Words..and Guns

By Shlomo Maital

Original illustration of old western cowboy

   Words matter.  Words inspire, console, inform, motivate.  And yes, words kill.  

    The Second Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on December 15, 1791, just a few years after the US became independent.  Here are the words of this Amendment, in full,  every word:

“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.”

    That’s it.  That’s the whole thing.  This is what gun-crazy people use to justify enabling a whacko 18-year-old acquire a semi-automatic weapon with 30 bullets in a clip, to wipe out a class of innocent beautiful children.

    A well regulated militia.  Meaning, in the context of 1791,  police and army,  necessary for a nation still threatened and still in its infancy.  A well-regulated militia, needed to defend the country.

    The late Justice Scolia twisted those sparkingly clear words, to tell us to ignore “militia”.  Even though he espoused ‘textism’…literally following the text of the Constitution. But, I guess, only when politically convenient.

     So the gun crazy people use the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms”, giving America far more guns than it has people – and ignore the ‘well regulated militia’ part.

     Words kill.  Those words, unintended, kill.  And will continue to kill. 

    As New York Times columnist John McWhorter says:  America is broken.  And it may not be fixable.