I never tire of exposing the dangerous inanity of “progressive” gun grabbers. Fortunately, they’re not the most daunting debaters. Highlighting their lies and half-truths isn’t difficult—but it’s an endless game of Whack-A-Mole. Again, I’m not complaining. I love my job. I still get almost as much of a thrill uncovering and deconstructing anti-gun agitprop as I do finding a link to Edita Vilkeviciute. Anyway, in today’s installment of Who Wants to Shoot Some Fish in a Barrel, we head over to huffingtonpost.com (where else?) to savor the stupidity on offer by Byron Williams’ Debate over guns focuses on wrong issues . . .
In the aftermath of another senseless shooting spree in Santa Monica last week, the outcry was somewhat subdued. Have we become immune to periodic episodes of violence?
What better time to offer a judicious analysis of the Constitution’s most debated amendment?
The Second Amendment that is housed in the National Archives reads:
“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.”
Whenever people who favor civilian disarmament bring up the Second Amendment you know they’re going to argue about the bit that doesn’t include the word “infringed.” What else could they do? Yeah, OK, he’s going to do that too. But first Williams boldly goes where gun grabbers have gone before: the militia clause.
The part of the Second Amendment debate that seems to fly under the radar is the term “well regulated.” There is no 18th century understanding that differs in the 21st century.
Well regulated meant then as it does now — government has a role in the gun debate. In fact, the original intent was far more intrusive than most gun advocates care to admit today.
Interpreting the Second Amendment’s “well-regulated” clause as meaning anything other than “well-ordered” or “disciplined” requires a complete dedication to historical ignorance. Indeed, one wonders if Mr. Williams has an internet connection. Or a computer. Or access to a library. Or a telephone.
Those who embrace a Jeffersonian/anti-Federalist argument that the militia could conceivably take up arms against the government must also know that debate was settled at Appomattox in 1865.
The right to bear arms in the 18th century was a civic responsibility. There was no standing army. Today, the Department of Defense has no peer globally.
In other words, even if gun rights advocates are right about the Founding Fathers’ belief in an armed populace as a bulwark against government tyranny, you white racist gun- and bible-clinging nut cases lost the Civil War. Get over it.
Surprisingly, pastor (yes pastor) Williams doesn’t have a solid grasp of the definition of a “natural” right. Like all gun grabbers contemplating the clarity of the Second Amendment Williams is forced to deny the timeless principles which the framers sought to protect.
Each generation bears the burden to understand the Constitution through the lens of what was written but also by what it means in their lifetime. Relying solely on the intent of a group of individuals who could not possibly comprehend the world of today is shortsighted at best.
Applying the Second Amendment today is neither a civic duty, as it was when it was originally adopted, nor an unfettered individual right.
There is a right to bear arms in this country; that’s undeniable. But with that right comes responsibility and regulation.
Let’s set aside Williams’ contemptible contempt for the men (and women) upon whose shoulders our Constitutional republic stands. And the HuffPo columnist’s contention that the United States Constitution—a document which our elected leaders swear to uphold and defend—is an anachronism.
In the author’s world view, rights come with responsibility. Government-regulated responsibility. The insidiousness of this concept was not unfamiliar to the people who wrote the Constitution. Hence they included the phrase “shall not be infringed.”
Would it be unreasonable to suggest that any government regulation on, say, the right to free speech, is an infringement upon that right? (Note: you can yell fire in a crowded movie house—provided the speech doesn’t cause physical injury. There is no law against it.) Perhaps regulation is infringement per se.
My point is simply this: Williams and his ilk are both willfully ignorant and dangerously deluded. Trying to re-write the rules of the game without Americans’ consent will only take them so far. And no further.
Click here to hang with TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia in the Free Fire Zone forum