Writing at good.is, Tosten Burks penned Trigger Warnings: Know These 4 Important Gun Laws By Heart. To educate his audience about the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, Mr. Burks relies on a quote from a fictional character:
The Constitution’s most controversial amendment 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.” The NRA has spent much of the past 40 years broadening the interpretation to expand the gun market.
The original intent, however, is best explained by Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing character Toby Ziegler, who put it in more liberal terms: “The words ‘regulated’ and ‘militia’ are in the first sentence. I don’t think the framers were thinking of three guys in a Dodge Durango.”
Using a fictional source to “explain” the Founding Fathers’ intent– especially when there are volumes of scholarly research on the subject — is lazy “journalism.” A little research would have revealed that the “collective right” theory of the Second Amendment was invented by the “progressive” Kansas Supreme Court in 1905, without any precedent cited.
Maybe Mr. Burks is just cranky; he seems to be on a fact-free diet. For example, he states that Florida’s “stand your ground” law was crucial in the George Zimmerman murder trial.
Also known as the “shoot first” law, Stand Your Ground enables the right to use deadly force in self-defense. This was George Zimmerman’s successful argument for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman’s defense team never used the “stand your ground” defense, nor was it relevant in the case. Mr. Burks goes on to claim that the Kel-Tec PMR-30 is a favorite among concealed carriers. He calls the SIG SAUER MCX an “assault rifle,” but differentiates it form the Smith & Wesson M&P-15, a “semi-automatic rifle.”
On the positive side, Mr. Burks’ characterizations of concealed carry, open carry, castle doctrine, and stand your ground laws are mostly accurate. He does a decent job of directing people to Pink Pistols, The Well Armed Woman and The National African American Gun Association. I suspect he would’ve included Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership if he’d have found it on his Internet searches.
Taken as a whole, Mr. Burks’ article is more amusing than discouraging. My impression: he’s a well-intentioned writer severely hampered by life lived in his “progressive” information bubble. The least informed parts of his article are ubiquitous false narratives in his environment. And yet it appears that Burks can be educated. Too bad comments aren’t allowed at the site. I wonder why that is?
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.