Friday, January 14, 2011

Inspired to post again

I visited our nation's capital for the first time this week. I toured our Capitol, visited several Smithsonian Museums, the Supreme Court, the Monuments and more. As a tourist, and personally, the Library of Congress was far and away the most enjoyable building. However, the most moving moment for me was visiting the National Archives and viewing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I was reminded and moved by the struggles our founding fathers went through in forming this Nation of ours. These days, we spend so much of our time in our political discussion evoking their "will" or their "intentions". The irony of this occurs to me, as they themselves were often unable to come to a single "will". I think the spirit that is embodied in those documents though is that of cooperation and negotiation, for the good of our United States. This is what we should be focusing on today.

I can't wait to go back to DC. I think it won't be long before I'm drawn back.


  1. Couldn't disagree more. But, what's new, right? But, what's funny is, you said you were worried about preserving the "spirit" of those founding documents.

    Yet, you avidly support the Constitutional judicial philosophy of having a living breathing Constitution. A philosophy that has little to no respect for the importance of the Constitution. A philosophy that turns our founding legal document into nothing more than an empty container to be filled with what 9 justices think it should say at any point in time.

    Is that really "preserving" the "spirit" of the document? I would say it is just the opposite.

  2. Yet you cite to me a Supreme Court case to me on the 2nd Amendment? Looking only at the document, I don't see how you can read that as an individual's gun owning right outside of a militia. The Constitution is intentionally vague - simply defining the terms becomes an exercise in the activism you claim to hate. I never want the touchstone of the arguments to become what the Supreme Court says, but always to remain with the Constitution. I think we can agree on that.

  3. That is so crazy that two people who are legally trained (well almost) could read the same Amendment and come to such a different conclusion.

    So here we go. Lets get the text out in front of us and break it down.

    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.

    I guess my explanation for my understanding of the Amendment is this. A well regulated militia was obviously a necessity for each state's security from outsider attack. However, the right to own a gun was not given to the state. Apart from the state, the People of each state were given the individual right to own and bear arms.

    How could a state own a gun? I think it is clear that the PEOPLE were given a right. I guess my explanation as to why the drafters through in the militia part was to give the people the right to not only own guns, but to form an armed militia that could not be disarmed by the federal government.

    Maybe guns were so common place since they had to be used for hunting and daily sustence that they never dreamt that they would have to add a Consitutional amendment to protect JUST individual gun ownership but instead killed two birds with one stone.

    There you go. That is my (probably horrible) explanation of why I read the 2nd Amendment the way I do. All without the use of my man Scalia....