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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

On guns, religion, and more....

I find it interesting that some assert their 2nd amendment right essentially is more important than anything else contained in the constitution.  And that "arms" refers to any/every thing that shoots bullets.

In the 1920s, our congress saw the use of machine guns as bad, and decided to restrict their sale to protect the citizens. But gun manufacturers figured out that by calling them "assault rifles" and making them "semi" automatic, they could essentially get around the law.  And then, others figured out that you could sell a kit that converted them to automatic, essentially skirting the law.  Aside: the word "assault" appears in the name.  What could it possibly be used for?

And this congress does nothing because "arms" means whatever you want.

The framers of the constitution had no idea what the future held for weaponry. A musket, like they had at the time, took anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute to load a single shot (depending on which type they were using and the the training of the person using it), and they were not mass produced in a factory - so only some people had them and they were mostly used to maintain order, frequently by slave owners.

And don't forget that they were wildly inaccurate.

So yes, the right to keep and bear arms should extend to anything that was developed in the 18th century. Or how about to simpler devices that don't have the ability to kill dozens in a few seconds?

That's the funny thing about the constitution.  Like many older documents, it has some things that don't really fit into today's world.

Another oddity is the 3/5ths compromise.  Some will tell you it's about black people being considered less of a person than a white person.  And that's true, but it's not.  Essentially, for the purposes of establishing representation that's how they do the math.  Remember representation is based on the population.  So, if you owned 100 slaves, they would only count as 60 people for this purpose.  And then, if a representative is assigned for every 1,000 people, this would matter.

But this law has been tweaked through amendments, because that's how we evolve.

And then, as I've pointed out before, we have the "Christian nation" argument.  It doesn't say that anywhere in the constitution.  And if the founders had tried to establish a religion, it would have been Anglican, because that's what most of them were - at least until it was time to pull away from the monarchy.

So in this case, we're interpreting the constitution to mean something it doesn't say.

My point is that it was written in a different time, and it serves as a good foundation, but it must be interpreted to be fully understood - so in one case. We take it literally, in another we misunderstand it but have amended it to make it clearer, and in the last we're assuming something that's not there.

I'm all for an amendment that clarifies what an "arm" is...

Sent from my iPad

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