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The Duke Center for Firearms Law is publishing a series of papers on corpus linguistics and the Second Amendment. Corpus linguistics is the search for and study of words and phrases in their context to discover their original public meaning.

Much of what I’ve read so far will receive a hostile reception from TTAG readers. Nevertheless, it’s useful reading so as to understand what we should expect to be up against in the courts in the future.

As one example, I call attention to the snippet below from Neal Goldfarb’s abstruse Regarding the Strength of the Corpus Evidence (and Noting Issues that the Evidence Doesn’t Resolve). The gist here is the substantial body of corpus evidence that the phrase “bear arms” was used predominantly in a military sense, not in any civilian context such as for self-defense. Very well, I’m prepared to stipulate to this evidence.

Nevertheless, I have a different view of the militia prefatory clause and the corpus evidence that “keep and bear arms” being used predominantly in a military context. I hold that the liberty to own arms kept on one’s property and to carry them off that property existed in some hierarchy of concerns. Each individual might have held his own construction. A subsistence hunter would hold the purpose of hunting higher than pest control, a grain farmer the reverse.

In any case, the Constitution’s drafters had their respective hierarchies, where I presume hunting and pest control would be relatively low on the list and the relationship of arms to the crown would have been paramount.

Moreover, the role of the federal Constitution was to fix the relationship of the new Constitution vis a vis the states and the people. The enumerated powers doctrine and the “police power” vested in the states make it clear that no one drafting, editing, and reading the Second Amendment was particularly concerned with hunting or pest control. These were state domain issues.

If you subscribe to my hierarchy of concerns, then I invite you to consider that the highest of these concerns would have subsumed all the subordinate concerns. That is, if we are to read the Second Amendment to guarantee the right of the people to keep and bear arms for the security of a free state, it also served to guarantee that right for all lesser purposes such as hunting, pest control, etc.

The troublesome snippet reads as follows:

…the state provisions are inconclusive because in each such provision, bear arms was modified by a prepositional phrase that has no analogue in the Second Amendment:

bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state

bear arms, in defense of himself and the state

bear arms in defense of themselves and the State

It seems to me that it’s inappropriate to assume that the use of bear arms without any modification would have been understood in the same way as the use of the phrase as modified in the state provisions.

So — allegedly — my ancestral Pennsylvanian ratifiers first read Article XXI of their Commonwealth constitution:

“The right of the citizens to bear arms, in defense of themselves and the state, shall not be questioned”

And then they went on to read the proposed Second Amendment to the Federal Constitution:

“. . . the right of the People to keep and bear arms [no prepositional phrase appears here] shall not be infringed.”

These Pennsylvanian yeomen immediately wrote to their delegates to the ratifying convention as follows:

“In contemplating the proposed 2A you should not understand that the use of ‘bear arms’ without any modification as guaranteeing a federal right to self defense.”

Does this contrived, purely hypothetical, original public understanding square with common sense?

The typical yeoman’s daily life included pest control, hunting, marksmanship development and demonstration, along with regular occasion to contemplate confrontation. Nevertheless, his exclusive concern, reading the proposed Second Amendment, was to secure his rare exercise of a public militia duty. His right was — exclusively — to serve in the militia.

He construed no right to any private use of weapons whatsoever. It would never have occurred to him to implicitly “read into” the unqualified “right to keep and bear arms” at least ‘for self defense’ or at most ‘for self defense, hunting and all other peaceable and lawful purposes’?

Much of the debate over ratifying the Constitution surrounded the sufficiency of the doctrine of “enumerated powers” counterimposed with that of “innumerable rights.” The Anti-Federalists insisted that these doctrines — which the Federalists accepted without question — must be guarded with a Bill of Rights which would enshrine in parchment and ink at least some enumerated rights.

The right to keep and bear arms made the cut. It was among those Madison construed as clouded by not the slightest controversy.

Yet author Neal Goldfarb’s linguistic analysis concludes that . . .

In fact, much if not all existing Second Amendment scholarship is due for reexamination in light of the corpus evidence. To be more specific, what I think needs to be reexamined is any scholarship that interpreted bear arms as meaning ‘carry weapons’ (whether or not such carrying was thought to be associated with militia service). And that, in turn, probably encompasses a large percentage of Second Amendment scholarship—on both sides of the issue.

Of course, the necessary adjustments will pose a bigger problem for gun-rights advocates than for their opponents.

Of course.

Looking back nearly 270 years, are we to believe that the common public understanding of the yeomen ratifier was that his personal right to weapons was secured only to the extent sufficient to enable him to perform his public duty of militia service? That he had no intention of guaranteeing to himself any individual right to weapons useful to him in his private life?

We must be on-guard against those in the corpus linguistics “profession” who are want to use this technique to perform these sleights of hand, especially those as transparent as this one.

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113 COMMENTS

  1. Just read a similar argument….the Second Amendment does not include “own”, thus owning a firearm is not protected by the Constitution.

    • “Just read a similar argument….the Second Amendment does not include “own”,…”

      Yeah, I know, but ‘to keep’ means to maintain ownership.

      I know they will insist it doesn’t mean that, we must equally (or greater) insist that it does…

      • I’m the big scheme of things, these academics can make any argument they like. Still, it changes nothing. We have guns, bloviators do not. Thus, they can’t take them from us.

    • A Swiss-esqe system where every (male, of age) citizen is REQUIRED to be part of the militia and GIVEN their guns to keep at home, which are government property for the duration of service (with some models given the option to purchase upon obsoletion or retiring from active service) might, in theory, be Constitutional. Thing is gun grabbers aren’t proposing that.

      • “A Swiss-esqe system where every (male, of age) citizen is REQUIRED to be part of the militia and GIVEN their guns to keep at home,…”

        Always found the mandate that Congress equip the militia to be problematic. What Congress can issue, Congress can take away. An amendment to the Constitution prohibiting that very take away makes all the sense in the world.

    • Keep, as defined by Websters of 1828, would seem to include ownership:

      “KEEP, verb transitive preterit tense and participle passive kept. [Latin habeo, and capio.]

      1. To hold; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart.

      2. To have in custody for security or preservation.”

    • “the Second Amendment does not include “own”, thus owning a firearm is not protected by the Constitution.”

      Keith Olberman is on this kick.

      Fine. But they can’t deny the “keep” part. So if the government wants to buy my guns for me, and let me KEEP them forever, bring it on!

      That’s exactly how they treat one’s “right to health care,” why not this right, which is actually IN the Constitution?

    • You intellectually dishonest democrat… If you want to know what the founders meant read their own words.. There are plenty of places where you can find the founders writings and they tell you their thoughts behind the 2nd amendment.. Here are few examples i’m glad i could educate you today..

      “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…” – George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790

      “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

      “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

      “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

      “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only 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 to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

    • Corpus Linguistics is an essentially ephemeral methodology which—like Critical Race Theory and Marxism—it necessarily substitutes its own ideas of meaning for historically contexturalized meanings. Simply put such ephemeral linguistic musing runs hard upon the rocks of practical historical reality.

      If you were out on the American frontier during revolutionary times you damn well knew that “bearing arms” meant exactly what is described in the 2nd. The “Over Mountain Men” who defeated Ferguson’s British army regiment at The Battle Of King’s Mountain are a case in point. They knew perfectly well what they were getting into, knew perfectly just who they were up against. And, yet, they also knew what they had to do with their weapons if they wanted to protect themselves and their families from tyranny and death. They knew they had to save themselves because nobody else was coming.

      They weren’t formally a part of the revolution, but instead lived on the frontier where being armed was a life necessity. When threatened by the British army, they formed themselves into their own militia, hunted, surrounded and defeated a British regular army regiment led by a famous commander—and then they went back over the mountains to their home villages and farms. That is the exact historical context that is clearly defined by the 2nd Amendment’s plain-spoken words. If gun-controllers think they can use corpus linguistics to argue against the 2nd let them bring it on. Our 2nd Amendment is rooted in the contexts of American history. It is in our history that the realities of meaning are to be found. Those meanings—so eloquently and simply presented in the 2nd—can’t be changed just because some linguist. some layer, or court, says they can.

      • “If gun-controllers think they can use corpus linguistics to argue against the 2nd let them bring it on.”

        It is merely another scheme by which the public, and thus the courts, can be socialized the the idea that no natural, human and civil right is absolute.

      • The sad thing about this is that corpus linguistics actually is a useful discipline.

        But the “progressive” left is bugnuts crazy and possessed by a demonic urge to tear civilization down from its foundations, so they’ve done the same thing with corpus linguistics that they do when they get a foothold in *anything* useful: pollute it and turn it to corrupt and corrosive ends.

  2. This interpretation falls apart promptly, for at least two reasons.

    None of the first ten Amendments empowers the central Government in any way, shape, or form; Each one describes limitations upon what said Government can do, but more so what it cannot do. The very idea that the 2nd Amendment empowers Government to allow citizens to form militias if it so chooses, and only under close Government control, is therefore on its face ludicrous.

    Even if this interpretation held some validity, with the citizenry only being granted the privilege of joining, or being commanded to join, Government-controlled militia with Government controlled and supplied weapons, which it does not, there has never been any argument from the Left that the 2nd Amendment DID protect individual firearms ownership for the purpose of hunting deer and shooting ducks, or the occasional squirrel. It cannot be plausible that the Founders writing the 2nd Amendment desired to limit the citizenry’s right of bearing arms to the privilege of possessing militia-suitable weapons only to be ‘born’ in time of emergency, considering the contemporary difficulty of the Colonial governments to supply arms, nor is it plausible that they intended to deny citizens of the right to own firearms that were unsuitable for militia purposes but eminently suited to hunting when there WAS no emergency.

    The executive summary? This is absolute bovine excreta.

    • “…but more so what it cannot do.”

      Exactly.

      That’s the angle I’ve been developing.

      Why would 9 of the 10 clearly be a limit, but one just magically doesn’t?

      The bottom line is, they have zero intent of ever recognizing the right of the little people to bear arms. It will be our job to to insist that it does, politely, until we are required to make it clear to them we will never leave our position.

      And that will be a day both sad and joyous…

      • Much like the notion of 9 of 10 being individual rights and one being a collective right? I don’t think so.

  3. English is a contextual language, even with a lot of contronym words that can have opposite meaning depending on context (cleave).

    Anyway, corpus linguistics ignores context, and the fact that many words have different definitions depending on context. Also, so who cares, when we have evidence what the framers actually meant in their own words.

    This article breaks it down nicely. Corpus does

    https://reason.com/volokh/2021/07/09/why-corpus-linguistics-does-not-undermine-dc-v-heller-much/?itm_source=parsely-api&amp

    • Eugene Volkh is truly a national treasure… 🙂

    • Volokh’s conclusion: “…perhaps corpus linguistics indicates that Heller erred in denying the military flavor of the Second Amendment right without erring in concluding that it was an individual one.”

    • Well said. History can only be understood within its context. Remove context from history and you have politics.

      • “History can only be understood within its context.”

        For all too many people, “history” is restricted to what appears on Faceplant, InstantGranny, Twitsville since they turned on their phone this morning.

    • The potential for twisting of words is why we have a BOR, at all. And even that is not immune to distortion.

    • It’s interesting how the anti gun crowd concentrate on the 27 words in the 2nd amendment and ignore all the other writings of the time that clearly clarify the founder’s meaning. It’s dishonest and it needs to be pointed out each and every time its done.

      • You are correct, the second amendment is not the full story, the United States Constitution actually has another clause that gives the power over the militia directly to the Congress:

        “Clause 16. The Congress shall have Power * * * To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.“

        In order to “prescribe the discipline for the militia” as the constitution directs, Congress utilizes legislation to pass laws regarding the organization, training, employment, and equipping of the militia.

        That’s where the “well regulated militia” part comes in, as Websters 1828 says, “subject to rule or restriction”

        • Congress has the power “to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia…” and yet it does none of those things. Why?

          Instead, the so-called progressives in government are hell-bent on restricting the Second Amendment’s “right of the people” into oblivion. Again, why?

          Why do they ignore Congress’ legitimate powers and put such great effort into arrogating to the few a right that belongs to “the people,” which is everyone? It seems they do not want the American people at large to be capable of defending themselves and their country. Ask yourself why this is.

        • MinorIQ,

          Is it impossible for you to comment on one of these 2A threads without lying? Or do you simply choose not to, and to instead lie every time the subject is raised? We’ve all read your one-dimensional, ahistorical, ungrammatical, illogical and, frankly, silly argument that the Congressional POWER to arm and organize the militia is somehow an obligation of Congress (it isn’t; Congress has no obligation to exercise any POWER it is granted), ignoring or eliding over the distinction between the organized and unorganized militia, and pretending that the Article One powers of Congress pre-empt any other form of militia or militia discipline – when there is absolutely no Constitutional basis for that assertion, and plenty of contemporaneous writings, including of the Founders, that make it clear that is just errant nonsense. And then your further irrational torturing of that already tortured argument by basically saying that the power to regulate the militia is the basis for Congress’ ALLEGED power to regulate firearms in obvious violation of the 2A. I’ve spanked you over this nonsense repeatedly, and you keep coming back with the same lies – and absolutely zero proof of your assertions (other than SELECTIVELY quoting portions of Article One).

          Let’s try this ONE MORE TIME –
          Yes, Article One specifically empowers Congress to “[call] forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. An intelligent person, or someone who didn’t fail high school English, would note that this Article One power presupposes the existence of a mlitia. One cannot “call forth” something which doesn’t exist – else Trump would have released his Kraken. Note, the power to PROVIDE FOR “organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing SUCH PART OF THEM as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”. You ALWAYS elide over that little provision, don’t you? Clearly Article One contemplated both the existence of a militia (the power to “call up” the militia PRECEDES the power to “provide for organizing” the militia). It also CLEARLY says that (i) Congress has the power to “governing such Part of them AS MAY BE EMPLOYED IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES”, just as you always decline to cite the following language “reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.
          The militia clauses of Article One say what they say – not what you SAY the say (or more accurately, say they MEANT). You also never address the provisions of the Militia Act of 1790 (the version of which still in effect is functionally identical in this regard) that clearly show distinctions between the “organized” and “unorganized” militias. Congress has the power to call up the militia, for LIMITED, SPECIFIED reasons. While called up, and “employed in the Service” of the United States. It can specify training standards (contextually I think was intended to be subject to the same “employed in the Service” qualification, but I will agree that that clause is susceptible of both interpretations). Your assertion that Congress can bootstrap that LIMITED power into generic regulation of firearms, including applicable to persons who COULD NOT, by definition, be part of the “Militia” is simply a lie, and a stupid one, at that.
          Your fantasy interpretation of language in Article One is inconsistent with contemporaneous writings of the Founders, nearly contemporaneous legislation, logic, grammar and good sense. Stop, already – you’re making a fool of yourself.
          MinorIQ,

          Is it impossible for you to comment on one of these 2A threads without lying? Or do you simply choose not to, and to instead lie every time the subject is raised? We’ve all read your one-dimensional, ahistorical, ungrammatical, illogical and, frankly, silly argument that the Congressional POWER to arm and organize the militia is somehow an obligation of Congress (it isn’t; Congress has no obligation to exercise any POWER it is granted), ignoring or eliding over the distinction between the organized and unorganized militia, and pretending that the Article One powers of Congress pre-empt any other form of militia or militia discipline – when there is absolutely no Constitutional basis for that assertion, and plenty of contemporaneous writings, including of the Founders, that make it clear that is just errant nonsense. And then your further irrational torturing of that already tortured argument by basically saying that the power to regulate the militia is the basis for Congress’ ALLEGED power to regulate firearms in obvious violation of the 2A. I’ve spanked you over this nonsense repeatedly, and you keep coming back with the same lies – and absolutely zero proof of your assertions (other than SELECTIVELY quoting portions of Article One).

          Let’s try this ONE MORE TIME –
          Yes, Article One specifically empowers Congress to “[call] forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. An intelligent person, or someone who didn’t fail high school English, would note that this Article One power presupposes the existence of a mlitia. One cannot “call forth” something which doesn’t exist – else Trump would have released his Kraken. Note, the power to PROVIDE FOR “organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing SUCH PART OF THEM as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”. You ALWAYS elide over that little provision, don’t you? Clearly Article One contemplated both the existence of a militia (the power to “call up” the militia PRECEDES the power to “provide for organizing” the militia). It also CLEARLY says that (i) Congress has the power to “governing such Part of them AS MAY BE EMPLOYED IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES”, just as you always decline to cite the following language “reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.
          The militia clauses of Article One say what they say – not what you SAY the say (or more accurately, say they MEANT). You also never address the provisions of the Militia Act of 1790 (the version of which still in effect is functionally identical in this regard) that clearly show distinctions between the “organized” and “unorganized” militias. Congress has the power to call up the militia, for LIMITED, SPECIFIED reasons. While called up, and “employed in the Service” of the United States. It can specify training standards (contextually I think was intended to be subject to the same “employed in the Service” qualification, but I will agree that that clause is susceptible of both interpretations). Your assertion that Congress can bootstrap that LIMITED power into generic regulation of firearms, including applicable to persons who COULD NOT, by definition, be part of the “Militia” is simply a lie, and a stupid one, at that.
          Your fantasy interpretation of language in Article One is inconsistent with contemporaneous writings of the Founders, nearly contemporaneous legislation, logic, grammar and good sense. Stop, already – you’re making a fool of yourself.

      • That, exactly, Cato. When gun control nuts start parsing words, they conveniently lose and forget the volumes of correspondence written by the very people who drafted and approved of the Bill of Rights.

        A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
        Thomas Jefferson

        • At last, a real quotation from Thomas Jefferson, bravo sir!

          This was his advice to his friend Peter Carr, his letter is full of excellent observations:

          “Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. The Europeans value themselves on having subdued the horse to the uses of man. But I doubt whether we have not lost more than we have gained by the use of this animal. No one has occasioned so much the degeneracy of the human body. An Indian goes on foot nearly as far in a day, for a long journey, as an enfeebled white does on his horse, and he will tire the best horses. There is no habit you will value so much as that of walking far without fatigue.“

  4. Annnnnnd I don’t care…try to take my rights(& millions of other’s)away. Lets see what happens. It won’t be pretty.

  5. “…try to take my rights(& millions of other’s)away. Lets see what happens. It won’t be pretty.”

    Already happened; no civil war 3.0.

    • Do you think since Biden is in the Whitehouse that there is or was no civil war 3.0?

      Take a look around….

      • “Do you think since Biden is in the Whitehouse that there is or was no civil war 3.0?”

        If you want to stretch the term, one can accurately declare that the country has been politically at war with itself since the founding. The comment to which I responded obviously referred to a kinetic response to taking the rights rights of the individual.

      • There never have been commies. Just different degrees of fascism. If you are left of center you are a fascist.

        • The heavy involvement of large business in American leftism strongly supports your statement. Generally I find the terms distinctions chasing differentiation all describing the same leviathan we were warned about back in the enlightenment. I just use commies because it gets the lefties upset as it often seems to hit close to home in their hearts.

        • “Fascism | Definition of Fascism by Merriam-Webster

          Definition of fascism 1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
          (Note the requirement to be ultra nationalist. Not a hallmark of the Left in the US.)

          Communism | Definition of Communism by Merriam-Webster

          1a : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
          b : a theory advocating elimination of private property
          2 capitalized a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R.
          b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production.
          (Note how many statements from Leftists are borne of “The Communist Manifesto”.)

          In modern parlance, “fascists” are anyone who denies me what I want.

        • Sam. Actions count more than words. End of the day they are willing to murder you and yours to get their way.

          Fascist, communist are equally committed to murder. In the millions. No difference that matters between them.

        • The Chinese government at this point in time is the absolute epitome of fascism. Xi Jinping realized that the end point of communism is either utter impoverishment or collapse. The central cabal in the USSR realized it too, eventually, which is why they let the communist system collapse; in that heterogeneous collection of states, it was the only way to continue their corrupt self-enrichment.

          But in China, with its unifying culture and millennia of belief that it is the center of the world, fascist ultra-nationalism was a natural pivot. Now they have privately owned businesses, corporate behemoths, and entrepreneurs…all of which serve the all-powerful totalitarian state and its fantastically rich insiders, while the peasants eat dirt…again…still. (And its eventual end point, decades from now…one or many, who knows…is probably an abrupt collapse and a conflagration of internecine violence, regardless.)

          Meanwhile, in the US, we have both communists and fascists on the left. But mostly fascists.

          As the “progressive” left and the Democratic Party orthodoxy converge, the whole leftist establishment (whether they know it or not, and many of them don’t) has embraced fascism — they envy China’s control over its people. There are communists among them, of course, but the left en masse is going fascist. A warm and fuzzy antiracist utopian fascism, but there’s no disguising its totalitarian heart. The only part of the classic dictionary definition they don’t have is ultra-nationalism, but their racialist paradigm (intersectionality, critical race theory, whatever you want to call it) serves the necessary unifying purpose well enough.

          Antifa are communists by definition. They believe they’re fighting a modern incarnation of the battle that the German communists lost to Hitler in the 1930s — only they’re delusionally fighting it against people that are not fascists at all. Although they can be deadly, they’re not as dangerous as they seem. They’re a relatively small number of violent, mostly drug-addled idiots, and although the establishment left currently finds it expedient to tolerate them (an unofficial sturmabteilung?), no matter which of the two major sides in the American conflict wins, they’ll eventually be put down like the rabid animals they are.

          Best case for America, and the entire world, is that sanity prevails and both antifa and our fascist-minded would-be rulers fade into obscurity…but if I have to, I’m willing to settle for hanging them from lamp posts.

  6. Corpus Evidence, Didactic Criticism, Contextual Criticism, Linguistic Analysis, Forensic Linguistics. Sometimes, just sometimes, these tools are applied with true academic rigor for the purpose of discovery. However, it seems most of the time they are just methods of linguistic manipulation to provide prejudices with a fabricated, language-knot of circular logic presented as a foundation but which is only derived from the original bias. Sand castles built upon sand.

  7. Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution mandates that Congress arm the militia.
    Given that, 2A only makes logical sense if applied as an individual Right to keep and bear arms.
    Of course, Gen Gage in Boston tried to restrict what arms could be carried into Boston. Then he tried to confiscate the armories at Lexington And Concord… maybe that’s why the Founders, and the States, put provisions in their respective Constitutions regarding the keeping and bearing of Arms.

  8. “To be more specific, what I think needs to be reexamined is any scholarship that interpreted bear arms as meaning ‘carry weapons’ (whether or not such carrying was thought to be associated with militia service)”….

    WHAT else could it mean? To bear IS conclusive, it means TO CARRY and “the people” (ignored in this examination) can only be inclusive to mean everyone or ALL people which puts an end to the “militia service or not” question (everyone was considered “militia” when the bill of rights became law)… What cannot be overlooked (but apparently often is), is the word KEEP that is a very important part of that sentence… To keep: to hold, maintain, OR POSSESS… These are the most basic, simple easy to understand words, no legal “doublespeak” just simply the right of the people to possess and carry arms CANNOT be infringed (restricted, limited or imposed upon) by the Government… Which actually NEGATES any and all firearms laws, regulations and Executive Orders Federal AND State ever written… It might be helpful to include the fact that the “militia act” was not passed until 1792 and up to that point EVERY capable man woman and child was considered the “militia” and would have been considered as such in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was ratified…

  9. Incidentally, one of the first things congress did in 1791 was… make every able bodied male a member of the {now unorganized} militia and mandate that they buy a rifle and pistol.

    So, there is that whole, everyone must keep and bear arms in 1791.

    But I keep forgetting… reality is irrelevant for the anti-gunners.

    • “But I keep forgetting… reality is irrelevant for the anti-gunners.”

      Not really. I met these kinds of people in college in the 60s. Reality is relative, situational, conditional. It changes, just like the weather, and they know the weather will always change.

  10. This is nothing but battlespace planning.

    The legal academic left knows that as the law (and SCOTUS membership) currently stands, it is only a matter of time before SCOTUS is forced to deal with the meaning of “bear arms,” and unless they come up with something better that “but guns are just icky,” the odds are very much that Heller will be extended beyond the home. (Heck, even counsel for NYC at the SCOTUS oral argument had to admit that Heller isn’t limited to the home.) When that happens, NYC, NJ, California, Hawaii, et al. all get dragged into the modern world.

    So, what does the left do? They can’t rely on procedural dodges like they used in NYSR&PA (we know how to beat that now), so they come up with an organized pseudo-scholarship campaign that they hope courts will latch onto as a rationalization for a particular result. Thus isn’t a new tactic . . . in the 1990’s, after Sandy Levinson and other liberal but intellectually-honest legal scholars took a hard look at the Second Amendment and concluded, to their dismay, that yes, it was indeed intended to protect the individual right to arms, the anti-2A forces tried a similar campaign to discredit this scholarship. (A good article summarizing how this played out is here:
    https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2550&context=facpub ).

    Typical of this campaign was the work of Prof. Michael Bellesiles (Arming America), who literally fabricated “evidence” to support his “scholarly” claims about the history of arms in America, and was roundly feted by academia and the media for his “groundbreaking” scholarship. After his con was exposed, he was utterly disgraced and humiliated, with even his anti-2A fanbois in academia admitting that Bellesiles was a disgusting fraud, and he was exiled from academia.

    Unfortunately for the anti’s, this tactic didn’t work then, because their pseudo-scholarship cannot withstand scrutiny. I don’t think it will now.

    • “This is nothing but battlespace planning.”

      I posit it goes *far* deeper than that.

      Have you noticed the books in the last 2 decades or so that claimed the ‘Wild West’ wasn’t nearly as wild as popularly believed? TTAG has had book reviews on those books, and the comment sections universally mock those books as being totally laughable crap.

      Big. Mistake.

      Those are the books that will be brought up before a future Leftist-controlled SCOTUS and presented as to be unimpeachable ‘scholarly proof’ that the individual citizens never had a right to walk around armed.

      That’s how they will destroy our rights, with pretty lies…

      • “…Wild West’ wasn’t nearly as wild as popularly believed?…”

        Depends on what you define ‘wild’ as. No doubt dangerous at the time, but as depicted by the Westerns I watched in the 60s? Probably not.

        One item of note that the TV westerns get wrong is hats. Most men did not wear ‘Cowboy Hats’ in town but wore more cosmopolitan hats such as Bowlers. In another words they dressed up a bit.

      • To be perfectly honest, no, the wild west never was as wild as the pulp fiction writers made it. FFS, more people died every day in pulp fiction than American women could deliver in a year!! Tens of thousands of outlaws killed thousands of people each, daily!! Television may have been ever so slightly better than the pulp magazines, but still would have resulted in Americans killing themselves off in a generation or two.

  11. Not hostile

    Just that the American people already knows what it says and what it means. There is nothing for Duke to do. Anything they come up with will be meaningless.

  12. Why would you ever stipulate to such an absurd proposition?

    When you “stipulate” that, it is established and cannot be taken back.

    Sure, this is linguistics, but isn’t their entire contorted theorem all about linguistics?

    Don’t ever, ever, ever, stipulate anything proposed by a gun-grabber in the 2A arguments.

  13. Sort of like SEO they only need to have their buddies publish similar opinions and their media friends parrot it and over time this will become the defacto normal interpretation.

    Seems too on the nose how all these people shouting about big lies are the ones out there lying big.

  14. Definitions from the 1828 Webster Dictionary
    “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.”
    A-An adjective, commonly called the indefinite article, and signifying one or any, but less emphatically.
    well-Suitably to one’s condition, to the occasion, or to a proposed end or use; suitably; abundantly; fully; adequately; thoroughly
    regulated- Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions
    Militia- In the widest sense, the whole military force of a nation, including both those engaged in military service as a business, and those competent and available for such service; specifically, the body of citizens enrolled for military instruction and discipline, but not subject to be called into actual service except in emergencies.
    being- Since; inasmuch as
    necessary-Such as must be; impossible to be otherwise; not to be avoided; inevitable
    to-The preposition to primarily indicates approach and arrival, motion made in the direction of a place or thing and attaining it, access; and also, motion or tendency without arrival; movement toward
    the- A word placed before nouns to limit or individualize their meaning
    security-The condition or quality of being secure; secureness. Specifically: (a) Freedom from apprehension, anxiety, or care; confidence of power of safety; hence, assurance; certainty.
    of-In a general sense, from, or out from; proceeding from; belonging to; relating to; concerning;
    a- (see above definition)
    free-Exempt from subjection to the will of others; not under restraint, control, or compulsion; able to follow one’s own impulses, desires, or inclinations; determining one’s own course of action; not dependent; at liberty.
    State-The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at any given time.,
    the-(see above definition)
    right-Conformed to the constitution of man and the will of God, or to justice and equity; not deviating from the true and just; according with truth and duty; just; true.
    of- (see above definition)
    the- (see above definition)
    people- The body of persons who compose a community, tribe, nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a whole; a community; a nation
    to- (see above definition)
    keep- To hold; to restrain from departure or removal; not to let go of; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose; to retain; to detain.
    and- A particle which expresses the relation of connection or addition. It is used to conjoin a word with a word, a clause with a clause, or a sentence with a sentence.
    bear- To possess or carry, as a mark of authority or distinction; to wear; as, to bear a sword, badge, or name
    Arms-, Instruments or weapons of offense or defense.
    shall- To owe; to be under obligation for
    not- A word used to express negation, prohibition, denial, or refusal.
    be- To exist actually, or in the world of fact; to have existence
    infringed- Broken; violated; transgresses.

    Webster’s 1828 Dictionary contains the foundation of America’s heritage and principal beliefs. It is contemporary with the American Constitution.

    • “regulated- Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions“

      And the constitution’s militia clause (15&16) gives to Congress the authority to organize and discipline the militia.
      Congress performs that duty by passing laws relating to the militia’s TOE.

      • You only read a part of the militia clause.

        Included in that clause are 2 types of militia, the organized, and the unorganized.

        Included in organized militia are the National guard, and the unorganized militia are the citizens. You know, the “We, The People” people…

        • “Included in that clause are 2 types of militia, the organized, and the unorganized.“

          Fake news, in fact the words ‘organized’ and and ‘unorganized’ are not in the militia causes of the United States Constitution, nice try at disinformation.

          The distinction between organized and unorganized militia is actually in federal law.

          Regardless, the United States Constitution gives authority over the ‘militia’ to the Congress, which has the power to engage in ‘regulating’ the militia(s). No federal statute, executive order or judicial order can change that.

        • I will continue to repeat this lie,

          again,

          and again,

          and again,

          until someone, somewhere, believes me.

          Yes, I am that kinda stupid!

  15. “Webster’s 1828 Dictionary contains the foundation of America’s heritage and principal beliefs. It is contemporary with the American Constitution.”

    Yet, and instead, Humpty Dumpty states the inescapable reality.

  16. Civilization has not changed at all in the last 14,000 years as people in power want absolute power over the proletariat. Even a superficial study of mans history proves that beyond all doubt.

    It is both childish and downright moronic to worship the criminals who founded the U.S. They were no more honorable than the criminals we have in Congress today. The Founders were nothing more than disingenuous greed monger criminals that were too cheap to pay taxes to the hand that was feeding them i.e. the worldwide British Empire. Through global trade both nations were prospering and the Revolutionary War was costly to both nations but way more so to the fledging Americans whose economy was set back a good 20 years.

    The criminal founders set up a country that did not even allow most white men to vote and when they later were faced with a challenge to their own corrupt iron grip on the proletariat they reluctantly gave white men the right to vote with one hand and then craftily took that right away my instituting the corrupt practice of gerrymandering and later the corrupt electoral college, all of which made a total mockery of democracy and a government by the people.

    The American people got fked big time by losing forever the right to a parliamentary government and true democracy i.e. the will of the majority of the people. The criminal founders even went so far as to call democracy mob rule. The bastards at that point should all have been hung by their dirty balls. The two former laws were designed to preserve their corrupt oligarchy establishing a country for the filthy rich and by the filthy rich which protects only the rights of the rich in power. It remains so to this very day, the most corrupt nation on earth as the entire mechanism of Congress is based on blind greed and legalized bribery (lobbying) and campaign contributions from the super rich.

    The founders deliberately wrote 2A in the vaguest of terms so they could ban weapons if the proletariat challenged their iron grip on them. 2A was double talk pure and simple and even the mentally challenge after reading it can see what an absolute farce it has been. Down through time the corrupt gun hating power mad courts have consistently ruled against gun ownership and told every outrageous lie imaginable to justify banning guns. Remember Reagans machine gun ban came well after the disingenuous lying court said “only military weapons were protected by 2A” and if machine guns are not military weapons I will gladly sell you the rights to mine green cheese on the moon. Later the lying courts reversed course and insinuated that only sporting guns were covered. Talk about a 90 degree turn around to justify them banning any weapons that threatened their power.

    Last year the now largely radical far right Supreme Court, without shame, refused to even hear 12 important 2A cases proving once again the entire court fears and hates gun ownership.

    Without going into a long dissertation 2A was never worth the paper it was printed on.

    • “Last year the now largely radical far right Supreme Court, without shame, refused to even hear 12 important 2A cases proving once again the entire court fears and hates gun ownership.”

      And yet they will hear a 2A carry outside the home case this fall, with a ruling expected early next year…

    • SA-Mann dacian. The will of the majority of the people? Your way allows for a simple majority vote and slavery is brought back.

      You fascists are always trying to disrupt a civilized society.

      • “. . . a simple majority vote and slavery is brought back.” I think you have succinctly captured the point.

        Why do we have a written constitution? Isn’t it because we realize that we will perceive – from time to time – that are ways to organize society (and ways to NOT do so) deemed so clearly established that we intend to carve them in stone? We will have 3 branches of government; we will not tolerate slavery without conviction of a crime. And so forth.

        We might get it wrong; e.g., with alcohol. When we think better of it, we will change. But it takes a consensus to make any change; even to reverse an ill-considered change.

        It took a long time to realize that women’s suffrage was a proper right to recognize. We fixed that in the 19th Amendment. Does it make sense to reverse this decision because THE Party in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress agree that it is to their political advantage to do so? If so, they might forbid all those with testosterone poisoning from voting.

        Should we be tempted to admit Constitutional over-rides by “majority rule” then we must also admit that those in power have that same authority to re-introduce slavery (other than upon conviction of a crime). Isn’t this what authoritarian states do? Nazi Germany; China.

        Our American constitutional system of government works – primarily – because we do NOT enhance the powers of government nor erode the rights of the People “for light and transient causes”. Instead, we will “suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right [ourselves] by abolishing the forms to which [we] are accustomed.”

        Should a consensus form among 3/4’s of the states’ legislatures we will alter an aspect of our form of government; peaceably. Until then, we are duty bound by the compact of our Constitution to adhere to these decisions – be they the right to arms or the right to suffrage irrespective of sex.

        By what reasoning ought we consider changing this scheme provided in Article V?

        • “By what reasoning ought we consider changing this scheme provided in Article V?”

          Might makes right; QED.

          The Constitution contains the tool of its own demise. It was written when “enlightened selfishness” was an understood concept, when the founders recognized that political parties were a serious threat to the Republic.

          The designed Republic can remain, long after the Constitution is otherwise bastardized. There are many republics in the world, each with a written constitution. It is not the document which accomplishes anything, but the acts of political leaders, their donors, and their dependents.

    • Literally the funniest, absurd, discriminatory comment I’ve come across on the web in weeks. Check your bias. Vwry few people are all good or all bad. Labelling someone as either, with a very few exceptions, is just hyperbole. Please, in the future, provide documentation for blanket statements. As a rational person, I consider evidence, not ststements using stereotypes.

    • Thank you, Dacian.
      “Civilization has not changed at all in the last 14,000 years”

      That is a common theme in my arguments on other forums. People haven’t changed in 14,000 or 140,000 years. All those fossilized skeletons, Cro-magnon, neanderthal, Denisovan, or whatever, were PEOPLE, very, very little different than you or me. When liberals start their gibbering about “evolution” and “society evolves”, they are just BSing us to believe nonsense to support their form of control. And, government always wants CONTROL – in this case, the CTRL-Left.

      • Humans evolve. The question is, at what rate? And, how much do they evolve (even over long periods) in each aspect?

        Humans have NOT evolved much in their propensity to exhale CO2 and survive on O2. Humans can evolve within a few generations in their adaptation to novel (or imported) form of government.

        There is little to no evidence that the civilizing nature of government has evolved. Tyrannies persist. There is little to no evidence that we are eliminating psychopaths from the species.

        Not before we could be persuaded that we have achieved Utopia in these respects could we risk infringing upon the right to arms.

    • Dacian,

      One wonders whether to pity you and your incoherent ramblings, or detest you for your arrogant hubris.

      Let’s look at your most clownish statements on “Democracy”. It is true the founding father abhorred democracy, and for a very, very, good reason, it leads to Mobocracy (literally “rule by the mob”) and in the end the result is tyranny. That is especially true for the 50% less one vote, or the minority. That is because democracy lacks “principles”, relying instead on the majority’s choice of what will be, “Majority Rule”.

      It becomes a government of the masses, and WHATEVER the majority decided at any one time, was, and is, legitimate. There exists no bill of rights, no individual rights, decisions are by group-think, unguided by any principles other that the passion, the prejudice and impulse of the mob, unconstrained and with no regard to consequences. The result is demagogism, agitation, discontent, irrational choice (cultural choice theory), loss of individual liberty and ultimately chaos.

      The United States IS NOT A DEMOCRACY (This is the number one lie of the left).

      The United States IS A Constitutional (Bill Of Rights) Republic.

      As such, in a republic, authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. In a republic there is respect for laws, property, individual rights and toward justice, which is in accord with fixed principles (Without Mob Rule, torches and pitchforks) and established evidence, with strict regard to consequences.

      As such a republic avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or Mobocracy and results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.

      Benjamin Franklin famously said “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner. Liberty is a well armed sheep protesting the vote.”

      dacian, in the democracy you propose, you would be that sheep…unarmed.

      Ironic how this Republic protects fools, like you, from yourself.

      • If your system (whatever it is) includes voting, and the result of voting is dependent on who/what has the most votes, you have a democratic system. In a republic, the majority of the representatives determine outcomes; i.e. democracy, once removed. The only place the Constitution stipulates a super-majority is required is in ratifying amendments. Neither the House, nor the Senate is required, under the Constitution, to establish a super-majority for routine legislation. The Senate can remove the super-majority rule whenever it has the votes to do so.

        So, how does our Republic somehow avoid democracy?

        The question was raised in the English Parliament, by Edmund Burke: is the MP required to vote strictly IAW the majority sentiment of his constituents, or substitute his own sense of “right”?

        If one expects a Republic (our Republic) to somehow “protect” the minority, where is the immutable defense? If the elected representatives decide to vote according to their individual prejudices, and combine to become a super-majority, you have democracy of the elected, but democracy all the same.

        BTW, what does “protecting the minority” mean? Ultimately it means nothing happens that disappoints “the majority”.

        So, again, just what is it that makes a republic superior to direct democracy? I submit is is simply bundling of the votes of the public. Elected representatives are supposedly constrained by having specified terms of office subject to renewal (re-election).

        If a majority of the voters wish, and a super-majority of the elected representatives wish, the 13th Amendment can be repealed. Where is the protection of the minority?

      • The United States is both a democracy and a republic. But it is not a true democracy, instead it is a representative democracy in action and governance because we elect those who represent us – while at the same time being a constitutional republic in body and status because our elected representatives exercise political power. But although we overall have a representative democracy, direct democracy does still exist in the US because some states and areas give their citizens the right to use measures to directly enact, change, or repeal laws themselves. This U.S. combination is sometimes simply referred to as a “democracy” because in the US the people hold the ultimate political power and the form that holds the ultimate political power decides what that republic will be called.

        A republic is like a cup, all formed republics are empty vessels until you put something in it and what you fill that cup with is what will decide whats in the cup and what the cup is called. For example, If you fill a cup with coffee its called a “cup of coffee”. We filled out republic, by choice, formed by declaration and constitution, with a representative form of government called a democracy – so more accurately the U.S. is a democratic republic.

        Also, in the pledge of allegiance, the line “and to the republic for which it stands” means a country where people have the right to choose their representatives to form the government. If the people can choose their representatives it is a democracy.

  17. Blah blah blah blah blah, corpus linguistics, blah blah blah. (Remember the parents voices in a Peanuts episode?)
    Then I say:
    Molon Labe MF… ‘cause, well, 200+ years of precedent.
    Any questions?

  18. It is simple, I don’t need to be a word smith to understand it. So when the time comes, Bring it. Some things are more important than my life.

  19. A pioneer living in the western part of Virginia, many miles from his nearest neighbor, would not belong to or even experience the existence of a militia. He would need a gun for hunting, pest control, protection from dangerous animals, native Indians, and highwaymen. Did the founding fathers believe such a person should not have the right to own and use a gun?
    As an aside, the author of the quoted text credited James Mason as a source to support his arguments. James Mason was a movie actor. George Mason wrote much of the U.S. Constitution.

  20. “Did the founding fathers believe such a person should not have the right to own and use a gun?”

    For hunting, of course. For shooting at cookware hanging from a line or tree, of course. For self-defense? Whoa….crossing a line there. The founders would have frowned mightily.

  21. What a bunch of over-educated idiots, that Goldfarb and his pals. My brain hurts after reading Neal’s article, which is basically full of “Are Traps Gay?” levels of mental gymnastics. The 2A is in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights protects individual rights, period, end of discussion. As in the individual right of the person to keep and bear arms in their home/possessions. A practice that would really come in handy if one’s state needed to quickly raise and “well regulate” a militia.

  22. Duke Center for Firearms Law, although proposing to teach and practice law in a scholarly aspect has a “mission” tendency to construct their “opinions” and “analysis” based upon “grey area” or slightly “slanted” “re-interpretation” to refute anything that SCOUTS says which someone at the Duke Center for Firearms Law is not happy with.

    Essentially according to the Duke Center for Firearms Law mass of word and logic salad – and in a nutshell, the 2A denies a person the right to self or home defense by use of “arms” but only grants that right to those who are in service to the state as part of a “militia”.

    Its clear that the bill of rights purpose was to delineate and protect specific individual rights for everyone from government infringement. The purpose of the bill of rights specifically the 2A for this context, contrary to that proposed by the Duke Center for Firearms Law mass of word and logic salad, was not to build in government infringement by creating two classes of people – one class that could exercise self and home defense with “arms” only if they were in servitude to the state (in a “militia”) and the other class not in servitude to the state (not in a “militia”) could not exercise self and home defense with “arms”.

    Apparently the idiot at the Duke Center for Firearms Law who wrote this intends that the people be dominated by the “state” for exercise of an inalienable right to self or home defense. Yet another Duke Center for Firearms Law “manifesto” of basically a recipe for tyranny.

    • “Duke Center for Firearms Law, although proposing to teach and practice law in a scholarly aspect has a “mission” …”

      True of all law schools. Lawyers are trained wordsmiths. Lawyers are consumed with the passion to not let the law alone as it stands, but to find the thread of what the law could be/mean, and pull it. Can’t discount the drive to have a legal principal named after themselves.

  23. Since we are citing Pennsylvania, this is what Pennsylvanians were told to get them to ratify the Constitution of 1789: Tench Coxe, delegate to the Continental congress “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an Americans.” Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

  24. only somebody that went to a school of higher learning could say the 2a isnt an individual right but abortion is in the 14a
    our colleges and universities will be the end of us
    read malcolm muggeridge
    he called it decades ago

  25. “Parsing the 2A to Invalidate Individual Gun Rights”

    you mean “reading the 2A”. the 2nd doesn’t address individual gun rights, it addresses keeping and bearing arms in a well-regulated community militia. internet rightists ignore this because they are isolates and don’t want anything to do with any community, well-regulated or otherwise.

    • Learned constitutional analysis and English grammar from MinorIQ, did you??

      Please cite me the other provisions of the Constitution that (i) grant “collective” rights, and (ii) use the phrase “the People” to mean ANYTHING other than . . . the people.

      Oh, and learn the difference between a prefatory or explanatory clause, and a limiting clause.

      Or, continue to sound like an uneducated [email protected]$$. Whatever floats your boat.

  26. One needs but read the writings of the Founders to interpret exactly what they meant. Duke University is but engaging in some antics (semantics), that are cleared up entirely in the writings.

    • Correct. One only needs to read the founders to get what they meant. Duke gun grabbers are just plain wrong. For example: “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”
      — James Madison (Federalist No. 46, 1 February 1788)

  27. If I were to research it I would probably find that these are some kind of the same people, who said the definition of a family, one man and one woman, should be changed. Stretched. The definition torn apart. To include whatever “we” think the definition of a family should be.

    And if a woman wants to have five kids from five different men. That’s a legitimate family. Just as any other family.

    Or changing the definition of what a “woman” is.

  28. “One needs but read the writings of the Founders to interpret exactly what they meant.”

    Once the principle of “no human, natural, civil right is absolute” was introduced, the writings/intentions of the founders are feathered through that lens. And once constitutional rights are not absolute, the argument becomes one of which prejudice/infringement can get the most votes. And every infringement is spawned by what seems to be “common sense”.

  29. So if my right to keep and bear arms only pertains to those arms suitable to my service in a militia, what’s the problem with my owning “assault weapons,” automatic weapons, tanks, war planes or, as crazy Joe suggested, nuclear weapons?

    While I might not want to spend my retirement savings on a nuke, I wouldn’t mind a belt fed M50 or two in my attic.

    I’m a militia of one. And I regulate myself quite well. Prunes when needed.

  30. Dook? As in Durham, NC? The dummies pulled down Silent Sam. The university was founded on tobacco money. Now, smoking (tobacco) is banned from campus. But, of course, smoking pot is OK.

  31. The RIGHT to KEEP and BEAR arms means ownership and possession and use. There are some dim light bulbs out there who will never understand. And this is a GOD GIVEN RIGHT.

  32. Seems to me that the thought processes of some academics at Duke University might be suffering from insufficient oxygen encountered at the much elevated levels they inhabit. Perhaps, they need to come down to the levels that folks who inhabit the real world exist in, where there is, unpleasantness aside, enough oxygen to clear one’s thinking.

  33. It’s such a worn out idea. Madison wrote the Second Amendment and also wrote parts of the Federalist papers. He explains his thoughts on the Second Amendment. There are also writings outside of the Federalist papers. It is easy to read and understand the meaning of the Amendment. Tench Coxe explained it well in 1788.

    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an Americans.”

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