January 18, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Anti-Americanism, Cable, CNN, Constitution, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Gun Control, Guns, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, Progressives, Regulation, TV, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
Piers Morgan indulged his desire to gut the Second Amendment once again on his CNN talk show, and while most of his efforts were well ridiculed by Joel Pollak last night, one thing he brought up is a typical, though uninformed, question that many leftists illegitimately use to try and show why they should have all the power they want to ban any sort of weapon they feel like banning.
Early in Piers Morgan’s now seemingly daily discussion on guns, he once again garbled terms, misled on types of weapons, and basically displayed a woeful ignorance on the Second Amendment, as well as a lack of knowledge about what is already banned and why. It is that latter question that needs further discussion.
During the CNN show, Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Detroit, broached the question.
Michael Nutter: This is not about the Second Amendment. As you have said earlier I have said certainly many, many times, why does a civilian need a military-styled assault weapon, why does a civilian need body armor? You cannot buy hand grenades. Those are weapons but somehow they are prohibited. You can’t buy an F15 just because you think that you’d like to have that kind of device. So, we need to talk about more serious things…
Piers Morgan: We already have, actually, a lot of gun control in America. This is the myth of this debate. There’s already substantial gun control and commissioner let me ask you this, there’s lots of things are banned already it’s merely a question really of degree. And I have yet to hear a good argument for why an AR15, which is a military-styled weapon, why that should be in civilian hands?
Myth was a good word for Piers to use because he is promulgating one.
Still, this seems like a sensible question. If the government can legitimately ban average citizens from having hand grenades and F15 jet fighters, using that same logic why can’t we go on banning any sort of weapon we want to ban?
This question, of course, is based upon a single assumption: that the founders couldn’t possibly have envisioned semi-automatic or automatic firearms.
An immediate point comes to mind here: does technology supersede our rights? After all, using the left’s logic the founders could not have envisioned the Internet, radio, or TV when they wrote the First Amendment. Should our rights to free speech be dispensed with simply because people today assume the founders were just too darn stupid to “get” the Internet?
They also couldn’t have “envisioned” any right to an abortion, a government takeover of healthcare or the welfare state, but liberals claim that all these things are justified under the Constitution, don’t they? Why the hypocritical disconnect?
But, that aside, the question of what the founders could envision is a good question that needs to be addressed. If the founders made their Second Amendment law based on ideas now out of date, shouldn’t we revisit them? And if we can ban a grenade or a nuclear bomb, why can’t we ban anything we want to ban?
First: were the founders just too stupid to understand that technology could change? No, the founders weren’t stupid. They were men of science and understood full well that things could change. They certainly understood that single shot muskets wouldn’t be the height of technology forever.
But, even if they were that stupid, it wouldn’t matter because the Amendment and terminology they used was specific enough to make the question of why nukes are banned and “assault weapons” aren’t to be illegitimate.
You see, the words “arms,” and “bear” had specific meanings to the founders and those definitions would not cover nuclear bombs, F15 fighter jets, or hand grenades any more than the words covered cannons, land mines, or ships of war in the founder’s own era.
Arms meant long arms or pistols (and even swords) to the founders. They were weapons that the individual used on the battlefield. They were not bombs, explosives, or weapons of mass destruction. Cannons and ships of war were the weapons of mass destruction of the founder’s day and those things are properly thought of as ordnance, not “arms.”
Further to “bear” means just what is says, to be able to hold and use as an individual. “Bear” also meant being able to place in one’s coat during the founder’s era. A single person cannot “bear” a cannon or a ship of war.
What does this all mean? It means that the founder’s definitions do not apply to nuclear bombs and F15 fighter jets.
So, next time you hear a liberal make this argument, you have something with which to reply.
“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.
For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.
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