The Left has adopted a new tack in its campaign against the right to keep and bear arms. A recent article in The Atlantic, a left-inclined publication, contended that the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is a “mystery” whose meaning is uncertain. While the article refers to several considerations (some of them utterly irrelevant), it makes no reference to the many writings from the Constitutional period that firmly support the interpretation of the Second Amendment as asserting and protecting an individual right. Overall it suggests sotto voce that while legal scholars may continue to labor over the true meaning of the Amendment, legislatures and courts should have utter freedom to set policy about firearms in private hands.
No one has called any other guarantee in the Bill of Rights a “mystery” whose language must be forever analyzed and debated. Respected grammarians are unanimous that the “militia clause” is explanatory rather than restrictive, and that the right being guaranteed applies to individuals rather than to any collectivity. Historically – i.e., before the legal atrocities of the Twentieth Century – the right to keep and bear arms was universally honored as individual, absolute, and pertained to all categories of armament. But statists of all stripes are determined to prevent that right from being recognized, much less exercised. Inasmuch as the Supreme Court has come down firmly on the side of the individual nature of the right – see the Bruen decision for the details – the anti-firearms forces have chosen to try to obscure the right itself.
That’s the Left for you. They never give up. They treat their defeats as temporary setbacks while demanding that their victories are permanent and not to be questioned. And the vision of an armed citizenry rising against them in anger is their greatest fear.
Sadly, New York is at the forefront of the campaign to retain government restriction of the right to keep and bear arms. Kathy Hochul’s minions in the Attorney-General’s office have thrown up one obfuscation after another in the attempt to deny New Yorkers the exercise of their rights. Jared of Guns and Gadgets has a good presentation on New York’s most recent attempt to weasel-word its way around the plain import of the Second Amendment and the Bruen decision.
In a way, the recent op-ed on NJ.com that calls the Second Amendment a “curse” is more honest. In condemning the Second Amendment, it tacitly admits that the right guaranteed by the Amendment is plain and simple, and thus that legislative and administrative attempts to deny it must fail. But no doubt its authors would evade that implication were they to be challenged on it.
Mao Tse-tung wrote that, as “political power flows from the barrel of a gun,” the people must be prevented from owning guns, so that they can never be used against the Communist Party. The attitude of American statists is entirely consistent with this. If they can’t simply ignore the Second Amendment, their next move is to render it impossible to understand by larding all manner of pseudo-scholarly gobbledygook on its interpretation. Stay tuned.