In the wake of another mass shooting last week, we’ve once again seen a push to curtail the right of Americans to own firearms. The most common utterances are calling for the banning of “assault weapons” and for universal background checks. Both are terrible ideas, based mostly on emotional appeals that would do nothing to actually stop gun crime.

Enter Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who’s become one of the more annoying Democrats in the Senate. He decided to give an “explainer” on the 2nd amendment in a reply to Ted Cruz, who had previously laid out the case for why it exists and what it protects.

This is moronic and we are only two tweets in. The Bill of Rights are individual rights by their very definition. All of them, no exceptions. None of them are posited to only apply to certain groups of people. That’s antithetical to their very purpose for being written.

Secondly, militias are simply normal people who own personal firearms joining together of their own choice. Part of what the 2nd Amendment is protecting is the right for individual gun owners to gather, form militias, and remain well regulated (trained). They feared a federal government that would not allow such congregation, thereby negating the ability of the people to defend themselves from tyranny. The idea that personal defense is not included in that is ludicrous, as it’s the first step to even being able to form a militia. People without guns for self defense can’t then go form militias because they’d have no weapons. This is grade school level stuff and Sen. Murphy doesn’t even see the flaws in his argument.

Murphy is apparently not aware that the 2nd Amendment is, and stick with me here, an amendment. That means it did not exist during the Constitutional Convention, therefore of course there were no notes on it taken by Madison.

Murphy finishes his rant by asserting that the Founders had no intention of the 2nd Amendment providing a right to self-defense.

I could sit here and continue to tear this apart, but I’m going to let someone with more expertise do it better. Enter Charles W. Cook, one of the most well read and knowledgeable people on the 2nd Amendment in the modern era.

Why is all this important?

Most notably because it was the states which came together to ratify the Constitution. It was not just supposed, but an absolute given that they supported a right to bear arms for self-defense, so much so that it was included in most of their state constitutions. To now claim that it’s simply a modern interpretation, when that same interpretation was made decades before ratification is incredibly illogical.

They codified that right to bear arms in Article I Section 9, which makes it an individual, not a communal right. Further, after the Union was formed, we can see by the actions of the government that they obviously respected a right to bear arms for self-defense. Forming militias from that right was not the government’s place, thereby they were given no far reaching regulatory power. It was intended to be the people’s choice and right, either in protection of their government or in defiance of its possible tyranny. The common thread is always the individual’s right in the matter.

There is no historical reading of the Founder’s intent, nor the words of the 2nd Amendment, which doesn’t protect a right to bear arms for self-defense. There’s a reason the 2nd Amendment specifically cites it as an individual right and it is placed among all the individual rights in the Constitution itself.

On a broader level, Murphy’s entire argument is still incredibly stupid. The Bill of Rights exists in order to protect individual rights from government interference. Even if Murphy’s silly interpretation about militias was true, the 2nd Amendment would still bar the federal government from enacting regulations against them that infringe on that right. Since individuals make up militias and provide their own weapons, that logically means the individual right is equally protected.

Some now cite regulations on fully automatic weapons as proof heavy regulation is acceptable. If anything, a true reading the 2nd Amendment shows even laws such as those are likely unconstitutional. We have, as a society, chosen to swallow them though. That does not mean that here unto eternity the government can now regulate against the 2nd Amendment as they see fit. The real test is what the citizens of this country are willing to stand up and say no to.

Murphy’s knowledge of this subject isn’t just sorely lacking, it’s ignorant beyond belief. The idea that anyone could gain such a high public office while having such a menial, vapid understanding of the Bill of Rights is mind blowing.

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