Saturday, June 04, 2022

Tweet Of The Day- The Right To Arm Bears

When expressing support for gun safety legislation, most Democrats, especially those in conservative states, usually state something like "I support the Second Amendment but....."  However, there is no need for the conjunction "but." They could as easily and accurately, albeit counter-intuitively, remark "I support gun safety measures because I support the Second Amendment."

The Second 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."  "A well regulated Militia" is therein a subordinate clause.

Writing eleven months ago in the Duke Center for Firearms Law, linguist Kari Sullivan examines "being-clauses with the basic structure of the Second Amendment, in which the being-clause precedes the main clause and has a different subject." Sullivan concludes "the history of being-clauses does suggest that the applicability of the Second Amendment’s main clause was temporally and potentially causally contingent on the necessity of the “well regulated Militia” to the 'security of the free State'"....

A right to keep and bear arms is thus dependent on the need of a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of the nation. 


And here it is, as claimed:

Clause 15 To Call Militias

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

ArtI.S8.C15.1  Congress’s Power to Call Militias

Clause 16 Organization of Militias

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;

Applicability of the Second Amendment depends wholly on the existence of a well-regulated militia, formed and equipped by Congress, to protect the USA.

Banning firearms altogether for civilian use very likely would be bad policy, but one not precluded by the US Constitution.  All should believe in the Second Amendment- but only as it is written.  If right-wing jurists were the strict constructionists some of them claim to be, they also would recognize there is no constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Well, except maybe for muskets.


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