You’ll find the key to understanding cnn.com‘s Jefferson: The face of the modern gun debate at the bottom of the post: “This occasional series examines our darlings of the Interwebs, people the online world has chosen to represent the issues of our times, from the gun debate to the immigration argument to the fight over gay rights. True or false, like it or not, Internet zeitgeist shapes our views and conversation.” In other words, Christina Zdanowicz set out to pull the rhetorical rug from under conservative causes by undermining their historical roots. In other other words, it’s a sandbag job on those who quote TJ to support Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms . . .
No one will ever really know how Jefferson would have felt about gun control in today’s world, but he left us a clue: He accepted that times change, and so should laws. Infer what you will.
I infer that Ms. Zdanowicz wants us to believe that nothing is absolute. That everything is situational and, therefore, mutable. Yes, well, that’s not how Thomas Jefferson saw the world. Lest we forget, TJ wrote the following words (missing from her article):
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I’m going to go ahead an infer that the man who believes in the unalienable right to life (self-defense) and liberty (defense against tyranny) would oppose modern day gun control. Of course, Jefferson did have a thing or two to say on the subject.
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … only disarm those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”
Zdanowicz tries to “debunk” this quote by pointing out that Jefferson was quoting someone else: Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria’s Essay on Crimes and Punishments” And . . . what difference does that make, exactly? None, precisely. Unless . . . it was a mistranslation! Taken out of context!
The phrase takes on different meaning when translated from the Italian, according to an article by Washington University law professor David Thomas Konig. Jefferson wasn’t questioning the constitutionality of anti-carrying laws; he said they were impractical to uphold.
Huh? I won’t trouble you with the rest of the quotes, and the disses heaped thereupon. Suffice it to say, Zdanowicz is no Thomas Jefferson. Nor is she a friend of gun rights. But trying to paint gun rights advocates as historical revisionists is . . . wait for it . . . historical revisionism. And not very convincing.