Ancient Rome’s greatest historian, Tacitus, who often sat at the center of the empire’s government, observed: “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. Today, he might add, the nation with ever more laws is probably becoming not only more corrupt, but also more dishonest and stupid.
The recent mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois is perhaps an example. This state has strict and comprehensive gun control laws and a “red flag” law – just like Connecticut. Yet these laws failed to stop the troubled young man charged with the crime, whose madness was well known to his parents and the police but prompted no intervention.
In recent days in Connecticut, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed and a woman injured in Fairfield during a birthday party for a 13-year-old that was attended by dozens of people. Next, two people were shot in New Haven, for which a 17-year-old was charged, and two others were shot in downtown Norwich, for which an 18-year-old was charged.
Meanwhile a Norwalk Town Hall forum on gun violence, attended by Mayor Harry Rilling and US Representative Jim Himes, produced only a glimmer of understanding. The forum heard that many young men are idle, uneducated, and unskilled and that despite Connecticut’s strict laws, both legal and illegal firearms are prevalent here.
Ebony Epps of Street Safe Bridgeport added, “These kids are so desensitized.” But like everyone else, Epps has only advocated more “programs,” which multiply almost as fast as laws with a similar lack of effect.
There were no calls to the forum to inquire Why young men are so “desensitized”, no calls to investigate the causes of the social disintegration that is slowly destroying the country.
There was no recognition that the strictest gun laws have accomplished slightly more in Connecticut cities than in Chicago or New York.
For the country now has a huge underclass – disengaged, demoralized, alienated and unproductive but heavily armed, and the underclass will not give up their weapons any faster than the rest of the country.
Where does this subclass come from? Is it the fault of Donald Trump and George W. Bush? Why was it uncivilized under Barack Obama and Bill Clinton? Why are fewer people today ready to become good citizens?
Anything short of questions like these is a waste of time, except for people who aspire to careers in “programs”.
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Wise guys in Connecticut, angry at the Supreme Court’s recent reiteration in the New York Second Amendment case that individuals have the right to own and bear arms, again argue that this right should be limited to members of the mentioned militia in the amendment.
Yes, “a well-regulated militia” is the justification offered by the Second Amendment for the right to keep and bear arms. But this justification of the right does not establish a requirement. At the time the Bill of Rights was passed, people did not have to be official members of a militia to be eligible to join or be called up. The Bill of Rights gave the people the right to own and bear arms In case.
This is how the second amendment was interpreted at the time. Today, people may consider the rationale for the amendment to be outdated, but it is still in the Constitution and it is not for the courts or state legislatures to change or invalidate it. This can only be done by repealing the amendment according to the prescribed constitutional procedures.
The wise complain that today’s semi-automatic rifles are “weapons of war”, far deadlier than the muskets used when the Bill of Rights was passed. The wise maintain that the founders of the country did not imagine that the right to possess and bear arms included “weapons of war”. But of course the founders imagined it, because at the time muskets were also “weapons of war”.
Connecticut’s own Constitution suggests that the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment exactly as it was understood when it was ratified in 1791. For since 1818, 27 years after the Second Amendment was ratified, the Connecticut Constitution has stated: ” Every citizen has the right to bear arms to defend himself and the State. »
He has always been and remains a individual right.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer.