Chicago Tribune ➠ NRA’s Belief In Individual Right To Bear Arms An ‘Illusion’
A Pew Research Center report released in December 2014 found that 52 percent of Americans believe defending gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership. The Chicago Tribune would like you to think that 52 percent believe in an ‘illusion.’
On June 5, Tribune columnist David McGrath composed a piece titled, “NRA version of 2nd Amendment lacks common sense,” in an attempt to dissect the Second Amendment as it is written.
Yet the gun rights that they believe are guaranteed by law may very well be an illusion. That’s because we have allowed lawyers instead of language professionals to interpret the Constitution of the United States.
Ask any high school English teacher to parse the Second Amendment, and they will say that it does not prohibit common-sense restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns, in spite of the National Rifle Association’s claim to the contrary. The proof lies in the amendment’s exact language — “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.” Literally, it means that the American people will retain the right to carry weapons as members of a state militia in order to safeguard their freedom.
Liberal “language professionals” always hang on the first militia clause, then completely ignore the gun rights “shall not be infringed” part.
The only problem for McGrath, which he must know as a Chicagoland liberal, if not an emeritus professor of English, is that in 2008, the Supreme Court struck down gun controls in District of Columbia vs. Heller, in which the majority sided with Justice Scalia as he laid out the plain text: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” They followed up in 2010 with a similar decision in….McDonald vs. City of Chicago.
Another way McGrath feels gun control supporters can win this argument is to invoke the idea from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote (about the amendment confusion), “it can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
That’s not clarifying the Second Amendment, that’s gutting it. More