Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rule Two Violation In WaPo

...In an AP (well, of course) photo above Eugene Robinson's very grudging admission that the Second Amendment means what it says. (A wink and a nod to Turk Turon for the link).

Of course, he also thinks putting guns in the hands of the law-abiding will somehow result in a statistically significant uptick in homicides, then shares this deep and abiding insight, "I think the idea that the Founders' 'original intent' should govern every interpretation of the Constitution is loony -- as if men who wrote with quill pens could somehow devise a blueprint for regulating the Internet."

Yeah, Mr. Robinson, 'cos human nature has changed in drastic and fundamental ways since the late 1700s? Because "freedom of speech and of the press" could not possibly refer to electronic media, even the fat pipe of easy and widespread Internet access? (Only shouting from soapboxes and printing with a manual press using hand-set type are protected, yeah sure). Because making "... no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" could not possibly include Sci3nt0l0gy, Unitarians* or Hari Krishna d00ds?

It is not a matter of the technology those men used to record their thoughts but rather the quality and depth of those thoughts. A quill pen scratches along at about the rate most writers compose and far more rapidly than the thoughts of political philosopher can be organized and set down.

It is nothing but prejudice -- the blind arrogance of the materially privileged -- to sneer at our forebears as narrow, ignorant men because they lacked typewriters, ballpoints, indoor plumbing, electric lights and streetcars. They had their minds. They had the body of Biblical, Greek and Roman writings (and were often able to read them in the original language) along with nearly as much of modern Western philosophy as we have today. They had Shakespeare, Swift, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, algebra and calculus. Their time is not called The Age of Reason Enlightenment (oops) lightly. They were not savages, grunting at the first dim light of tomorrow; they knew the human mind and human heart for good and for ill.

It is true that some among the Founders and Framers were newspaper columnists. But we mustn't hold that against them, either.
* Like those icky John and John Q. Adamses. How durst they?


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Roberta. I couldn't have said it better.

Turk Turon said...

In the early nineteenth century an organization of English newspaper editors met for the purpose of voting on a resolution to condemn Napoleon, but the resolution was tabled after someone remembered that Napoleon had once shot a publisher. So it is not unknown for journalists to put their own narrow professional interests first.

But, as Abba Eban once said, it is not required either.

"He's just this guy, you know?" said...

Well said! Brava!

On the whole, I expect the mental effort put into the formation of our nations government would easily exceed an entire years congressional effort today, including hangers on and hall flunkies in the total.

The founders were people who thought you illiterate if you only spoke two languages, and had reached their positions through profound knowledge of human nature.

Me.... I understand Mac and cheese.... and thats enough for me.

Anonymous said...

An interesting article..I like the part where he claims fewer handguns leads to less handgun killings, and then immediately wonders if such a law has any realistic effect. Then he asks if the DC handgun law was really that bad, it didn't make handgun violence any worse, did it?
Why yes, Eugene, it did make handgun violence worse. The handgun ban meant that an average person on the street could not possibly protect his/herself.
Robinson says, himself, "...I thing that the revolutionaries that founded this country believed in guns." Why yes, yes they did Eugene. Why? Because armed resistance delivered them from a government they considered corrupt and greedy. Armed resistance from the people, Eugene, since at the time there was no standing United States Army. In fact, most of the war was fought by these same armed people.
And yes, Eugene, these same men who wrote the the Constitution and Bill of Rights "..with a quill pen.." would have been able to write a blueprint to regulate the internet. But unlike you, they would not have done so.

Perhaps the press should go back to the "quill pen". Then at least they couldn't write faster then they think.

Anonymous said...

It is frequently depicted in the media and entertainment sector that early pioniers were illiterate buffoons Lonesome Dove is a good example It struck me as odd the frontiers people are always dirty and dusty mostly illiterate. This is not reflected in civil war corespondece even letters writen by the lowest ranks are articulate and meaningfull.
This country could not have been what it has been and in some ways still is, if the people were or are illiterate corupt slovenly fools.
Its late and i am tired sorry for the rant