Monday, December 17, 2012

The right to keep and bear muskets

In response to the Newtown shooting, people are arguing that the word "arms" in the Second Amendment should be construed to mean those arms that existed in 1791. I explained back in 2000 here why that was not such a good idea:
Helier Robinson (Letters, February 12th) suggests that an originalist interpretation of America's Second Amendment to mean the “right to bear swords, pikes and muskets” would make gun control much easier. If courts adopted this reasoning, what would stop them from limiting the First Amendment's speech and press clause to the use of 18th-century communication technology? This would make censoring the Internet a great deal easier.

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