Nothing New: Smug Dishonesty at the New Yorker

The Second Amendment: Original Intent. Don’t bother reading it; I can summarize: The article is simply a fake conversation between founding fathers James Madison (author of the Constitution) and Thomas Jefferson, updated to modern language. Both of whom, for the record, were Anti-Federalists, which means they wanted an even weaker federal government than the Federalists at the time. The conversation goes something like this:

Jefferson: It’s totes obvious that the second amendment is all about militias and doesn’t mean that people have a right to have firearms, right?

Madison: Yeah, duh. I mean if people carried around guns they’d have shot Patrick Henry. We clearly agree with statists 200 years from now!

Jefferson: Ha! Let’s hope no stupid gun-rights advocates misinterpret the 2nd Amendment in 2016, even if they are crazy anti-federalists like us.

Madison: No worries, it’s totally obvious to everyone with a brain that we never meant for the 2nd Amendment to allow people to have guns.

Basically the article is just a smug version of “gun rights advocates are dumb” without putting forth a shred of evidence, implying that it’s obvious to any idiot that the 2nd Amendment is not about private gun ownership. There’s just one pesky little problem with all this, which is what James Madison and Thomas Jefferson actually said:

Madison: [The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

Jefferson: No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements). [Draft Va. Constitution with (his note) added, 1776.]

Jefferson: States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. [to J. Cartwright, 1824.]

Jefferson: One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. [to G. Washington, 1796]

And, for kicks, here are Patrick Henry’s thoughts:

Henry: The great object is that every man be armed…. Everyone who is able may have a gun.

Even the Federalists, who would fall into the “left-leaning” category in today’s nomenclature, had this to say:

Alexander Hamilton: The constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

Apparently facts are just too inconvenient for the New Yorker to bother with. When you see writers resort to tactics as childish as this, you can pretty much assume they’ve lost the debate completely.

A word of advice for New Yorker writers: you look like absolute morons. Intelligent people can disagree, and to condescendingly suggest that it’s obvious that Jefferson and Madison would have agreed with your opinion without offering any evidence whatsoever is both dishonest and juvenile. Next, time, try Google first.

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