the burger whether the customer could pay or not and 3 million new people just moved to town.

  74. Jim funny how you ignore the reoublkican obstructionism in job creation as well as refusal to end the bush tax cuts which has cost the treasury trippions of dollars which would certainly help the deficit if it had been collected. Of course a pres nominee who says it is a pres contenders duty to pay the least taxes possible is a wonderful role model for the country, an embodiment of patriotism.
    “The market is not back, just wait and I will be able to prove my point.’ No Jim, the market is up, now and has been under President. Obama’s care. You can parrot repub, tea party, maybe limbaugh and Beck toob but a lie reoeated, no matter how much you and the repubs want, does not become truth just because you want it to be.

  75. Jim,
    You are fooling yourself. The CBO has declared tat the ACA will reduce the deficit over ten years and your wild claim that it will put hospitals out of business is unsupported by the facts, like most of your last posting. Show some evidence instead of just making claims. The ACA will provide 30-40 million new Paying customers, not charity cases.

  76. leejcaroll

    The Bush tax cuts saw over 48 months of economic prosperity this country has ever seen. It was Barney Frank who loosened the lending restrictions so people who could not afford a home could get one which brought down the economy. Why do you ignore the 5 trillion debt Obama has accumulated in just 3 1/2 years?
    Finally, our Founding Fathers did not have an income tax on top of all other taxes so don’t tell me anything about patriotism. Income taxes is not patriotic but rather legalized theft.

  77. rafflaw

    Notice you said deficit not debt. It will take 10 years to get the deficit under control while all of those years the debt rises. Are you blind to not see that?

  78. rafflaw

    You are a joke and I am not laughing. 30-40 million new paying customers. Where are these customers right now? If they exist they will be paying now.and I can assure you they won’t be the ones who will good citizens and pay forced health insurance.

  79. Jim,
    The personal attacks are uncalled for. There are approximately 30-40 million people without insurance coverage now and the ACA will cover a substantial portion of them. You are once again just pulling false facts out of the air.
    By the way, do you agree with Justce Scalia?

  80. rafflaw

    I do agree with Scalia. The ACA will not cover them it will be the Taxpayer. They are not paying customers.

  81. rafflaw

    As I said earlier, guns do not kill people do. A gun by itself can do no harm so the focus should be on people not guns.

  82. well you have already been told how a gun can in fact hurt someone all by itself.
    As far as the ACA you need to educate yourself. The taxpayer now pays for the 32 million uninsured. The ACA will allow many of them to buy insurance.
    Parrotiing what you have heard is not a sign of intelligence, educating yourself is.

  83. No Jim. You do not have your facts right. The individual mandate will require them to have insurance. There will be some who will be subsidized, but we will still pay less than we are now.
    Guns can go off without the trigger being pulled. If you agree with Scalia, which military weapon won’t be illegal?

  84. Jim, one reason Bush had a few good years was because Bill Clinton left him with a record surplus. In eight short years he squandered it with wars that did not need to be fought and favors for the wealthiest. Barack Obama came into office with an inheritance of the Bush economic disaster, and a congress whose avowed purpose was to make sure the Obama Presidency was a failure. I see today that the congress of “jobs creation” spent a huge amount of time making sure the Immigration Service does not provide abortions for women who are detained. Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burned!

    Nothing in there about jobs. I call them job cremators, not job creators.

  85. When Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomatix, or however ya spell it, one of the terms of the surrender and the peace was that the officers were allowed to return home, pardoned, with their handguns or personal weapons.

  86. Jim,

    “We elect based on electoral college.”

    Really? Gee, I didn’t know that. You are a wealth of information!

    As you may recall, George W. got a little help along the way in winning Florida’s electoral votes from Katherine Harris and the Supreme Court.

  87. Elaine M.

    As I stated earlier, a year after the 2000 election it was concluded that Bush would have won anyway.

  88. Perhaps this is twisted, but a part of me is just curious how much mayham would really happen if the rocket launcher was legalized..

    I think that there would e some isolated events, but overall ther e wouldn’t be complete chaos like some people like to imagine..
    If the militaries of the world owns armored vehicles, perhaps the citizenry of the world should have a way to deal with that threat..

    Remember, the second amendment was never about self-defense or hunting, it was about being able to take on a ARMY if need be.

    If anything, it would be like during the founding fathers timesif they defended swords but not muskets, cleary giving any army of the world a clear advantage.

  89. Jim-

    Buy yourself a WWII Japanese Army Nambu pistol, load it, and drop it on the floor several times. You will then learn how a pistol can kill someone without anyone firing it. Putting it in its holster or pulling it out of its holster may have the same effect. (Be sure to put on your body armor first!)

  90. Jim, several years ago there was an incident on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was a hunting lodge, and a guy propped his shotgun up against the wall while he took off his muddy boots. Another person came in and slammed the door. The shotgun fell over, discharged, and gut-shot a four-year-old little girl. I know about this incident because the child died in my son’s arms in the helicopter.

    It was the father’s fault for not emptying his shotgun first, but nevertheless his small daughter was killed by a gun he thought was “safe.”

  91. HenMan, my wife’s uncle was shot twice in the thigh by a Nambu machine gun. It was not an accident. He was wading ashore from his landing craft onto the beach at Iwo Jima. He was a Marine, and just passed away recently.

  92. Jim,

    A Rendition of Bush-Gore That’s Long Overdue
    By Steve Kornacki 5/26/08
    So maybe history isn’t always written by the winners.

    In the fall of 2001, after George W. Bush mounted a pile of debris at ground zero and came up with one brilliant rejoinder to a skeptic’s taunt, the prevailing public attitude toward the previous year’s disputed election was: So what? The guy who was supposed to win won, and there was probably more than enough malfeasance to go around anyway.

    Back in those days of ubiquitous American flag bumper stickers, a movie like Recount, director Jay Roach’s take on the 2000 Florida recount, would have been greeted with cries of disloyalty. The film, which made its HBO debut on Sunday night, presents what can accurately be labeled a Gore-friendly chronicle of the legal maneuverings that settled the election.

    But it is also fact-friendly. There was never really any doubt that more Floridians went to the polls on Election Day 2000 to vote for Al Gore than for Bush. The “butterfly ballot”—designed, as Bush partisans like to note, by a Democratic election official—siphoned around 15,000 Gore votes to Pat Buchanan, and hundreds of black voters were denied ballots after being incorrectly branded felons and purged from the rolls. Bush’s official winning margin in the state, of course, was 537 votes.

    This is only a moral argument, though. Recount reminds us that even if you forget about the Buchanan votes and disenfranchised voters, the facts still point to a probable Gore victory in Florida.

    The key to a Gore win would have been a full statewide recount (by hand) of every uncounted ballot—both undervotes (ballots from which no vote was registered by machine) and overvotes (where multiple votes were registered). Gore, after initially requesting recounts in only four counties, ultimately persuaded the state’s Supreme Court to order a statewide recount. This is the order that the U.S. Supreme Court eventually invalidated, ending the statewide recount and handing the election to Bush.

    Gore, fixated as he was on dimpled and hanging chads, had only been seeking a recount of undervotes, and as it turns out, this would have been insufficient to reverse Bush’s advantage—the conclusion of a media consortium that reviewed the disputed ballots in 2001. But here’s the catch: the Circuit Court judge who was overseeing the recount has since stated that he was inclined to demand that overvotes also be considered by county officials and that he had scheduled a meeting on the subject on the very day that the Supreme Court cut off the recount. The same media consortium also concluded that—under any ballot-counting standard—Gore would have prevailed in a statewide recount that considered overvotes.

    All of this makes the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that much more galling. The court killed the recount on the grounds that it violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause, since different counties were using different standards to count ballots. Fair enough. But in the same breath the court also gave the state of Florida just two hours—the December 12 deadline previously imposed by the Florida Supreme Court—to devise a standard and to conduct a recount. What’s worse, this came two days after the court had issued a stay, suspending the in-progress recount so that arguments could be heard. Had the court allowed even two days for a recount, Gore would very likely have won the presidency, since we now know that the overvotes probably would have been considered and that he would have prevailed under any counting standard that included overvotes.


    Florida Recounts Would Have Favored Bush
    But Study Finds Gore Might Have Won Statewide Tally of All Uncounted Ballots
    By Dan Keating and Dan Balz
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Monday, November 12, 2001

    In all likelihood, George W. Bush still would have won Florida and the presidency last year if either of two limited recounts — one requested by Al Gore, the other ordered by the Florida Supreme Court — had been completed, according to a study commissioned by The Washington Post and other news organizations.

    But if Gore had found a way to trigger a statewide recount of all disputed ballots, or if the courts had required it, the result likely would have been different. An examination of uncounted ballots throughout Florida found enough where voter intent was clear to give Gore the narrowest of margins.

    The study showed that if the two limited recounts had not been short-circuited — the first by Florida county and state election officials and the second by the U.S. Supreme Court — Bush would have held his lead over Gore, with margins ranging from 225 to 493 votes, depending on the standard. But the study also found that whether dimples are counted or amore restrictive standard is used, a statewide tally favored Gore by 60 to 171 votes.

    Gore’s narrow margin in the statewide count was the result of a windfall in overvotes. Those ballots — on which a voter may have marked a candidate’s name and also written it in — were rejected by machines as a double vote on Election Day and most also would not have been included in either of the limited recounts.

    The study by The Post and other media groups, an unprecedented effort that involved examining 175,010 ballots in 67 counties, underscores what began to be apparent as soon as the polls closed in the nation’s third most populous state Nov. 7, 2000: that no one can say with certainty who actually won Florida. Under every scenario used in the study, the winning margin remains less than 500 votes out of almost 6 million cast.

  93. Jim,

    You just make this sh*t up and keep slinging it. All of your statements thus far are false, but you just ignore the proof and sling out more sh*t. With all that though is that you’re ignoring your original premise that a President needs business experience, because by your own heroes that is wrong. If you lack the moral compass to even admit your errors, then what’s the point of trying to discuss anything with you? That is indeed the prmoblem with many conservatives such yourself, money trumps morality and cenrtainly love of ones country.

  94. What Mike said. Some of the greatest Presidents lacked business experience. Lincoln was a small town lawyer. Grant was a successful soldier and a terrible President. Teddy Roosevelt was born rich, was an adventurer and soldier who was not afraid of anything or anyone, but never ran a business. His cousin Franklin was also born into the Roosevelt fortune, but was a professional politician. Truman had tried running a clothing store but sucked as a businessman and had to file bankruptcy, but turned out to be one of the great ones, despite his poor showing as a businessman.

    Eisenhower was a professional soldier. Ford was a professional politician. Reagan was a B movie actor who never ran a business in his life. George HW Bush was born into money, but was a Naval Aviator and a politician who never ran a private business. His son, the “Shrub” tried being a businessman and sports club owner, but sucked at both, not to mention great suckage as a President.

    I have tried to find an example of a great businessman who later became even an average President, but cannot find one. According to the Wall Street Wire, “American presidents became bankrupt at a rate at least 20 times the national average. Most of their troubles came from real estate speculation, poor crop yields on the lands that they held, and botched and frequently highly risky business deals.” That did not keep those Presidents, one of whom was Lincoln, from being good, if not great, leaders of the country.

  95. Mike Spindell

    You must be deaf and blind. I stated (He has no business experience and that is why unemployment is still high and not coming down anytime soon.) I only mentioned unemployment and that is all regards to business experience.
    Money does not trump morality with me. I do however believe in operating under free enterprise and capitalism which is our heritage. Liberals like you don’t like this system and want to change it. I say why don’t you leave and go live somewhere else and see how long it takes before you are on your way back.
    The real truth Mike is that our political leaders lack the will to do anything right. Take Harry Reed as an example. He should go ahead and bring the budgets the house passed up for a vote no matter what difficulty it puts on the Senators. All money bills originate in the house and therefore I agree with Boehner not to be coerced by the President. He should however vote on tax policy by itself. I support a strait up or down vote on letting the taxes expire for those making more than $250,000 and a strait up or down vote on those making less than $250,000.

  96. Otteray Scribe

    I am sorry for your loss. I do agree with you and others that we should ban certain types of weapons however without dealing with the people who commit crimes is wrong. I also am skeptical of our government because anything they try to do always has loopholes and any type of gun ban could lead to a complete gun ban which is the slippery slope. If banning guns worked then Chicago wouldn’t have a high murder rate. We need both!

  97. Jim,
    you have repeatedly misstated the purpose of this article. Banning guns is not what this is about. It is about common sense restrictions and regulations narrowly aimed at preventing ill people from having guns and it seems that Justice Scalia is changing his mind from his opinion in the Heller case about common sense regulations.

  98. “He has no business experience and that is why unemployment is still high and not coming down anytime soon. Chicago, his pride, has a terrible murder problem but has one of the toughest gun control laws in the country.”


    Here is your problem and that of many others who think like you: The inability to discuss things logically.

    You say the President has no (A) business experience, which is true, but then you use that to explain (B) why unemployment is still high. B doesn’t follow from A. You use A to explain B, but there is no logical causality for that conclusion. That is why I made the point that the two most revered Republican Presidents of the Twentieth Century had no business experience and that factually most of our President’s have had no business experience.

    Then with further illogical thought, to further muddle your thinking, you throw in the murder rate in Chicago (his pride?). Now since when did the murder rate in Chicago serve as a secondary reason for our country’s high unemployment rate and how is The President who never served as Mayor of Chicago responsible for that?

    “I do however believe in operating under free enterprise and capitalism which is our heritage. Liberals like you don’t like this system and want to change it. I say why don’t you leave and go live somewhere else and see how long it takes before you are on your way back.”

    You make assumptions about me not based on what I’ve written but based on your general feelings about “liberals”, which by the way are ill-informed and not at all how I would characterize my political beliefs. All “isms” are merely used to con people in to supporting the ascent to power of one faction, or another.

    Be that as it may, you continue your illogical argumentation by making statements that are only true if you have the knowledge of society characteristic of a twelve-year old. There is neither mention of Capitalism, or “free enterprise” in our Constitution, which is good because the definitions of these economic ideas differ widely in the eyes of the beholder. For instance was it Capitalism or Socialism that motivated the Government to give away huge tracts of land to building the National Railroad System? However, I think such nuances would be lost on you. You then make a further untrue statement that “liberals don’t like this system and want to change it”. Liberals uniformly believe in our economic system, it is Socialists and others who want to change it. However, this is a distinction that is lost on you since you really exhibit little understanding of any economic theory more complex than those expressed on FOXnews.

    As for my leaving this country, this is once again the smug stupidity of someone who considers themselves to be Conservative, but has little idea of what that means and no ability to think logically. The underlying assumption is somehow that Conservatives are patriots and that Liberals are not. The ignorance of our history in that assumption is monumental. For instance if
    American Conservatives had their way we would have never been able to go to war against the Axis in WWII. The Conservatives were the traitors then and in fact Senator Prescott Bush and the Dulles Brothers helped Hitler rise to power. I’ll bet that you even voted for the draft dodgers Bush and Cheney, who were “so patriotic” that they were willing to let others die in a war that they fervently supported.

    The “lack of will” of which you speak is really a more complex disagreement with those disastrous cuts that the House is insisting on in order to achieve a Pyrrhic political victory. There is no need though for me to go into it further since you have proven your inability to discuss anything logically, as I have just shown. This makes you typical of those who somehow believe that FOXNews is “fair and balanced”. Perhaps you might consider taking remedial work with a high school course in logic, since I think a college course in same would be too advanced for you at this point.

  99. Jim said: Jim1, July 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm
    Obama had both houses of congress for two years.

    Gee Jim, wrong again.
    There was never a supermajority in the House as Romney claims. The balance at the start of the Congress was 2507 – 178, which is a Democratic share of only 69 percent, not 96. And, though there were 60 Democrats (or independents caucusing with the Democratic Party) elected, Al Franken was not sworn in until July 7, 2009, meaning that the Democrats did not have a Super Majority until that point. Further, Ted Kennedy was sick and not able to vote. It was not until after Kennedy’s death and replacement by Paul Kirk that the Democrats had a supermajority,which lasted from September 24, 2009 to February 4, 2015 – 19 weeks pregnant, not two years.

    But has already been said, repeatedly, never let the facts get in the way of your positions.

  100. Back to Scalia.

    Scalia: ‘What Can Obama Do to Me?’

    By Reuters

    30 July 12

    upreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Sunday renewed his criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts’ reasoning in upholding President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law and also said the Constitution undoubtedly permits some gun control.

    The 76-year-old Scalia – a leading conservative on the court who has served as a justice since 1986 – also was asked whether he would time his retirement in order to let a conservative future president appoint a like-minded jurist.

    “I don’t know. I haven’t decided when to retire,” Scalia told the “Fox News Sunday” program. “… My wife doesn’t want me hanging around the house – I know that.”

    “Of course, I would not like to be replaced by someone who immediately sets about undoing everything that I’ve tried to do for 25 years, 26 years, sure. I mean, I shouldn’t have to tell you that. Unless you think I’m a fool.”

    Roberts, also a conservative, sided with the nine-member court’s four liberals in upholding the constitutionality of Obama’s healthcare law, considered the Democratic president’s signature domestic policy achievement.

    Scalia joined in a sharply worded dissent on the day of the June 28 ruling and added to his criticism on Sunday.

    A central provision of the law is the “individual mandate” that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. The ruling found that this penalty “may reasonably be characterized as a tax” and thus would be constitutionally permissible under the power of Congress to impose taxes.

    “There is no way to regard this penalty as a tax. … In order to save the constitutionality, you cannot give the text a meaning it will not bear,” Scalia said.

    “You don’t interpret a penalty to be a pig. It can’t be a pig.”

    Supreme Court justices rarely give media interviews. Scalia is making the rounds to promote “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts,” a new book he co-wrote.

    Scalia brushed off Obama’s comments aimed at the court regarding the healthcare law and a campaign finance ruling.

    “What can he do to me? Or to any of us?” Scalia said. “We have life tenure and we have it precisely so that we will not be influenced by politics, by threats from anybody.”

    He was asked “why you push people’s buttons every once in a while.” Scalia said, “It’s fun to push the buttons.”

    Gun Control

    Scalia wrote the high court’s 2008 ruling that a ban on handguns in the U.S. capital violated the right to bear arms enshrined in the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

    In light of the July 20 massacre in which a gunman killed 12 moviegoers in Colorado, Scalia was asked whether legislatures could ban the sale of semiautomatic weapons.

    He said the 2008 ruling stated that future cases will determine “what limitations upon the right to bear arms are permissible. Some undoubtedly are.”

    Scalia – a proponent of the idea that the Constitution must be interpreted using the meaning of its text at the time it was written – cited “a tort called affrighting” that existed when the Second Amendment was drafted in the 18th century making it a misdemeanor to carry “a really horrible weapon just to scare people like a head ax.”

    “So yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed,” he said. “I mean, obviously, the amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to ‘keep and bear’ (arms). So, it doesn’t apply to cannons. But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be … decided.”

    Regarding the death penalty, Scalia said opponents want it struck under the ban on cruel and unusual punishment included in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

    “But it’s absolutely clear that the American people never voted to proscribe the death penalty,” he said. “They adopted a cruel and unusual punishment clause at the time when every state had the death penalty and every state continued to have it. Nobody thought that the Eighth Amendment prohibited it.”

    Scalia also took issue with decades-old Supreme Court precedent, saying the Constitution does not provide Americans with a right to privacy, despite a landmark 1965 ruling finding that it does. That ruling helped pave the way for the court’s 1973 ruling legalizing abortion.

    “There is no right to privacy – no generalized right to privacy,” Scalia said. “No one ever thought that the American people ever voted to prohibit limitations on abortion. I mean, there is nothing in the Constitution that says that.”

    Scalia also was asked about his past criticism of rulings by Supreme Court colleagues in which he called them “folly” and “sheer applesauce.”

    “I don’t know that I’m cantankerous,” he said. “I express myself vividly.”

  101. I think Scalia missed the part of the argument re: the Bill of Rights that they weren’t needed b/c some rights are so basic and self-evident they needn’t be specified. There were many more than ten proposed.

  102. The word “abortion” does NOT appear anywhere in the Constitution, so what makes Scalia think Congress or the president or the U.S. Supreme Court has ANY right or power to regulate or prohibit abortion?

    Scalia is a dishonest Justice.

    If the Framers had wanted to give Congress the power to regulate or forbid abortions, they would have included that power — in the Constitution — as one of the enumerated powers of Congress.

  103. bettykath and firefly,
    I do think that Justice Scalia is bought and paid for, but he is pretty out in the open with it. What other justice besides Thomas frequently takes gifts from conservative groups and joins in there discussions. Also, I can’t remember a sitting Justice who made so many public pronouncements about what is legal and not legal. firefly, if Scalia can claim that rocket launchers are legal for citizens to carry under the 2nd amendment, outlawing abortion is a snap!

  104. leejcaroll

    If you want to calculate the months Obama had a super majority in congress that is fine. Regardless, Obama could have gotten what he wanted and what he wanted has increased our debt over 4 trillion dollars. The CBO has said it will take about 10 years for our deficit to be under control but they fail to mention or discuss how much our debt will increase during that time. When interest rates are over 20% in 2020 I will keep your posts for viewing along with all of your buddies on this blog.

  105. Okay he could have gotten what he wanted with a republican congress that would filibuster and refuse to vote on his policies (oh wait that is what has been happening) There is no point in reiterating there was no “supercongress”, you cannot hear anything but your own voice, and that of Beck, Limbaugh, Fox, etc. Have you had your mind deafness checked out by a doctor?

  106. leejcaroll

    Are you saying the DEMS never filibustered? Are you saying that Harry Reed is a Saint for not allowing a budget vote in over 3 years? What about all of the legislation passed by the House Harry Reed is holding up? Obama got his bailout and we can see that it didn’t work. He got Obamacare and most Democrats up for re-election don’t even want to talk about. Reed won’t allow the Senate to vote on its repeal. I wonder WHY? Why don’t you address the projected DEBT not deficit in 10 years and then as a percentage pf our GDP? Then go out and tell current students that things will be alright and make to sure they know where you live in 10 years so they can thank you personally.

  107. Not like repubs and not willy nilly as the repubs have and are. Um it didnt work? The auto industry is back or did you miss that news report?
    ACA is the law of the land, the house already voted 33 times to repeal it never succeeding, Reid is not goiing to waste the senate time like Boehner; on not doing the people’s work,.when they could have been putting forth and voting on real things like a jobs bill.
    There you go making things up. I dont know any dem not willing to talk about ACA People say they want and like it, when asked about specifics of ACA, when asked in general, do you like Obamacare, majority say No because they believe the repub lies and don;t understand what they said they like specifically is actually ACA (Obamacare, you know Romneycare when he liked it and enacted it beofre he disliked it because the name Obama is attached…
    I didnt address it because I read CBO report, not as you said and not worth my time as is this argument with you. You can;t see beyong your own nose. Debate is only fubn and engaging when both sides are willing to engage, you merely repeat.

  108. leejcaroll

    Sen. Claire McCaskill won’t talk about Obama care for fear of losing in Missouri. You said you didn’t know of anybody. Reed won’t bring the appeal ACA bill up because he knows some DEMS will have to vote for it to keep their job and it did pass the house. Oh, I see. You do not want to address the debt v. deficit issue. I guess that it is your demise.
    The stimulus bill has not worked. Unemployment over 8%, Job growth way below where it needs to be to keep up with population. National debt increased by 4 trillion.

  109. Jim,

    There could easily be no deficit and the debt would down if the richest folks would pay a fair share.

    On the income side: fix the tax code to eliminate deductions, treat all capital gains as ordinary income, increase the inheritance tax and increase the tax paid for over $250,000, and another increase for over $1M, another for over $5M; remove the loopholes for multinational corporations.

    On the cost cutting side, bring all the troops home, cut the military budget, cut the oil depletion allowance.

    On spend and save: phase in an expansion the VA to include everyone, provide incentives for solar energy.

    Lot of other possibilities.

  110. bettykath

    Get rid of the inheritance tax, Fair means everybody pays the same rate. Capital gains should be eliminated.

    Answer this: A father dies and leaves his two sons a ranch of 1000 acres. The value of the ranch is 7 million dollars. The current deduction is 5 million so the estate has to pay taxes on 2 million. The two son’s don’t have the cash and therefore have to sell much of the ranch to pay the taxes so they can inherit what is left. Remember the estate pays which means the father was taxed twice. If you think that is right then you should live in another country.

  111. Jim,

    I’m surprised we agree that capital gains should be eliminated. I think it fair that the schedule should be retained and losses subtracted from profits, but the net should be taxed at least at the rate of wages of ordinary people. In my world of druthers, I have them taxed at a higher rate because there is no personal labor involved. The same with Mitt’s deferred interest.

    re: estate tax: There is no double taxation here. The estate pays the tax. It’s a transaction tax on the estate, not the father and not the sons. Let the estate do what it has to do. So the estate sells off a bit, the sons work as hard as dad and using the estate they got for free, they can build up their own estate. Geez, the sons inherit a $7M dollar estate (minus taxes) from the old man and they think they should get it all and for free. Horatio Algers they are not.

    Oh, and don’t try to kick me out of my own country.

  112. bettykath

    You do not know accounting. The estate is the father’s and he is having to pay tax even though he is dead. It has to be filed on his last tax return. So, in essence it is double taxation. I am tired of hearing “fair share.” Fair means everybody pays. When you have close to 50% of American workers not paying any income tax then the country is headed for disaster. Not to mention that those not paying income tax are collecting many entitlements.
    I am for a national sales tax and the elimination of both income and property taxes. I believe when you pay off property it should be totally yours. Many say sales taxes won’t be enough then learn to live on what you have just like millions of Americans have done. Of course, we would not tax things like food and medicines and for large purchases like homes and cars a reduced sales tax.

  113. Jim,

    ” When you have close to 50% of American workers not paying any income tax then the country is headed for disaster.”
    If your percentage is accurate (I should doubt it given your track record for accuracy but I’m too tired to look it up), you’re quite right. The poverty rate is far worse than I thought or there are way too many multimillionaires sending the money off-shore. Probably a bit of both.

    Ah, yes, the old double taxation bugaboo. Over the years Dad paid taxes on income minus deductions. He never paid a wealth tax which would take into account the appreciation of his assets. The estate tax is a tax on the transaction of transferring his wealth from the estate to his beneficiaries. The amount is based on the amount of his wealth.

    Sales taxes are probably the most unfair of all taxes. However, I would go for a “sales” tax, more appropriately called a transaction tax on the sale of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. Other candidates: services of lawyers, accountants, and other similar professionals.

    Personal rule. = No discussion allowed about revoking “entitlements” to those not paying taxes because they don’t earn enough until the minimum wage is raised to $12/hr and everyone has medical care at an affordable price (e.g. expand the VA system to include everyone).

  114. @Mike Spindell “premise that a President needs business experience”

    In addition to the historical record that you have documented so well, there is an important question regarding the relevance of business experience to the national economy.

    A simple example has to do with prices, wages and the fallacy of composition. If a business man is not selling enough and has idle resources he may consider cutting prices to increase demand and revenue. But if national unemployment is a problem, cutting wages will not help. Cutting wages can reduce income, prices and perhaps lead to deflation and a downward spiral of further unemployment, wage cuts, price cuts, and more deflation. In this simple example the business mans experience is exactly wrong to solve the national problem.

    A particular businessman may be a crackerjack whiz at solving the nations economic problems including unemployment. But we can be fairly certain that his business experience is largely irrelevant to solving national problems.

    The fact is running a company is much more like managing the family budget that it is like running a national economy. Nations have tools, resources, and work with aggregates that have no counterpart in business or in families.

  115. “I am also confused why Scalia is allowed by Chief Justice Roberts to go on Fox News and opine about issues that just may end up in front of the Supreme Court. Isn’t this interview evidence that Justice Scalia has already made up his mind on the issue of other portable weapons?”

    Scalia didn’t opine as to what limits on the right might be permissible. He simply said, “That will have to be decided.” When asked how a textualist might decide it, he said, “very carefully”. Where is the prejudice in this?

  116. TBA,
    The prejudice is that he is first of all seems to be giving us a hint at what limits he, as a Supreme court justice, might agree to if a rocket launcher case or a case with a serious military weapon is brought to the Court. The mere fact that he is going on the air to state that if it can be hand carried then it has a shot of being approved, is going too far for a Supreme Court justice.
    Finally, if he is going to comment on issues that may come before the Court, it concerns me further that a rocket launcher is not dismissed out of hand.

  117. Raff-

    The rocket launcher is a legitimate hunting weapon. First you fire the rocket at a deer. Then you spend the next two hours walking around with a lawn and garden bag picking up the pre-cooked stew meat that’s strewn over a 200 yard circle.

  118. First I see people commenting if a weapon is suitable for hunting. It has NOTHING to do with hunting. If someone carried a large ax in a holster I would have NO problem with that. I’m amazed at the ignorance of people and the ABSOLUTE right we have to self defence against criminal AND governmental attack. If the American Indians would of had Semi automatic weapons there would have been NO Trail Of Tears. If black people would of been armed you could not have enslaved them. The FIRST gun control laws in this country were enacted to keep blacks down. The horrors of murderous governments throughout history far overshadows street crimes done with guns. Why do you think police officers don’t get robbed. Its not the uniform. It’s the gun.

  119. All human beings have an ABSOLUTE right to self defence. That is natural law. If you deprive the carrying of arms you deny that right. How is a 120lb woman supposed to protect herself from. 6’2” 210lb man such as myself???? One of the first things the Nazis did was disarm the Jews. Then they put them in gas chambers. I don’t trust government.. left or right wing enough to disarm. ALL statistics show that in states that have “liberalized”the gun laws(made it easier for law abiding citizens to have access have gone down. By the way, the VAST majority of violence in this country has come from the Left. “Occupy Wallstreet” The Union violence. The “Tea Party” has been completely nonviolent. God man mankind. Colt firearms made mankind equal. Before firearms the largest meanest people had total control over a population. It was the firearm that allowed the smallthe weak to assert THEIR power as individuals. To disarm people is to make slaves of them.

  120. Shoulder fired rockets, grenades, and all other explosive arms would be considered a Title II Destructive Device under the NFA. They are legal to own by civilians under current laws and the Second Amendment.

    However, to purchase one, you must ensure that you are not breaking any local or state laws regarding the ownership and storage of explosives. Then you must find one that has been released for sale to the public (manufacturers don’t typically sell these to the public, plus they have contracts that dictate manufacturing of items only for the military and such, and teh military doesn’t let surplus go either) and find a Class III dealer to perform the sale and transfer. There is an extensive background check performed by the BATFE. If you pass, then you’ll have to pay for a tax stamp in the amount of $200, then, lastly you have to pay the seller what ever he wants for the explosive.

    Each rocket counts as it’s own Title II Destructive Device, and this process must be performed for each one you purchase, as well as for the launcher itself.

    These are the same laws that cover fully automatic weapons manufactured prior to 1986.

    Fun fact, none of the laws that are being put forward would do anything at all to make fully automatic weapons or rocket launchers illegal, and only target rifles that fit mostly cosmetic descriptions.

  121. No law is going to prevent a mad man from killing. If they want to kill many people, they will find a way, be it chemicals, bombs, a katana etc. A lot of serial killers use knives, would making more knife laws help, no! it would just be another useless law that would keep lawful people from owning knives. The same is with fire arms. Do I need a rocket launcher? No, so long as my government is just, but if my government were to turn against us, I might have need then. The Problem is that it would not matter much because if citizens were ever given the same gun rights as the military, any rebellion would still be futile due to the massive resorces the Feds have.

  122. Until the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act many kinds of military weapons were legal to won as long as any applicable taxes had been paid (here we go with taxing the exercise of a constitutional right). The 1934 National Firearms Act had no category of “Destructive Devices. If a weapon was capable of full automatic fire it was a “machinegun” no matter what its size, the clearances were completed and the $200 transfer tax was paid. If it was a smoothbore under 26″ long and its barrel shorter than 18″, the same restriction was in effect.

    “WALLACE: What about… a weapon that can fire a hundred shots in a minute?”

    Many repeating firearms can be fired at a rate of 100 shots per minute. Few have a magazine (or belt) that contains 100 cartridges.
    A lever action rifle can be fired at such a rate. Most revolvers can be, in the hands of a revolver shooting expert, fired at a rate of 100 shots or more per minute.
    In 1932 Ed McGivern shot five rounds from a double action revolver at 15 feet in 2/5 of a second, covering the group with his hand. That is a rate of 750 RPM.
    Full auto firearms generally fire at a rate of 400 RPM (rounds per minute) or greater. The M16 fires at a rate of 750-900 RPM but due to magazine capacity limitation the sustained rate is 12-15 RPM, taking into account changing magazines and drawing back the bolt. The standard magazine capacity is 30 cartridges.
    The AK-47 rate of automatic fire is 600 RPM. The standard magazine capacity is 30 cartridges.
    The Heckler & Koch VP’70 (semi)automatic pistol fires its 3 shot burst at 2400 RPM.

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