The Corner

That Pesky Second Amendment

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve never advanced my own thinking about the second amendment much beyond baby steps, and I’ll also admit that this probably has something to do with living in coastal California rather than in the state’s gun-totin’ interior.

If the Second Amendment means anything, and of course it must, then it gives folks the right to carry at least ordinary pistols and rifles, which were the kinds of arms with which the framers were acquainted. That’s obvious, right? But the Second Amendment does not give folks the right to arm themselves with nuclear weapons, whose destructive force is such that they must be monopolized by the state. Also obvious, right? Now here’s the problem: Just where on the continuum from .22 rifles to hydrogen bombs do assault rifles lie?

Sounds like a question for a mind deeply informed by American history and capable of minute legal analysis. By which I mean, of course, to ask where Ramesh is hiding out today.

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