-By Warner Todd Huston
British citizen and low-rated TV host Piers Morgan of CNN sided with sportscaster Bob Costas in an attack on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by coming to Costas’ support in a Tweet on Monday.
“Quite incredible that Bob Costas makes an impassioned plea for less handguns,” Morgan Tweeted, “and Americans go crazy with indignation. He’s 100% right.”
The Brit compounded his lack of knowledge by Tweeting, “The 2nd amendment was devised with muskets in mind, not high-powered handguns & assault rifles. Fact.”
Sorry, Piers. Not “fact.”
Morgan then made the mistake of proving his complete ignorance about history and the U.S. Constitution by bantering with several Twitter followers who criticized him for his obvious failure to grasp the facts.
Of course, the truth is that the Second Amendment was not “created with muskets in mind.” The Second Amendment was crated with military long arms — whatever form they may take — in mind.
The founders weren’t so stupid as to imagine that technology would never improve. Their goal was to give the people access to the same long arms that the military would use no matter what sort of long arms they were or were to become. So, yes, Piers, “high-powered handguns & assault rifles” were, indeed, meant to be covered by the Second Amendment.
There are two reasons, for that, we all know.
First, the founders expected “the military” to be we the people. Because the founders did not trust a large standing army, they only wanted a small standing army and to serve national security they wanted maintained a series of local militias so that, in times of trouble, the U.S. would have a military force at hand to repel invaders. Those militias would be made up of every military age male in the country.
This means the people would have to have the same firearms that any army, anywhere would have. If they didn’t, their militias would be practically impotent and that would defeat the whole purpose of the militia.
Secondly, the founders expected that arms in the hands of the people would serve to temper the arrogance of the government. They obviously miscalculated on the latter.
So, this absolutely does mean that the people should be able to have the same firearms as the army. On the other hand, the founders did not think that citizens should have tanks, cannons, jet fighters, nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction, quite despite that they hadn’t been invented yet. After all, the founders specifically said “firearms” which in their day did not include the weapons of mass destruction that did exist then. Weapons such as ships of war, grenades, cannons, and land mines (then called torpedoes) were not called “firearms” in the founder’s day. They knew the difference.
The founders were not as stupid as Bob Costas and foreigner Piers Morgan think they were.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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