May 7, 2021

4 thoughts on “Constitution or bust

  1. Jeff: With regard to water boarding et. al., at the time the constitution was written I think the UK still allowed for being torn apart by 4 horses running in opposite directions, ga routing a victim, the rack, and other unpleasantness. By contrast pseudo drowning would have been a cake walk, not that I’m for it.

  2. True, but our founders chose to leave that government. Do you think it likely that amendment might have been specifically to protect against that type of treatment?

    1. Jeff: I am not a constitutional scholar but one of the reasons why there has been such an uproar about the replacement for Antonin Scalia is that Scalia’s interpretation of the constitutional language was predicated on the meaning of the words at the time (Textualism). He contended that “The meaning of terms on the statute books ought to be determined, not on the basis of which meaning can be shown to have been understood by a larger handful of the Members of Congress; but rather on the basis of which meaning is (1) most in accord with context and ordinary usage, and thus most likely to have been understood by the whole Congress which voted on the words of the statute (not to mention the citizens subject to it), and (2) most compatible with the surrounding body of law into which the provision must be integrated – a compatibility which, by a benign fiction, we assume Congress always has in mind.”

      I’m not looking for a text-debate on any of the items you addressed. My fingers would get too tired typing. But on the 2nd Amendment text I think you left out the complete text of the amendment which is, “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.”

      Your assumption that militias are police or the armed forces isn’t correct. They are groups of local people that come together to protect their community without special power granted by the government. The primary purpose of the 2nd amendment was to make sure that the people could protect themselves from a tyrannical government as the founding fathers chose to due against the crown. I am not suggesting that the 2nd amendment provides rights to carry assault weapons nor is there any special consideration for hunting, etc. but the amendment does provide that you and I can own a gun to protect ourselves, our family, our property, and our community.

  3. Fair point, which shows the difference in interpretation of just us two ordinary (and, as suggested, non-scholar) citizens.

    I’m suggesting that the need for militias is obviated by the establishment of local protection forces (e.g., police). Since these are representatives of State jurisdiction and not Federal, they are (purportedly) more likely to reflect the mores and practices of the local citizenry.

    Now, that may not be what always happens in practice, but I think it’s safe to say that the police ARE there to try to protect the citizenry from criminals (though not politicians) and that the ownership of guns by citizens today is not with the intent of shooting government officials (and by extension, military forces), no matter how awful citizens feel their decision making.

    So, if the guns are not to prevent against tyranny, by what “constitutional right” are they currently protected?

    I’ve actually got no problem with people owning licensed guns, though I would prefer there be some mandatory training to be required before purchase.

    I think I am more at risk from people owning licensed cars, with which I wish there were also more mandatory training before purchase, as well.

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