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Old 09-11-2019, 09:33 AM
Corry El is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,875
Originally Posted by eschereal View Post

But you are correct that there is no way to parse the sentence with any number of commas that makes it grammatical. Oddly, 2A appears to be the only part of the Constitution that resists clear interpretation; 7A is slightly awkward, but it does resolve with much less difficulty.

On the second point, wherefore dost thou accuse me of link-rot? I posted no links in this thread – can you direct me to my error?
No way to make it the same as common 2019 syntax I agree. Resisting clear interpretation, I don't agree. Which again would include looking at what was elsewhere written at that time, and contemporary or earlier similar type clauses in colonial and state documents. And I still see no validity in the argument to ignore those things because 'that was a long time ago' or 'they were a bunch of old white male racists' or whatever else. No reasonable jurist even solidly on the left of the mainstream is going to try argue that it makes no difference what we can otherwise tell that they meant. Again 'originalism' is a matter of degree, but beyond reason IMO to say 'just try to interpret in a vacuum, ignore all other evidence'.

The relationship between 'militia' and 'people's right' is actually pretty clear in the context. It meant to point to a specific reason the people had the right to bear arms: so the states could organize those already privately armed civilians into militias as necessary, the federal constitution was not voiding that state right. But there's no logical way from those words, in their context of the time, to get to the idea that the people's right to bear depends on the militia actually being called up, or that a feature of 'well regulated' could be to entirely cancel the people's right to bear arms.

The concepts and thought behind the words could well be judged 'obsolete' at this point. Which again might be a reasonable argument to repeal the amendment, not a reasonable argument to ignore it or pretend it says something basically different.

But again I'm always puzzled why this is supposed to be so immediately important when a modest, constitutional (as far as any court precedent to date) measure like a federal ban on the sale of new box magazine semi-automatic rifles (political name 'assault weapons') doesn't have the votes to pass.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-11-2019 at 09:37 AM.


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