Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shall Not Be Infringed - How Did The Framers Use This Language?

Updated February 21, 2013
In current discussion about gun control,  the theme regarding Second Amendment intent seems to be that there is no intention whatever to violate Americans' rights. The government regulations and restrictions being offered, it is claimed, would not be prevented by the Second Amendment because they are "reasonable" and make good sense, thus, presumably, not a Second Amendment violation.

What exactly did the founding generation understand the restrictive "shall not be infringed" langauge regarding the right of the people to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment to mean? Was it only a protection against complete disarmament of the people? Would extensive banning of varieties and types of arms be A-OK? Did it mean that anything gun control advocates suggest as "reasonable" the government can implement without violation?

Those interested in this subject will find my February 8, 2009 post, The Meaning of 'Shall Not Be Infringed', most helpful. It places this language in its correct Bill of Rights context during the Founding Era and examines how those involved in developing American bill of rights language actually used it.

Pass the link on to your friends.

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