The Washington Post’s BIG 2A Lie
The right to keep and bear arms IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN an individual right.
Leftists, in their never-ending quest to rewrite American history to better support their fact-averse narratives, are at it again. This time, it’s the gun-grabbers at The Washington Post.
In an “analysis” piece titled “How the Second Amendment Was Reinterpreted to Protect Individual Rights,” someone named Amber Phillips foists the following falsehood upon the Post’s credulous readership:
Historians say that the notion that the [Second Amendment] protects people’s right to have guns for self-defense is a relatively recent reading of the Constitution, born out of a conservative push in the 1980s and ‘90s. … The interpretation that the Second Amendment extends to individuals’ rights to own guns only became mainstream in 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark gun case, District of Columbia vs. Heller, that Americans have a constitutional right to own guns in their homes, knocking down the District’s handgun ban.
First, we should cling tightly and jealously to our constitutional rights whenever we hear a leftist begin an argument with, “Historians say,” because they’re about to cite a bunch of left-wing historians. Second, Americans were strongly in favor of an individual right to keep and bear arms before Heller was decided — by a 73-20 margin. Third, this isn’t merely a case of sloppy or ignorant editing. It’s part of a concerted effort. Later on in the piece, Phillips refers to “a relatively recent political push by gun rights groups to reinterpret the Constitution.”
Again, no. Here’s how National Review’s Charles Cooke describes this attempt to deceive: “It is, of course, a ridiculous, contemptuous, malicious lie, a myth, or, if you prefer to use a phrase that has become popular of late, disinformation. It has never — at any point in the history of the United States — been ‘mainstream’ to interpret the Second Amendment as anything other than a protection of ‘individuals’ rights to own guns.‘”
What’s Cooke talking about here? Well, as we learned in eighth-grade civics class, the Second Amendment to the Constitution is part of a larger treatise of 10 amendments called The Bill of Rights. And if there’s one thing we know about The Bill of Rights, it’s that the rights identified therein pertain to individuals, not ill-defined collectives. Think about it: the right to worship as we please; to speak; to write; to peaceably assemble; to freely associate; to petition the government; to due process of law; to a speedy trial by a jury of our peers; to confront our accusers; to be free from unlawful searches and seizures, and from cruel and unusual punishments; to keep from having to house the army in our homes. We could go on. And nestled there amongst all of them is our First Freedom, the freedom that enables all the others: the right to defend ourselves against individuals — or against an oppressive government — as codified in the Second Amendment:
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.
What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” do leftists simply not understand? As Cooke continues: “The decision in Heller was, indeed, 'landmark.’ But it was so only because it represented the first time that the Supreme Court had been asked a direct question about the meaning of the amendment that, for more than two centuries up to then, had not needed to be asked.”
Columnist David Harsanyi provides some solid historical background for the Second Amendment’s individual nature, and for the individual right to self-defense itself — which, he notes, “goes back farther than our right to a free press and to freedom of religion.”
Then there’s the argument put forth by our second president, John Adams, who noted in a letter to William Sumner that the fledgling United States would be every bit as “conquerable” as Europe were the citizenry equally disarmed. “Here,” he went on, “every house is a castle, and every man a soldier. Arms are in every hand, confidence in every mind, and courage in every heart. It depends upon its own will, and not upon the force of the enemy, whether such a country shall ever be conquered.”
The Second Amendment as a “collective” right? Rubbish.
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