[ExI] Meta question

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 23:53:41 UTC 2016

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 5:02 PM, Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com> wrote:

​>> ​
>> Nukes? It's often difficult to figure out
>> ​exactly ​
>> what the framers
>> ​ meant when they wrote ​various things in
>>  the constitution
>> ​, but one thing we can be sure of is that when they said "Arms" as in:
>> *"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
>> State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
>> infringed."*
>> ​they didn't mean AK47's, they couldn't have imagined ​such things ,
>> they meant muzzle loading muskets and single shot flintlock pistols. And as
>> for nukes... well come on!
> ​> ​
> Exactly. Just like freedom of the press can't possibly apply to anything
> other than the screw presses they had in the 18th century. Radio, TV,
> Internet... well come on!

​Yes it's ambiguous, that's why the Supreme Court is important and I have
no patience with
strict constructionism that maintains being a judge is easy, just read the
minds of people who died 200 years ago and do what they meant. Using that
philosophy a case could be made that only muzzle loading muskets and single
shot flintlock pistols should be allowed, but an equally strong case could
be made that every one of the 319 million Americans should be allowed to
own and control their own individual H-bomb. And yes you're right, a case
could be made that freedom of the press must involve a press, you're
allowed to use a screw and lead type to press ink into paper but that's all
you're allowed. And indeed Robert Bork, who Reagan tried to get on the
Supreme Court and almost succeeded, was a strict constructionist and
maintained that freedom of speech only meant freedom of political speech,
and scientific, literary, philosophical, and artistic speech are protected
only to the degree it  "inspires and informs" political speech (Bork was OK
with religious speech because that was specifically mentioned). But an
equally strong strict constructionist case could be made that you're allowed to
say anything you like on Radio TV the Internet or anywhere else.

So the reality of the situation is the Constitution means what the Supreme
Court says it means, thus I would prefer a judge who says it means all
forms of  speech not just political speech are allowed over every medium,
but individual ownership of H-bombs is not allowed. I shudder to think of
the sort of idiot judge Donald Trump would appoint to inform us what that
document means.

 John K Clark
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