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The Absolutist Biden

"But no amendment — no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell crowd — you can’t tell [yell]* “fire” in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech. From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution." Biden's Gun Control Speech, 8 Apr 21 "Yelling Fire" This is another weak and tired argument that gun control proponents have often regurgitated to somehow justify limiting civil rights.

Thing of it is, yelling in a fire is completely legal, especially if there is actually a fire in the building. In those cases, yelling "fire" would be completely appropriate. Doing it when it's not appropriate, or when there is not a fire, isn't an exercise in free speech; it's actually an abuse of free speech (akin to fraud), but that should have no bearing on whether or not you could use "fire" in other contexts.

And that's where the argument breaks down. If we treated "yelling fire" the same way they approached guns, the use of the word "fire" would be heavily restricted out of fear that someone might yell "fire" when there was no fire. "From the Very Beginning" Progressives show this tendency of being so forward-thinking, that they seem to have no use for history. And Biden--or rather, his speechwriter, since I don't think he has the faculties to write coherent speeches on his own--seems afflicted with such.

Back in the 1700s, all arms were "military grade," but that's of less interest than this curious phrase that appears in Article I of our Constitution; namely, the mention of "Letters of Marque and Reprisal," which was a provision for the U.S. Government to rent out privately owned warships and artillery.

Yes, "back in the beginning," private citizens owned cannons. Let those who like to mock the idea of Americans owning tanks (which is also legal) chew on that one. Even Scalia mused on this in the Heller decision, in the very same section (III) containing the only two words that most gun control fanboys (including Biden) know from the entire ruling ("not unlimited").

In the last paragraph of that section, we find, "[...] the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large."

"No Amendment is Absolute"

And that segues into something Biden (or, rather, his puppetmasters) seems to suggest about the nature of the Bill of Rights; that, somehow, the agendas of those in power take pre-eminence over the rights of the people, and the Constitution must be interpreted along those lines.

But, that's not how government was viewed "from the very beginning." A survey of the first ten amendments finds a recurring theme, "shall not," to be applied against the State, not the individual. The tenor of the Bill of Rights is one that prescribes limits on government power in the interests of being generous to individual rights.

Sadly, progressives have perverted this to extend generosity to state power at the expense of individual rights. And this was seen in the Democrats' 2020 party platform when it came to Second Amendment rights. Whereas past party platforms at the very least attempted to recognize it as a civil right, the 2020 platform did not, inferring instead that gun ownership was a problem that required government intervention to curb.

And that is what's really "contrary to the Constitution."


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