I’M CERTAINLY GUILTY of the I-said-it-once-that’s-enough-now-everybody-should-be-onboard-with-it … thing. You know, where you say, in effect…
There are ideas, though, that do need to be repeated. Because not everybody was there when you said it the first time, for starters. And then, some times people aren’t in the right head space to appropriate something even they’ve maybe heard a time or two. You never know. Right? I’m just sayin’.
Of which Turk reminded me in response to my comment here. But that’s enough setup.
The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution reads — in relevant part — “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Commas and odd 18th Century capitalization notwithstanding, that’s what it says.
The FIRST Amendment starts out “Congress shall make no law…”
Get the difference?
The 1st Amendment is a proscription lain on Congress — as the sole legislative body for the whole of the United States. Congress is not allowed to establish a religion or any of that other stuff. But the STATES are. (Or were, until the 14th Amendement came along.)
Aside: do you suppose the 14th Amendment, incorporating as it’s held to, the whole of the Constitution against the governments of the states (and also local governments) is actually unconstitutional, as it contradicts without proper amendment the earlier provision that Congress (i.e., the United States) will make no law respecting the free exercise of religion? Which might be taken to include an individual state establishing a state religion — besides OSU football, I mean?
But I degrease. My point:
The wording of the 2nd Amendment has no such codicil or filip to it. The proscription is not lain on Congress alone. It is absolute. It does not address a single individual or body, but — as the saying goes — the committee of the whole: everybody. The right of the people … SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Period. End of discussion.
And that implies (to me at least) that it shall not be infringed — not only by not-the-United-States, not only by not-the-several-states, not only by not-any-local-government-within-the-United-States, but by ANY. BODY. Any person or body, public or private. Ain’t nobody ‘lowed to ‘fringe the right: nobody, nohow.
I said it. I meant it. I’m here to represent it. That is what the plain text of the Amendment really means.
Let’s see if Roberts and the Gang of Nine agree.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet that life in Chicago is about to change in some pretty odd ways.
Cross-posted at Eternity Road.