Scalia on guns
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's time for Congress to show a little backbone and stop acceding to the rants of National Rifle Association leader and spokesperson Wayne LaPierre. Contrary to what that rabid man would like us to believe, the courts have found, time and again, that restrictions can be applied to the Second Amendment.

In District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark gun-control case, ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited," In a sentence the NRA and many gun-rights extremists apparently missed, Scalia wrote that the amendment is "not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

So if, as Scalia wrote, restrictions of Second Amendment rights are constitutional, let's pass laws empowering background checks for all gun sales and at least make it harder for the emotionally troubled Adam Lanzas and Jared Lee Loughners of this world to commit massacres.

Then maybe we won't be the country with the highest gun homicide rate in the industrialized world.

Kermit Heid

Salt Lake City