Keep and Read Books

I'm on a bit of a Constitutional tear this evening.

"A well educated Electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people of keep and read books, shall not be infringed."

  • Does this mean that only people in the Electorate (that is, people with the right to vote) can keep and read books?
  • Does this mean that only the State can educate the Electorate or provide the books?
  • Does this mean only books relevant to the Electorate and a free state are protected?

Of course not.

Why does the Second Amendment then cause so much confusion for otherwise smart people?

"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."

Seems simple.

(For those of you who would say the right only extends to weapons of the time, like muskets, I'd ask does the First Amendment apply only to media of the time, like newspapers, or does it cover TV too? Thanks to the Wikipedia for that analogy.)

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12 Comments

jeffdav Reply

Changing "regulated" to "educated" changes the meaning of the first clause quite a lot.

Michelle Reply

Please note that the wife doesn't share this view of the world and would love to see some restrictions placed on firearm ownership.

Tammy Reply

Books aren't often used to kill people.

jeffdav Reply

Personally, I am with Tony on this one. I am for responsible adults (i.e. not convicted of violent crimes, etc) being able to own just about any type of gun. I am okay with concealed weapons permits. I think most major urban centers (downtown, anycity, usa) should probably be gun-free zones, but we can leave that to local legislation. I am against questionable analogies.

Interestingly enough, Robert Anton Wilson once propsed that the 2nd amendment had originally dealt with the right of people to keep pr0n and was changed at the last minute as part of some vast conspiracy, but I am sure he just made that up.

Arguably books have been responsible for more deaths throughout history than guns. How many wars have been fought over religious texts? Guns kill people, yes, but we all agree on that. The question is should ordinary citizens be allowed that option in self defense or is that something only criminals get to do? Banning guns does not make them go away.

Tony Reply

It never fails that I get comments when I post on this topic.

While I think my views on the right to keep and bear arms is clear, the point of this post was to try to address the question of what the Second Amendment refers to.

I'm glad that Jeff agrees with me on the issue, but I disagree that changing "regulated" to "educated" changes the construction. In particular, the word "regulated" in this sense means "trained", not "controlled", so the parallel is even stronger.

Anyway, food for thought.

John Reply

I just found this topic too enticing not post.

A quick intro: Hi! I

Leslie Evans Reply

Tony, dearest, if books = guns in your world I'm never going to the library with you.

Tony Reply

What took you so long to respond, Leslie? :)

Leslie Evans Reply

My left-wing, knee-jerk liberal pills Rx ran out. Took me a few days to get things straightened out.

Leslie Evans Reply

My left-wing, knee-jerk liberal pills Rx ran out. Took me a few days to get things straightened out.

Leslie Evans Reply

Double posts are an unfortunate side-effect.

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