We keep having the same “gun arguments” – more guns vs fewer guns – because we assume those are the only “gun arguments” to be made. That, somehow, over time, we’ve made all the anti-gun arguments there are. Well, I’m here to tell ya that’s bullshit!!! I think there’s one argument staring us in the face that no one’s made yet. And, if they did, I don’t know how we got past it.
The right wing – to its credit – understands that feelings are way easier to sell than facts. And, they understand that they can hijack an argument just by hijacking the language. Or, in the case of the Second Amendment by making everyone look away from the language they don’t want the rest of us to see – because we’ll realize how completely full of shit the gun rights position is.
The right wing has us collectively believing that the Second Amendment is a gun free-for-all. That, somehow, the words in the amendment meant something different then than they do now. “Well regulated” meant “in good working order” not, you know, “regulated” as in “rules” and regulations.
The Big Bambu of Bamboozlement is the Heller decision. The right wants us to believe that the Supreme Court settled everything gun-related with Heller. Now, Heller guarantees an individual the right to POSSESS firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home.
Okay. Fair enough.
But Heller recognizes the very thing I’m pointing to: the ABSENCE of the word “OWN”. The word does not appear in the Second Amendment. Read it for yourself! If the word “own” isn’t there, there IS NO RIGHT to “own” a firearm. It simply doesn’t exist. Even Heller doesn’t use the word “own”. In fact, Heller mirrors the Second Amendment’s ownership dodge. Instead of “keep and bear arms”, Heller says “possess and bear arms” Same non-ownership difference. Scalia – the decision’s author – HE knew he couldn’t create ownership where it didn’t exist: in the Second Amendment. Ownership is not on the table in the Second Amendment and it ain’t on the table in Heller either. Individual Americans may NOT “own” firearms. They can “keep” and “bear” them until told to do otherwise by the firearms’ rightful owner. So who does own all the arms?
The Second Amendment puts it right up front: the well regulated militia. For the record – is the militia described as “unregulated” or “semi-regulated” or “sorta-kinda regulated”? No. It’s “well-regulated” which meant the same then as now: there will be PLENTY of rules and regulations as to who may “keep” and “bear” the arms that the militia OWNS.
Know who’d agree with me? Conservative chief justice Warren Berger. In fact, Berger himself said the idea that there was an individual right to bear arms was “a fraud”. He wrote in 1991 that if he were writing the Bill of Rights then, “there wouldn’t BE any such thing as the Second Amendment”.
I’ve gone searching for this argument. I don’t see it anywhere. As far as I can tell, no one’s pitched it to the nation before. It’s like the emperor’s been bare-assed naked all this time and no one’s bothered to point it out. But someone needs to! This mad, deadly emperor – guns – is absolutely naked. We’re being led around by Nero – fiddling while the rest of us burn – or take incoming fire from military assault weapons their POSSESSORS do not own – and who any even semi-well regulated militia would absolutely prevent from keeping or owning.