I’ve been sent this item about Rudy’s apparent error during his comments to the NRA:
“After all the second amendment is a freedom every bit as important as the other freedoms in the first ten amendments. Just think of the language of it — ‘the people shall be secure’ –let’s see, this is my wife calling…”
That’s funny, I thought that was the first line of the 4th Amendment?
Oh that’s right it is!
I would note, though, that Giuliani was, at that point, speaking about Judge Laurence Silberman’s logic in the ruling of Parker vs. D.C., the decision that struck down Washington’s gun ban. Silberman noted that the term “the people” is used four times in the Bill of Rights; each time, it is referring to everyone – i.e. the citizenry, not a particular group of people. Gun control advocates have argued for some time that the “the people” in the Second Amendment does not refer to the citizenry, or everyone, but only to state-organized militias — which today would be the National Guard.
The relevant passage of the decision:
In determining whether the Second Amendment’s guarantee is an individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the right— “the people.” That term is found in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion, interference, or usurpation. We also note that the Tenth Amendment—“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”—indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of
distinguishing between “the people,” on the one hand, and “the states,” on the other.
All in all, Rudy probably made an error, quoting the Fourth Amendment when he meant to recite the Second. But it’s not like he language of the Fourth Amendment was completely irrelevant to the point he was making; he was discussing the similar language of the amendments. It’s possible – had Judi not chosen that moment to demonstrate that apparently Rudy never turns off his cell phone — that he would have corrected himself, and/or that the beginning of that sentence, quoting the Fourth Amendment – would have seemed more relevant if he had finished.