Could the Founding Fathers have been ANY clearer?

March 14th, 2008

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, cialis generic ampoule or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, cialis generic discount or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, sales and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Founders didn’t write, ” shall make few laws” or “shall make no law except…”.

They wrote “shall make NO law.”

What language could have been stronger than “shall make no law”?

Would adding “no laws. Really. None. Zero. Zip,” have kept the various Federal, State and local governments from restricting commercial speech, political speech, and so-called hate speech?

How could the Founders have been any clearer?

The same thing with the Second Amendment.

It reads:

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.

“Shall not be infringed” translates to “shall not undermine or encroach on.”

Who thinks the People’s right to keep and bear Arms has not been infringed on in the United States of America?

(Remember, I live in a part of the country where it is ILLEGAL for me to carry a gun. Period. Despite the Wisconsin Constitution literally guaranteeing my right to do so.)

There is no ambuguity in phrases like “shall make no laws” and “shall not be infringed.”

There are no gray areas.

There is no room for interpretation.

And yet the absolutes written into the Constitution have been absolutely violated by Congress, the Executive Branch, and, worst of all, the Judicial Branch for more than 200 years.

So answer my question: if the words “shall make no law” weren’t strong enough to keep us from having laws like the one I referenced in my last post, what language would have been?

Entry Filed under: Philosophy

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 3RD Way  |  March 14th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    So you think it is wrong that our government created laws prohibiting convicted criminals and mentally deranged people from purchasing machine guns and bazookas?

    It seems like whenever these gun debates come up common sense flies out the window.

  • 2. elliot  |  March 14th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I think the Constitution reads “no law” and “shall not infringe” and as soon as you start making exceptions the exceptions never stop.

  • 3. elliot  |  March 14th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I should expand on my last answer before everyone thinks I’m insane.

    If there are sufficiently good reasons to ban certain things related to arms or speech (private ownership of nuclear weapons, etc…) those exceptions should be written into the Constitution as Amendments (after long and rigorous national debate).

    Ignoring the clear meaning of the first two Amendments instead is unacceptable to me and has certainly proven to be a bad precedent.

  • 4. Chris  |  March 14th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    also 3rd way bazookas are not guns they are anti-tank weapons(plus they have not been manufactured since the late 50’s) Now a Laaw or an RPG launcher might be another story.

    Let me tell you a story 3rd believe it or not the citizens who stood up to the British army at Lexington and Concord were better armed than the British soldiers they were facing. The Pennsylvania rifled musket was the assault rifle of its day. It could easily shoot farther and more accurately than the smooth bore Brown Bess muskets the English Army used. So from a frame of reference the founding fathers would not have wanted the “State” to be better armed than the common man. They had just had to fight the “State’ and I am sure they would want us to error on the side of the common man not the State.

    I have no problems with a convicted felon losing his rights to own weapons he committed a serious crime and part of punishment for that crime is losing some rights.

    But I think what elliot means is the State has no right what so ever to say what guns a citizen may own as long as that citizen is not a felon.

    Elliot has a good point when it comes to the 1st amendment people on the left interpret it one way but do not want to use the same standard for the 2nd amendment. It is funny they can find rights in the Constitution and Bill or Rights that are not mentioned like “The right of privacy” but will not accept what is plainly written in the 2nd amendment.

  • 5. 3rd Way  |  March 14th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I completely agree with Elliot’s clarification. There is good reason to prohibit your average jackass from walking into a gun dealer and walking out 15 minutes later with a 50 caliber machine gun. The gun laws we have prevent the catastrophes that surely would have ensued if the random mass murderers that routinely strike were able to arm themselves with weaponry comparable to what the State is armed with.

    There is also a good reason to impose other common sense laws that will make us slightly safer, but not infringe on gun owners rights. Things like more comprehensive background checks, mandatory registration and mandatory trigger locks. Simple laws can save lives without jeopardizing anyones rights.

    Seatbelt laws are a minor nuisance, but they save lives. Gun safety laws should be thought of the same way.

  • 6. Chris  |  March 14th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    But see that is the problem 3rd Way why should I have to tell the State how many guns I own and where they are they have no right to that knowledge. You use the term common sense then you use the term mandatory trigger locks where anyone who keeps a gun for home defense will tell you that with a trigger lock the weapon is useless for home defense. Now there are ways to store a weapon so it can be accessed rapidly in a time of need but is also secure from small hands. But I did not need the nanny state to tell me I had to store my bed room handgun that way. It was common sense.

    You see 3rd Way mandatory registration and trigger locks do jeopardize my 2nd amendment rights. Just like hate speech laws and the whole PC movement jeopardize my 1st amendment rights.

    I do not trust my government why should I have to freely give information to them that they might use to disarm me?

    Owning a gun is a right not a privilege that is something you people cannot just get your minds wrapped around.

    If I want to own fully automatic weapons I should have the right to do so. I personally would not waste my time with full auto weapons a good semi auto is much more lethal. But once again it should be up to me not the you or Hillary Clinton to decide.

    I find it funny that the crowd that has such a problem with government possibly reading their emails or listening in on their phone calls has no issues with forcing legal gun owners to give all sorts of information to the same government.

    Instead of taking away the rights of law abiding gun owners why dont you increase the penalties for using a gun in a crime?

    Use a gun in a crime 20 years on top of what ever sentence you get punish criminals not citizens who obey the law.

    Now that would seem to me to be common sense.

  • 7. 3rd Way  |  March 16th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for the honesty Chris. I don’t trust my government as far as I could throw it either, but I don’t see registration leading to confiscation. I have to register my car and I had to register my daughter when she was born. I have no reason to be worried about anyone coming to confiscate them, you have no reason to be worried about someone coming to confiscate your guns. The upcoming SCOTUS ruling on the DC ban will prove that.

    I can agree with you that we need to enforce the gun laws currently on the books.

  • 8. elliot  |  March 17th, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I’ve never thought of a birth certificate as “registering” your child.

    Now, I’m seriously depressed.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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