Beyond the Cusp

December 21, 2012

If the Anti-Firearms Adherents Universally Applied Their Standards

There are some central arguments used by those proffering gun bans as the solution to prevent such horrific murder sprees like the latest such grievous attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We wondered what our world would look like if their central arguments were to be applied universally across the entire spectrum of modern life. Some of these arguments will immediately be observed to be absolutely unthinkable and insane. The truth is that the arguments as applied to gun ownership is just as absurd as any of the other examples we will list in this article, it is just that firearms have been vilified so severely that they are viewed with fear of their ability to harm rather than respect for their ability to protect.

We often hear the argument that the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment at a time when the most advanced firearms were muskets and thusly their intention was simply to allow people to own single-shot weapons. The Founding Fathers did not intend for citizens to own assault weapons, machine guns or any paramilitary weaponry. First thing is that the Founding Fathers included cannons under the Second Amendment which changes the attitude and view they took drastically. Cannons are of a class of weaponry referred to as crew served weapons which means that a group of troops with definitive and separate functions being shared by each member of the team in order to load, aim, and effectively fire the weapon. This would imply that the Second Amendment would allow a much wider range of weapons than are currently legal. Some of the additional weapons that would be made available under this broad interpretation intended by the Founding Fathers are mounted heavy machine guns, anti-tank rocket launchers, mortars, and even artillery. But what would it look like if one were to restrict other rights to be restricted by what the founding Fathers had available in their day and its accompanying society?

Let us look at Freedom of the Press. To the Founding Father the press was the printing press or the hand written bulletin. According to the Founders the people had the right to printed newspapers and the posting of bulletins at the town hall community board. These rights that we now place under the First Amendment’s Freedom of the Press are greatly removed from the original written word and have been included as understood as being in agreement with the intent and how the Founding Fathers would define Freedom of the Press if they were to make such an amendment today. But if we apply the musket rule, then Freedom of the Press only protects the printed or written word and does not apply to any of the electronic media. Freedom of the Press could not have included film, radio, television, the internet or any other electronic form of media as such was beyond the scope of the press in the time of the Founding Fathers. I realize that this argument appears to be ludicrous but much of the reason that it seems so ridiculous is because we have been told that the Founding Fathers would necessarily have included all forms of the press, defining press as media, that exist today as it was the spirit of the terms Freedom of the Press and not the literal letters of the law. So, Freedom of the Press includes radio and television even though such items were unthinkable when the First Amendment was written, but the only weapons that are protected under the Second Amendment are those which are minimally more sophisticated or modern than the weapons available to the public at the time of the Founding Fathers.

Also in the First Amendment there is the right to Freedom of Assembly. Freedom of Assembly was defined at the time of the Founding Fathers as citizen groups which could meet in person and should they live in disparate areas, then they could meet in their individual areas and then send a representative to a central meeting much as the separate states had committees that met to discuss the Constitution as it was written and ratified and sent representatives to a central meeting which included all the representatives of the separate states. So, the Founding Fathers obviously meant that citizens had the right to assemble and associate in person in groups at a physical location. They did not mean, imply, or even hint at such things as on-line virtual meetings, SKYPE, community calls or any of the plethora of electronic meeting offerings. There must be a limit to this freedom such that it only applies to face-to-face meeting in person and not via electronic mediums. The further proof of this is reinforced by the fact that the Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, hold their meetings face-to-face in Washington DC despite the availability of electronic options which would allow for these representatives of the people to remain in their home areas and meet electronically with a dedicated twenty-four hour a day link of the separate offices allowing for continuously available means for contact. The Founding Fathers were only referencing people holding physical assemblies in a building or place with a definite location to be dedicated for such meetings.

Then there are the guarantees in the Third Amendment against quartering soldiers in one’s house without the consent of the owner. It is probably obvious that they meant abode of any kind or character but then again in the days of the Founding Fathers a home was a simple house with even the most lavish of homes not exceeding three floors and possibly a cellar. The Founding Fathers could not have foreseen huge apartment buildings standing forty, fifty, or more stories tall having the capability of housing an entire brigade of troops providing them with a central location. There were no condominiums in their day and rental housing was almost nonexistent. Where exactly this protection would cease to apply might be up for debate but it must be seen that the Founding Fathers could not have meant this to apply to all living quarters in existence in a modern city. Perhaps the government, in the guise of saving money, should take up the modern interpretation of the Third Amendment and see if there might be some manner of residential buildings in which they could station troops. This would have to save the government money as they would no longer have to spend on upkeep of bases and base housing.

We could take other guarantees from the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and turn their intent and meanings on their heads by the imposition of absurdities which are merely refusing to apply these freedoms liberally to include technological inventions that have transformed our societies since 1800. Our freedom to move is not limited to horse drawn conveyance but to include vehicles, even large tractor-trailer rigs. But when we come to the right to keep and bear arms we are told that the Founding Fathers could not have seen the advances in weaponry that have taken place since they wrote and the Bill of Rights was affirmed on December 15, 1791. How can we believe that the Founding Fathers could have anticipated that weapons would suddenly explode in their manner of lethality, fire rate, types of projectiles, method of propelling the projectiles, the rapidity of rate of fire, or any of the numerous other improvements made in firearms since early 1792? There existed no previous vast improvement in weaponry previous to the last two-hundred years or even since the dawn of time. The human race had not progressed to the point of the muskets used by soldiers and the populace around 1800, those types of weapons had been available since the dawn of civilization, right? What? These weapons were a relatively new invention and had replaced the crossbow which replaced the long bow and the sling which replaced or complimented the sword which replaced the club which was preferred over a large rock. But the Founding Fathers were of such limited intelligence that they were full in their knowledge that weapons had advanced to their pinnacle of inventiveness. How could they have seen that weapons would become even more lethal with time as such had never happened before in their knowledge. Really, they were that limited in their vision of what the future might hold. Why do I find such hypocrisy to be an insult to the Founding Fathers and to my intelligence? That would be like claiming that our current lawmakers could not imagine that there will be laser and directed energy wave weapons in our future.

Beyond the Cusp

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