The universally accepted procedure regarding disputes in interpretation, or intended application, of legal Statutes, has eternally been an objective inquiry and consideration of its historical background at the time of the creation of the disputed law and thereby to achieve comprehension of its accurate meaning and intended application.

The roiling issue concerning the asserted right to the ownership and of use of firearms may hold second place in the National array of emotionally hot, tribal warfare, only to the bizarre issue of whether a woman can make decisions concerning her own body, and, if perceived necessary by her, to legally abort her own fetus. It is, apparently, no strange coincidence that adherents of the mantra of the personal franchise to own a weapon, proven capable of mass destruction and tragedy, would also oppose such personal right to choose abortion, both, nonetheless, within the popularly misleading, inconsistent and tactical meme of “right to life.”

The NRA and citizens emotionally in thrall to the purported right to own such death dealing instruments, seem to rely exclusively, upon their subjective and self-serving reading of the language of Art.2 of the U.S. Constitution, asserting that it affords the citizen the right to own a firearm. Such interpretation has been disputed by those who wish to outlaw the ownership of firearms, the latter, spurred on by the plethora of mass homicide (most often by automatic weaponry, designed for use in combat by the military) and individual acts of cold-blooded murder.  The loss of life, bodily maiming and heartbreak enabled by this misprision of Article 2 has been horrific and tragic.

Whatever may be the underlying personal motivation behind the unnatural desire to own an article, purposed only to maim or kill, may indeed vary, psychologically viz., paranoia, xenophobia, racial bigotry or perhaps, sexual impotence. Nevertheless, all such individuals seek safe harbor under an intentional and tactical misprision of the meaning and intent of the Founding Fathers, by means of their self-serving, reductive misinterpretation of the relevant Constitutional provision.

This fervent (and lethal) dispute is effectively capable of mutual resolution, provided that the parties, specifically, the “gun toting patriots,” are willing to exercise their brain, generously donated to them by Darwinian evolution. This can be accomplished by the application of the accepted rational and objective procedure, referred to in the opening paragraph; namely, when the meaning and intent of a law is in irreconcilable dispute, the resolution lies in the reference to its intent, as revealed in its historical background.

Should any of the reductionist proponents of their misprision of Article 2, choose to defer polishing their ardently loved weapons and self-serving, misinformed arguments, and do only a cursory reading of the historical context and issues extant at the time of the drafting of the subject Article, its true meaning and application will become evident. We have doubts, however, that many of the proponents of gun rights, which seems to have morphed to a quasi-religious credo, will risk committing right-wing tribal heresy.

In any event, a simple reading of the history and context, contemporaneous to the authorship of the critical clause in the Second Article, clearly and unmistakably will supply the resolution of the issue, if gun lovers are willing recognize its rational truth.

History recounts that at the time of the drafting of the relevant clause of Art.2, there was much heated contention between the “Federalists” who wanted to unite into a single Nation, under a common central government, and the “Separatists,” who demanded State sovereignty and opposed the concept of a federal (central) government. The relevant clause was the result of a final settlement of the hard fought dispute. Such final settlement amounted to the mutual agreement to a central government, with a federal standing army, but as well, the maintenance of the integrity of the several States, by a Constitutional grant of the right of the respective States (“the People”) to maintain separate standing State militias, which had the right to bear arms.

With our heartfelt sympathy for the Nation’s gunslingers, the irrefutable historical fact is that the topic of individual rights was never discussed and is completely irrelevant.

It would be a welcome and merciful relief, if some of the ardent proponents of the legal ownership of these instruments of death and profound loss, would consent to briefly and objectively consult the relevant history and bring about an end to the impassioned, long-standing debate, caused by the uninformed (or intentional) lethal misprision of America’s peace-loving Constitution.



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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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