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Left and Right on the Second Amendment

The writer Jack Slack – yes, that’s his real name — is politically liberal, so it’s no surprise that he favors gun control legislation, especially on handguns. But he does surprise some of his liberal friends when he says, with emphasis, “I support the Second Amendment as written.”   Here’s Jack  in his own words…

Gun - revolverAmendment II consists of only one sentence.  A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The Second Amendment, by using “militia,” was only emphasizing why the people should have the right to bear arms, they had no reason to say that a militia must have guns, because a militia is an armed force. Why would they need permission bear arms?

I won’t quote all the Supreme Court rulings supporting the individual mandate of the Second Amendment, nor the framers interpretations right after the amendment was written. Suffice it to say, the Bill of Rights does not place a single limitation on the rights of the people, it only limits the power of government — that is why it is called “The Bill of Rights,” to distinguish it from the rest of the Constitution.  If the Second Amendment curtailed the right of the people by limiting arms to the militia, it would be a limitation on the rights of the people.

Finally, the word “militia” has no bearing on the meaning because in the English language the justifying clause does not limit the operative one. This can be seen more clearly if we use the exact syntax and punctuation with a less emotional subject.  Well educated teachers being necessary to the education of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear books, shall not be infringed. (more…)

More Notes

Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.