Clarifying the Claims of Original Intent
[Editor’s note: Given the claims of Conservatives that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to unlimited possession of firearms, and other areas where Conservatives rely on the Constitution for their positions The Dismal Political Economist thought it would be helpful to hear from the one individual considered most responsible for writing the Constitution.
What follow is an exclusive interview with James Madison, something no other Forum has, mainly because he’s been dead for a long time.]
|James Madison Today - He's Aged Well Hasn't He|
DPE: Thanks for agreeing to talk with us Your Excellency, Mr. President.
DPE: Well, let’s skip that for a moment. You know, the 2nd Amendment has caused a lot of problems because a bunch of Conservatives say it means anyone can have as many firearms as they want. Is that what you intended.
You know, every right in the Bill of Rights has limits, we didn’t intend for freedom of religion to mean human sacrifice, or drug taking, or for freedom of speech to mean a person could shout fire in a crowded theater. In fact I believe one of your better Supreme Courts justices figured that one out.
DPE: But doesn’t the 2nd amendment guarantee everyone the right to bear arms.
DPE: Well, let’s skip that for a moment. A lot of people want government to sponsor Christian church services in public schools and display religious symbols on government property. What was your feeling on this?
DPE: Speaking of President Jefferson, excuse me, Tom, he wrote all that stuff about freedom and now we find out he not only kept slaves, but that he fathered children with one of them and was pretty mean to others. What’s with that?
My advice is read what he said, and separate that from his life. I lived near him, believe me, it was no fun going over to his house for Sunday dinner and listen to him have to whisper about that “all men are created equal” thing, him whispering because he didn’t want the slaves to hear him say that.
DPE: What were your plans for slavery?
DPE: We have a Supreme Court Justice, Justice Scalia that says he and he alone can discern the original intent of you guys. Does he get it right?
DPE: Any final words?
And notice there is no mention of these rights belonging to just to citizens. They belong to everyone. What's so hard about understanding that?