Thought you guys might enjoy this.
I did. :)
Thought you guys might enjoy this.
I did. :)
This date will go down in history as the date the Supreme Court finally affirmed the individual right of American citizens to keep and bear arms.
Taken in context, that was clearly the intent of the founding fathers from the beginning. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect individual rights from usurpation by the government. However, there are those who disdain individual rights, who trust in the power of government more than in the rights of their fellow citizens. Those people have conducted a long and hard-fought campaign to focus attention exclusively on the clause about a militia, and to interpret that clause as somehow setting the 2nd Amendment apart from the rest of the Bill of Rights and excluding that particular amendment from applying to individuals.
Thankfully, the Supreme Court has now affirmed the intent of our founding fathers that we, the people of the United States of America, do have the individual right to keep and bear arms, and that the government does not have the legitimate power to strip that right from us.
God bless America! The principles of our founding fathers live on.
Lately there’s been a little typical sort of political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true. …
Oh, is that why there’s been a little typical sort of political flare-up? Because Barack Obama said something everybody knows is true? And what was it again that we all know is true? — Oh yes, it was that the reason the majority of working class Americans don’t support Obama’s policies is because “they get bitter; they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment, as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Now, some people might feel it’s extremely condescending of an Ivy League millionaire to dismiss the legitimate concerns of a large proportion of American citizens about the erosion of their 2nd amendment rights, the rampant problems associated with illegal immigration, or their deep dedication to religious convictions, as just “a way to explain their frustrations.” But what these cynical critics fail to realize is that Obama wasn’t attacking these poor benighted folks, he was making excuses for their ignorance. He’s actually on their side, don’t you see?
… Which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my home town in Illinois, who are bitter. They are angry. They feel like they’ve been left behind. They feel like nobody’s paying attention to what they’re goin’ through. …
And that explains why they hold onto these ridiculous notions about guns and religion and immigration. It isn’t that these issues are actually important. They’re just expressing their frustration at feeling “left behind,” kind of like little kids who get petulant and sulky when they don’t feel anybody’s paying attention to them.
… So I said, well, you know, when you’re bitter, you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns. Or they take comfort from their faith, and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country. Or they get frustrated about how things are changing. That’s a natural response. …
Obama understands. Other, less enlightened, politicians may take these citizens’ concerns at face value and think the problem is that they don’t want to lose their right to own guns, or that they’re concerned about the social and economic impacts of illegal immigration, but Obama knows better. The real problem is that these folks don’t feel like they’re getting enough attention.
Once Obama convinces them he’s paying attention, they’ll realize they don’t really need to own guns (which we all know is not only unnecessary, but dangerous). They’ll no longer need to cling to their archaic religious beliefs (that don’t include racial separatism or anti-American sentiment). They’ll realize that illegal immigration isn’t really a problem because, once we grant them all citizenship, they won’t be illegal anymore. And, not only can the taxpayers absorb the costs of increased immigration, they can no doubt be made to fork over a few entitlements for working class folks, too. (He didn’t actually state this outright, but he did imply that he’d make sure they’re not “left behind” anymore.) As an enlightened Democrat, Obama knows that every problem can be solved by a simple redistribution of wealth. And, once these poor benighted souls understand that there are goodies in the sack for them too, they’ll come around to seeing that daddy Obama really is the candidate for them.
… And, now I didn’t say it as well as I should have, because the truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That’s what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don’t feel like they’re being listened to. …
And here’s where he pulls the switcheroo, and changes the subject from making excuses for the unenlightened masses to pretending he’s the answer they’re looking for. Because, unlike the other candidates (who are actually addressing the issues about which the voters are expressing concern), Obama is listening to them. — Ironically, he isn’t actually hearing them, but that’s because he already knows the answers. He alone understands that it isn’t really about the issues, but about appeasing their feelings of bitterness and resentment.
… And what we need is a government that is actually paying attention. A government that is fighting for workin’ people, day in and day out. Makin’ sure that we are allowing them to live out the American Dream. And that’s what this campaign is about.
And here’s where he ties it all up with a neat little bow. Obama is the candidate who will deliver the American dream. To the workin’ people. Amen.
The last time the Supreme Court entertained a 2nd amendment case was almost 70 years ago. At that time they focused on minutiae around the concept of a militia, and concluded that the 2nd amendment only applies to types of firearms that would be pertinent to the preservation of a well-regulated militia. They did not address whether the right iself applies to all individuals, or only those belonging to a militia, perhaps assuming that was clear enough in context. Nevertheless, that ruling has bolstered the anti-gun lobby by focusing on the militia aspect of the 2nd amendment, rather than acknowledging the imperative that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Perhaps, this time, the Supreme Court will get it right. Or perhaps not. It’s always a crap shoot when the Supreme Court takes up interpretation of a Constitutional amendment. Once they rule, either all of us win or all of us lose. However, if they’re going to undertake it, better to have them do it now. The next administration may pack the court with liberals who would rule that the amendment doesn’t apply to individuals at all, and only those belonging to a state militia (e.g., National Guard) have the right to keep or bear arms.
Those who argue that the 2nd amendment does not apply to individuals base their argument on the ambiguous wording of the dangling participle at the beginning of the amendment, which refers to “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” It is not clear from the wording in the amendment whether that participle represents a condition upon which the right to keep and bear arms is contingent, or an example of a reason why the right was considered important. Nothing in the text of the amendment specifies that the existence of a militia is a required condition for the people to maintain their right to keep and bear arms. Neither does it say that is the only reason why this right should be protected. It simply mentions the importance of a militia, and then leaves it dangling. The grammatical taboo against dangling participles lies in their inherent ambiguity. Now that the framers of the amendment are long gone, there’s no way to clarify with absolute certainty what they intended, — at least not by simply by reading the text of the amendment itself.
Therefore, to understand their intended meaning, one must look further than that specific amendment, and take into account the context in which it was written, specifically the fact that it was included in the Bill of Rights. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to secure protection for individual rights from infringement by the government. If all of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights are intended to secure the rights of individuals, why would the framers have slipped one in that had nothing to do with securing the rights of the individual, but rather applied to some abstract collective body?
The same people who want to wield a dangling participle to abridge our individual rights also claim that the term “the people,” as used in the 2nd amendment, does not refer to individuals, but rather to the collective population, or representatives thereof (e.g., the militia). The 4th amendment also refers to “the right of the people” to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. Would anybody seriously argue that the 4th amendment does not protect the right of individuals to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure, but rather the right of some abstract body that represents the collective population? Perhaps what the founding fathers really meant was that only the police should be secure against unreasonable search and seizure…
Given the context of the 2nd amendment, and its prominent inclusion in the Bill of Rights, it could not be more clear that it refers to the rights of individuals. It would have had to have been included by accident if it truly had the singular characteristic that it, alone among the amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights, was not intended to protect the rights of individuals from being infringed by government.