Man who wants job protecting Constitution

Says he\’ll protect the Constitution.

Mitt Romney sought to win over the arch-conservative membership of the National Rifle Association by promising to be the protector of American freedoms and accusing President Obama of launching a stealth attack on the constitutional right to bear arms.

Addressing the NRA\’s annual convention in St Louis, Missouri, Romney tried to assuage doubts about his commitment to America\’s love affair with the gun by peppering his speech with references to the US constitution and liberal use of the word \”freedom\”.

Lefties outraged.

6 comments on “Man who wants job protecting Constitution

  1. I missed the speech where Romney defended the constitutional right to form a well-regulated militia; I only saw the one where he lied that there was a constitutional right to bear arms outside of the context of a well-regulated militia..

  2. Apparently you have read a different version of the American constitution to everyone else, John B.

    Here’s the version of the second amendment from planet Earth:

    “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.”

    Note that while the first clause is implicitly cited as *a* reason, it is by no means the *only* possible reason; nor does it explicitly state that there is a right to form a “well-regulated militia”.

    Also note that the second clause is entirely unqualified.

  3. “The weather being so hot, male staff are permitted to take off their jackets in the office” – obviously that permission lasts only for so long as the hot weather. The obvious and natural reading of the second amendment is that freedom to bear arms need apply only for so long as a well-regulated militia is necessary – which it now isn’t.

    However, in practice the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means. And the Supreme Court allows itself considerable latitude to give whatever rulings it feels like.

  4. Contrary to Paul B’s example, there is no indication that the condition “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” is deemed to be a temporary state of affairs.

    Not only that, but under his reasoning – “only for so long as a well-regulated militia is necessary – which it now isn’t” – there is no right either to bear arms or to form well-regulated militia. If this interpretation were correct, the whole second amendment would be null and void, which is clearly not the case – hence the controversy.

    Historically, the second amendment was passed at a time when there was a right under English law to bear arms in self-defence. Given that the American revolution was in the name of greater freedom, it scarcely seems plausible that the law was phrased to provide a more restrictive basis for firearms ownership than in the “oppressive” mother country.

    (In practice, of course, the Supreme Court decide what the constitution means.)

    John B’s decision to eschew reasoned argument for trivial abuse can probably be regarded as an implicit admission of failure.

  5. Simon Jester: yes, if the Supreme Court functioned properly, the Second Amendment would long since have become irrelevant.

    But it doesn’t. This was most obvious in Bush v Gore. Whatever you think the right decision was, the 5-4 vote was plainly on party lines not on the legal merits.

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