Damn That Grammar!


It looks like it all comes down to an interpretation of some shady grammar, of commas, of prefatory, operative, and ablative clauses. And something about Latin.

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.

If the founding fathers only had better grammar, Christians wouldn’t need guns and the death penalty to keep black kids from having abortions and life saving condoms out of Africa.



Filed under Essays

11 responses to “Damn That Grammar!

  1. ReWrite

    I think the 2nd Amendment is evidence of the shortsightedness of the drafters. The idea is that the people (via militias) should have the right to bear arms in case the government (and the military in particular) get out of control. It was not written for leisurely purposes, nor for the purpose of making gross profits selling weapons on the black market.

    If opponents of the 2nd Amendment want to begin chipping away at it, they need to attempt to purchase nuclear weapons, aircraft, tanks and like on the open market. If they are denied such a right then they should litigate up to the Supreme Court (if necessary), claiming that they have been denied the right to bear arms. They would argue, that in this day and age, handguns and rifles are going to be no match for the governments weaponry. The Supreme Court would then have two choices: 1) allow crazy white people to purchase nuclear weapons; 2) say that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment has significantly changed and has nothing to do with one’s right to protect themselves from a tyrannical government, but people should be allowed to bear arms for leisure (god bless America, b/c god wants us to kill for leisure, but we cannot of course do so via abortion… even if a women is raped a gun point). Hypocrites.

    Although, I am currently a Mandelaite (peace worked only b/c of the threat of a violent uprising); I do not think the people need an express law giving them the right to bear arms. In time of revolution the people will not be purchasing their arms from guns shops and the like. If the government becomes so tyrannical that the people need to revolt then I am sure they certainly are not going to allow the people to arm themselves via open market. As such the law is inherently flawed and has and will continue to cause unnecessary harm and death both individually and to whole communities.

    My theme for the month is that the two most violent institutions in history are Religion (and Christianity in particular) and Capitalism. (This would be a great next topic).

  2. can i have the right to bear my ash long bow? i’m planing on huntin deer with it this fall.

  3. ReWrite

    And I think Obama is beginning to show why he is not the answer to all of our problems… not only did he support the Supreme Court’s decision on the right to bear arms, but he comes down to the RIGHT of the Supreme Court on the Death Penalty.

    Maybe you should rethink your unequivocal support of Obama.

  4. eric

    I don’t understand what the big deal would have been were the S.C. to uphold the DC law. Saying that people do not have an absolute constitutional right to bear arms doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be able to bear arms. It would simply mean that the Federal government doesn’t have the right to intervene one way or the other. In other words, states could do whatever they wanted, ie, let the democratic process work.

    My sense is that most Americans outside of big cities want to be able to have guns and actually want gun ownership to be reasonably regulated. In that sense, the S.C.’s decision is a little out of touch. Obama’s vision of gun control I believe is a reasonable middle ground.

    I do agree with you that Obama — for strictly electoral reasons — has abandoned most of his bolder positions and is pandering. That is a shame but is an American reality (kind of killing the change argument). BUT, there is also a difference between agreeing with a politician’s position and wanting her to win.

    McCain’s pandering and flop are so much more laughable.

  5. ReWrite

    Personally for me a candidates political positions are too important to overlook.

    Not necessarily in your case, but I think too many (white) Americans are supporting Obama for many of the reasons highlighted by Shelby Steele (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01112008/profile2.html) on Bill Moyers Journal a few months ago. Steele said, in part, that many white people are supporting Obama b/c by doing so they are absolving themselves of the guilt they feel for the treatment of blacks americans.

    Anyway, who cares. He either has no character (is a political sell out) or never actually had good politics. For me it is not enough that he is black, intelligent, likable, and a good orator. I plan to vote for the 3rd party candidate with the best politics.

  6. eric

    I think Obama’s policies when (or if) he reaches government will be the best, and my guess is that if he could, he would do the things you’d want him to. Unfortunately for the time being, he moving towards the comfortable positions.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want him to win because he is black and the U.S. needs a black president. I think that his story itself reinforces some of the positive myths that the U.S. would like to believe about itself and he also represents internationally a welcome change for the country. Plus, I am sticking with my team.

  7. ReWrite

    I prefer Nader, but will explore other possible 3rd party candidates.

  8. Without revolution, or the possibility of actual revolution, democracy has little chance.

    Freedom is lie. There is always the underlying costs for attempting to be free; which you never actually can be.

    The Right to Bear Arms is the people’s defense against the oppression of aristocrats and oligarchs … those who have controlled since the founding of Babylon and ever after.

    Only socialist tyrants fear the people’s right to defend what little freedom they are availed of under social contract.

    Deny them the right to defend themselves, and the Iron Curtain will seem like a silk sheer, in comparison.

    Only a fool would believe that words could defend freedom. Words have no power, except at the end of the barrel of a gun.

    Consider it “proper punctuation”.

  9. eric

    It would be interesting to see whether Scalia and Co. would also be in favor a similar provision for the Iraqi constitution.

  10. It is doubtful, their obvious hypocrisies and pernicious absence of fortitude of character is blatant and repulsive.

    They didn’t do this to defend the Constitution; it reeks of the odious stench of political agendising.

    U.S. Supreme Court; Depravatio politica

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