Dick Durbin versus the 2nd Amendment by Tom Reynolds
In the Supreme Court nomination hearings, Democrat Senator Richard Durbin questioned Amy Coney Barrett’s “originalist” view of the Second Amendment.
The Senator said, “I’m going to take you back in history for a moment and note that when the Second Amendment was written—and you did the analysis of it—we were talking about the likelihood that the person could purchase a muzzle-loading musket…We are now talking about virtual military weapons that can kill hundreds of innocent people. It is a much different circumstance…Maybe an originalist pins all their thinking to that musket. I’ve got to bring it to the 21st century, and the 21st century has people being killed on the streets of Chicago because of the proliferation of deadly firearms.”
Senator Durbin obviously believes the 2nd Amendment freedoms do not apply to modern arms and that “originalists” are hopelessly out of touch with modern technology.
Let’s paraphrase what the Senator might have said if he had been speaking about the First Amendment “…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”
“I’m going to take you back in history for a moment and note that when the First Amendment was written—and you did the analysis of it—we were talking about the likelihood that the person could purchase a quill and ink pen…We are now talking about virtual free speech that can spread a lie around the world in minutes, misinforming millions of innocent people. It is a much different circumstance…Maybe an originalist pins all their thinking to that quill pen. I’ve got to bring it to the 20th century, and the 20th century has people being killed by the tens of millions because of the ideas and lies of communist socialist and fascist countries.”
If Senator Durbin were consistent (he isn’t) he would also condemn the First Amendment freedoms for the same reasons he condemns Second Amendment freedoms. The written word in colonial times could, at best, have reached only thousands of people over months while modern technology can spread lies around the world in seconds.
Being such a progressive thinker, (I know, progressive thinker is an oxymoron) perhaps the Senator thinks that the Second Amendment was only to protect hunting. Let’s go back to June of 1789 and a conversation that never happened when the Bill of Rights was introduced.
Congressman James Madison rises to propose an amendment to the Constitution.
“We fought eight long years to free this nation and we are now surrounded by enemies of that independence such as Britain, Spain and the Indian tribes. I have proposed other amendments that protect life, liberty and property against a malevolent government. With that in mind, it is essential that we protect hunting deer against government intrusion. And in fairness to deer, this protection should only apply to current muzzle loading technology since science may advance humans’ hunting ability, creating an unfair advantage to the hunter. And besides, if you take more than one shot to kill a deer, you shouldn’t be hunting.”
“Originalists” are labelled extreme but the Founding fathers took an extremist view of what a too intrusive government would do to individual rights. “Originalists” are only following the dictates of people who were much smarter than Senator Durbin.
And finally – I can’t resist – Durbin is also wrong when he equates the 2nd Amendment to muskets. He said, “…the likelihood that the person could purchase a muzzle-loading musket”. The muzzle loading musket was a military weapon that had an unrifled barrel and was highly inaccurate; it was not a desirable civilian weapon. Real shooters, in colonial times, wanted advanced technology and they bought “rifled” barrels because they were far more accurate in shooting deer and redcoats.
But who would expect a gun grabber to actually understand what he is talking about?