For American Pro-Gun Pro-Violence Originalists

“The question Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another, seems never to have been started either on this or our side of the water. Yet it is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also, among the fundamental principles of every government.” […]

“This principle that the earth belongs to the living, & not to the dead, is of very extensive application & consequences, in every country…”

thomas jefferson — in a letter to james madison, sept. 6, 1789

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Thomas Jefferson, as most of you know, was one of the six (6) Core Founding Fathers of our nation in the late 18th century. James Madison was as well and these two great scholars—Jefferson and Madison—contributed enormously to the idea, the drafting, writing, and ratifying of our U.S. Constitution in 1787–1788.

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In his letter of September 6, 1789 to Madison who was back in the American colonies, Jefferson was witnessing firsthand the start of the French Revolution. What he saw and interpreted from the French people was not unlike he and his American colleagues, the other five core Founding Fathers, and American colonists had also recently lived: revolution and independence from tyranny.

Now let’s jump to a modern enigma. What or whom is an Originalist? According to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA, Originalism is a theory of the interpretation of legal texts, including the text of the [18th century] Constitution. Originalists believe that the constitutional text ought to be given the original public meaning that it would have had at the time that it became law [in the late 1700’s].

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As you might infer from his 1789 Madison letter, as well as his 1816 letter to Virginia lawyer Samuel Kercheval, Thomas Jefferson would have undoubtedly and adamantly opposed this view of our nation’s rule of law if he were alive today for comment. Yet, his many letters to friends and colleagues amply demonstrate his position on Originalism vs. Living Constitution. And Jefferson was not the only Founding Father who would most certainly oppose this controversial political theory of Originalism. Edmund Randolph, also an attorney and Constitutional delegate from Virginia, wrote in his draft of a constitution:

To insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events.

edmund randolph — july 1787
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There are also historical precedents from our Supreme Court Justices referencing the Eighth Amendment in their 1958 decision on Trop v Dulles and evolving standards of decency. With this historical background in mind, I would like to propose an idea, a compromise for our modern American Pro-gun, Pro-violence advocates and fanatical Constitutional originalists.

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Let’s suppose for a minute that Originalism is an infallibly correct political, legal interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution today and its first eleven Amendments up to the Twelfth Amendment of 1804. Let’s also suppose that the Second Amendment, written in 1791, should stand exactly how our legislators of the late 18th century explicitly meant its content between 1787 to 1791 regarding state militias and their arms/weapons of the time. Because those 18th century law-makers couldn’t have known the unspeakable level of carnage and lethality brought on targets in a matter of a few minutes by an armed 20th or 21st century shooter with specialized weapons or armaments, let’s see where this leads. Let us follow to its conclusion, for the sake of fairness or argument, the modern Originalist’s logic.

In keeping staunchly with the spirit of originalism and the original 2nd Amendment, and since it seems they all must have various high-capacity military weapons in their possession for their personal pleasures. So let’s say all modern-day Pro-gunners and Pro-violence advocates in America can choose from these 18th century (only) flintlock rifles and pistols to your heart’s content and their large private arsenals. Here are some of your choices; get your original 18th century firearms now and show-off your (asinine) stubborn commitment to original 1770 — 1799 laws, amendments, and flintlocks and their so-so not so rapid reloading! 😊 Footnote, notice the sale prices on each firearm by antique dealers.

If I were to follow to its end the logic of modern-day Originalists in the U.S., then I can argue my own ‘right to bear arms’ gives me the equal right to own a nuclear weapon or bomb. After all, nuclear weapons are an armament or arms as defined by the 18th century Second Amendment, and just as important, nor are nukes explicitly banned in writing by the Constitutional framers of 1791. Voilà! Me and my good ole boys all get nuclear arms; it’s our God-given Second Amendment rights! Let’s unload our 30- and 60-round AR-15 magazines in the air in wild celebration!

Pffft! I’ll grossly understate: ludicrous logic, right? By the way, as of the 185th day in 2022, the U.S. has had at least 314 mass shootings or massacres and more than 22,750 Americans have died due to gun-violence this year.

Now, back to reality.

How many Pro-gun, Pro-violence, 2nd Amendment defenders, and Constitutional Originalists—and probably Anti-abortion lovers too—like Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh and all other legislative, law-enforcement, and pro-gun American citizens do you think would gladly give up all their 20th and 21st century firearms for original late-18th century firearms that our Founding Fathers and Constitutional framers knew of back then when drafting our Laws of the Land? It really begs the question, Is Originalism even a tenable position today, legally or theoretically? Hah! 🙄

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Intrusive Intruders

Given the events in America over the last two to three weeks with our January 6 Select Committee Hearings—another one today unexpectedly announced late yesterday—the Supreme Court’s extreme radical decisions into every American’s intimate privacy as well as disregard for public safety on so many levels, and finally their decision about public praying on a football field’s 50-yard line on public property at a public school’s campus, i.e. favoring one religion over others, thus violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause… I thought Gary Numan’s song and lyrics below, from either side of the arguments, was terribly appropriate for this unprecedented time in U.S. government history. After reading and listening to his song, you might agree:

I could listen to you scream
Pretty music to my ears
I could listen to it all day
If you want me to

I could talk about my world
How you brought about ruin
I could talk about your greed
If you want me to

I could look into evil
See a heart just like mine
I could throw away reason
If you want me to

I could walk into darkness
Find the hole you crawled into
I will be the intruder
If you want me to

You can whisper your Lord’s prayer
And pretend that it matters
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?
You can hide in the shadows
And pretend I won’t find you
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?

I could listen to more lies
About promises you kept
Will you walk on water
Like you said you would?

I could make you my prisoner
But you were dead man talking
When you burned the oceans
Like you said you would

You can beg for God’s mercy
And pretend that He hears you
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?
You can drown in your sorrow
And pretend you were helpless
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?

This was always your one life
I won’t pretend that it matters
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?
This was always your one home
I won’t pretend that I’ll miss you
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?

Share your thoughts and opinions below if you’d like, about Numan’s song or whatever else. I certainly have many of my own, but will reserve them, for now, unless otherwise required. Such dark days in this country now and ahead for the foreseeable future. Why are Originalists forcing us back to the 17th and 18th-centuries!? 🤦‍♂️

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When Everyone Is Armed Security

This will be a pretty short post because I really only have a few questions about the recent verdict by a criminal court and jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin the other day.

Admittedly I did not closely follow the story because events like this have sadly become regular occurrences (weekly? monthly?) across the U.S. over the last decade or more. However, when a dear family friend stopped by to visit yesterday she asked Mom and I what we thought about the jury’s decision in the case. Not knowing much about it to even say three words, I looked it up online on several news websites to familiarize myself with details. My very first question was Who exactly were the victims killed by the shooter? and second, Were those killed protestors armed with weapons drawn? I found my answers to these questions on NBC5 Chicago’s website here. I was pleased NBC5 Chicago provided some background on the three victims.

To my slight surprise I read that all three men shot by Rittenhouse were white/caucasian men. Though the original incident that they were protesting was a (white) police officer firing 7-shots into the back of an African-American man, Jacob Blake, which paralyzed Mr. Blake from the waist down. Later the white police officer was not charged for the shooting of Blake though the incident was captured on cellphone video by a neighbor. This trend by law-enforcement on ethnic minority persons has become a national powder-keg, deservedly and understandably so. This is why Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz—the three victims of Rittenhouse—were at the Jacob Blake protest in August 2020.

Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17-yrs old from Antioch, Illinois claimed ‘to be offering armed security’ with his loaded AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle around the protesting crowd then supposedly had to defend himself against Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz who, as he asserts, ‘wanted to take his life.’

All sorts of questions began swirling in my head after reading these accounts, including a plethora of unproven presumptions by all parties concerned. I am really struggling to find the understanding and wisdom of these angry people, protestors, armed protestors, law-enforcement, and the priority of non-violent grievances by citizens! What am I missing? Why wasn’t there longer and more forethought BEFORE acting on intense emotions? In fact, I have so many questions like this that I’ve tried these last two days to condense them down to these few questions, yes, some rhetorical:

  • Was 17-yr old Kyle Rittenhouse trained and licensed to legally or morally “offer” legitimate security and safety with other trained riot-officers?
  • Was Rittenhouse trained and licensed in the field of psychology and necessary Crisis Management techniques to “offer” peaceful security?
  • Does an AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle, fully loaded, and ready to fire project an air of calm and peacefulness to a volatile crowd?
  • Does a teenager armed with this military-grade weapon, but not dressed in any recognizable law-enforcement uniform or in riot-gear as law-enforcement project an air of calm and peace?
  • If an unarmed protestor sees civilian clothed, heavily armed boys or men (or women) coming toward them in a weapons-ready posture, will that unarmed civilian protestor immediately feel safe?
  • Did Rittenhouse previously know—or have a friendship with—all three men he felt attacked him and wanted to kill him? Did the three victims know Rittenhouse at all?
  • If one wants to deescalate a highly intense, possibly volatile situation and encourage “cooler heads to prevail,” would coming armed with an AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle, fully loaded, screaming(?) and postured to fire at you immediately… project the best way to “help” someone relax, become civil, and calm?
  • Continuing from the previous question, did the Kenosha Police Department and/or Riot Division ask the general public—even people from out-of-state like Rittenhouse—to come out and give armed security to the event/protest, especially unchecked, untrained citizens?

How many of you would want random, untrained citizens being your police-peacekeeping force and calling themselves 2nd Amendment Militia?

I come up with several more questions that arise from answers to these above eight questions and more. However, I’ll refrain because as I mentioned, I did not follow the entire story and court proceedings. I was and probably still am unaware of key proofs and refutes. But I will close with these further ponderances…

When one is surrounded by fellow statesmen and women, fellow Americans or fellow human beings, or if you are part of a peacekeeping force in a volatile situation or event, or better yet, if you are a member of The United Nations (UN) or very supportive of the UN’s role among (unruly) world governments and vicious regimes… would you attend meetings or negotiations fully armed postured to fight, harm, and kill then with body-bags present, proclaim you were offering safety, peace, and security? Should implications by appearances be completely ignored, completely overlooked as impertinent? Doesn’t the opposite behavior bode much better for non-violence, mentally unstable, inciteful antagonizers or intentional criminal negligence?

I don’t know, maybe I’m just way out of touch with what represents common decency these days. 😔

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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