Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A one, and a two...

I try to avoid getting political, because I know so little about it. But I want to bring something to your attention. The second amendment to the U. S. Constitution is a single sentence of 27 words. It appears to be more ambiguous than its authors intended, but its import is pretty clear. For a very long time, our legal system has tended to assume that this amendment means what it says; it does not invite hundreds of exceptions, even for the sake of realism and sanity. In fact, as Gail Collins stated in the NY Times recently, terrorists on the no-fly list are allowed to buy guns, because: the second amendment does not invite exceptions.

Now let’s talk about the first amendment. A longer sentence this time, 45 words. But again, its meaning is pretty clear. How is it that we have collectively decided, over time, that the second amendment must not be excepted, but the first amendment must be excepted and excepted until it barely survives! Is the pen that much mightier than the sword?
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