War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. You may recognize these declarations from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. A modern-day news org based in Mr. Orwell’s native land — The Guardian — puts a modern twist on the author’s prophetic pronouncements with Why the real defenders of the second amendment oppose the NRA . . .
In 1991, former Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointee, explained why the text of the Second Amendment affirms the importance of gun regulation. The first words of the amendment, Burger pointed out, are “a well regulated Militia.”
This language presupposes the idea that the militias should be regulated. So, Burger reasoned, if the amendment rests on the assumption that well-trained state armies could be regulated, then it is sensible to think it also allows Congress to regulate guns among the general citizenry.
Corey Brettschneider (above) is treading on familiar ground. He joins fellow antis in asking readers to impose a modern interpretation on the phrase “well-regulated.” At the time it was written, “well-regulated” meant in good working order, not subject to government regulation.
Why would it? The idea that the government could regulate (in the modern sense) a militia (an ad hoc group of armed citizens not a standing army) flies in the face of the entire point of the Second Amendment. lectlaw.com:
A widely reprinted article by Tench Coxe, an ally and correspondent of James Madison, described the Second Amendment’s overriding goal as a check upon the national government’s standing army:
“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
It can’t be stressed enough: the Founding Fathers enacted the Second Amendment to give The People the ability to resist government tyranny by force of arms.
Not so, according to the Brown University Poli Sci prof. Mr. Brettschneider reckons the Constitution was designed to enable tyranny. Although that’s not exactly how he puts it:
The constitutional argument for gun regulation also goes beyond the Second Amendment. The Constitution’s preamble speaks of the need to “insure domestic Tranquility”—a fundamental task of any government that can be aided by regulating deadly weapons.
The recent tragedy in Florida—merely the newest in a line of one numbing bloodbath after another, a crisis that no other developed country on earth suffers from—has made it clear that our schools, hospitals, and military are anything but tranquil. In places where they once would have thought themselves safe, citizens fear another attack.
Question: what couldn’t the government regulate under the banner of “insuring domestic tranquility”? Stop me from posting this fisking? Penalize you for reading it? That and much, much more. Anything really.
Mr. Brettschneider ends his dietribe [sic] by slagging off the NRA as Constitutionally illiterate paranoid fantasists. And singing the praises of the teenage ignorami clamoring for the removal of their civil rights.
If LaPierre believes that all those supporting gun regulation are part of this deep state conspiracy, then the heavily conservative supreme court must be included as well. They’ve clearly upheld the kind of legislation being considered right now in Congress, but no one could plausibly claim that Republican appointed Justice Alito or Chief Justice Roberts is out to confiscate Americans’ firearms.
Fortunately, the NRA narrative is being challenged. The brave students of Stoneman Douglas are the fiercest opponents the NRA has seen in some time. In defending sensible gun regulation, they, not their opportunistic opponents, are the ones truly standing up for the constitution and the second amendment.
Being this wrong about our Constitutionally protected gun rights requires both major league mental gymnastics and a steadfast refusal to research the subject in question.
Parents paying $65,380 per year to educate their children at Brown University: rest assured that Professor Brettschneider is helping them master those skills. The rest of us should be relieved our children don’t go to Brown.