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They’re Kidding, Right? Official Senate Web Page Trashes 2nd Amendment In Novel Interpretation

September 27, 2013 by  

They’re Kidding, Right? Official Senate Web Page Trashes 2nd Amendment In Novel Interpretation
SCREENSHOT

The host website is www.senate.gov, the official Web presence for the U.S. Senate. If you visit the page and click on the “Reference” tab in the top right-hand corner, you’re taken to a second page that links to a number of jumping-off points for learning about the Nation’s founding documents.

One of those links connects you with a full text copy of the U.S. Constitution, which is presented, in columnar form, alongside an “Explanation” commentary that purports to offer insight on the meaning of each Article and Section, as well as each amendment. Here’s a direct link.

Remember, this is hosted on an official publication of the U.S. Senate, with all the probity that implies.

So scroll down to the “Amendments” section (or simply click on the “Amendments” link at the top of the page to jump directly to the Bill of Rights.

There it is: “Amendment II (1791).” By heart, you know what it says. So what does the Senate’s “explanation” have to say?

“Whether this provision protects the individual’s right to own firearms or whether it deals only with the collective right of the people to arm and maintain a militia has long been debated.”

Makes you want to read through the entire “explanation” column, to see what else the Senate wishes to tell Americans about how government reinterprets its own charter, does it not?

You don’t have to read very far. The very next “explanation,” for the 3rd Amendment, glibly calls the amendment “virtually obsolete” and insinuates it had only transitory value because it arose out of a specific set of circumstances. Does that mean it doesn’t function in 2013, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, in “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government,” as the preamble states?

Perhaps it does to the U.S. Senate — or to whoever has been designated to reimagine the Constitution on its behalf.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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