Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who are These People Who Bear Arms?

More educated people that I have labored over the meaning of this grammatically strained sentence:

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.

Seems that the question comes down to, who are the "People" referred to here....the individual states regulating their militias, or the individual inhabitants in those states? Because if it's the former, then today's decision by the court would be a blatant misreading of the Constitution.

It's not surprising that the gun lobby would want judges to read the "People" as not being the States regulating their militias against the federal government, but the customers who buy guns. After all, we are a more consumerist society than ever before, and if what we want to consume - guns, alcohol, drugs, sugar - kills us, well, it's our right to kill ourselves, as long as companies can make a profit while we do it.

One must wonder if the Federalits and anti-Federalists drafting our Constitution would ever have in their wildest dreams thought that these words could be interpreted to mean that States can have no power to combat lawless citizens murdering other citizens with high-tech guns in their towns.

So ponder this: if only the draftees of the Amendments had copy-edited their grammar, we might not have to live in a gun-totin', high-murdering society presided over by the NRA....

UPDATE: looks like some other writers agree with me - the only way the Hillier decision has merit is by abandoning strict Constututionalist interpretation. Welcome to postmodernism, Mr. Scalia.

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