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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dave Kopel has a great article that talks about the grammatical interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Lots of great stuff, but here's one that stands out:
"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed." Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence, and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment? Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict "the right of the people to keep and read Books" only to "a well-educated electorate" — for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?
This shows an interesting point about human cognition. A liberal can read the 2nd Amendent:
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.
and because they feel that somehow guns are evil and should be restricted to the distasteful military, their brain puts an emphasis on the first phrase and is able to turn that into acceptance of all sorts of "reasonable" restrictions. But take the exact sentence structure and replace education and books for militia and arms and they can clearly see that any restriction on the right of the people to read books would be barred in the first sentence. This isn't a slam against liberals, it just shows that the perspective that people approach things from has a dramatic impact on their understanding of "clear" english.

This explains why two people with different agendas can look at a powerpoint bullet and get completely different meanings. Except that the 2nd Amendment isn't a powerpoint bullet. It has a very clear meaning -- the liberal brain just has to go through more gymnastics in order to believe that it doesn't say what it says.

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