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What Part of "Shall Not Be Infringed" Don't They Understand?
by Isaiah Z. Sterrett
23 September 2003

Senator Dianne Feinstein wants to renew the Assault Weapons Ban for another ten years, as do John Ashcroft and George W. Bush.


One of the most ancient debates among conservatives is whether liberals hate the Constitution, or simply don’t understand it.  Some argue that the Left is far too blinded by their own ideology to comprehend the importance of the Constitution, and that they therefore lack the ability to interpret it honestly.  I don’t think they deserve that much credit.  There are a lot of words one could use to describe the American liberal, but “stupid” is not among them.  They hate what we stand for as a nation, and they hate the Constitution.

In 1973 the Leftist movement, with the help of the United States Supreme Court, decided that a woman has a constitutional right to destroy her child.  The author of that opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun, wrote that “the Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy,” but then mystifyingly based his argument on a right of privacy.  Go figure.

In the 1980s the Justices exercised a little sense -- obviously rather scarce at the Court when liberals have the majority -- and decided to uphold the Tenth Amendment, even when it came to silly laws against certain kinds of sex.  They overturned that ruling this year, declaring that states cannot prohibit sex acts, of any kind or nature, which take place in the home.  It was a wake-up call to conservatives; astonishingly, we’d always missed the Right To Gay Sex clause in our copy of the Bill of Rights. 

The point is simple:  liberals have a preternatural talent to manufacture rights and liberties in the Constitution that don’t exist.  No issue better illustrates that truth than gun rights.

For decades conservatives have been trying to explain the Second Amendment to liberals, but they just won’t listen.  They sniff that certainly our Founding Fathers didn’t really mean “people” (despite having written “people”); they were talking about the militia! The militia can carry as many guns as they please, but the people? Ordinary Americans? How could they be trusted?

In 1972 Associate Supreme Court Justice Douglas wrote that “There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police.”  On December 8, 1993, Chuck Schumer, the smarmy New York Democrat, called a press conference at which he said that America is going to “hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We’re going to beat guns into submission!”

In his Saturday radio address of November 15, 1997, Bill Clinton said that “Assault weapons in the hands of civilians exist for no reason but to inspire fear and wreak deadly havoc on our streets.” 

I guess the man who loathes the military loathes the Constitution more.

And now, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wants to renew the Assault Weapons Ban for another ten years.  “Semi-automatic assault weapons -- which fire up to 250 rounds of ammunition within seconds and without warning -- are weapons of war that do not belong on the streets of our communities,” she wrote in a letter I received recently.  “…military-style assault weapons are a danger on our streets and to our children.”  Attorney General Ashcroft and President Bush have publicly supported her efforts.

The Second Amendment clearly states that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  That’s what the Framers wrote, like it or not.  If Feinstein wants to introduce an amendment to the Constitution, nullifying that part of the Bill of Rights, she has that power, and if Congress approves, her wishes will be carried out.  But until that point, her legislation will be manifestly unconstitutional.

Isaiah Z. Sterrett, a resident of Aptos, California, is a Lifetime Member of the California Junior Scholarship Federation and a Sustaining Member of the Republican National Committee.

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