Update 16th April 2007 When I wrote this post, I didn’t realise what would happen a week later.
Washington DC had a ban on citizens owning handguns. This law was in place for thirty years until last month, when the US court of appeals stuck it down as unconstitutional. According to the court, the law violates the individual’s right to bear arms under the second amendment to the constitution.
Right, says Bock. Let’s have a look at this old second amendment then.
Dum dee dum dee dumm dum.
Here we go.
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.
OK. That seems pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you think? You can see the claw-hammer coats and powdered wigs as they drew this one up. A militia. We need a militia to protect God-fearing Protestants from the heathen red man! The people must be permitted to bear arms!!
Damn right. A yeomanry is what you need when you’re surrounded by Godless and angry locals you’ve just invaded and displaced. And what use is a yeomanry if they haven’t got their muskets in the thatch? Answer: no use whatever.
So there you go. It couldn’t be plainer: 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.
With forensic rigour, I have examined it, and I note the following. It doesn’t say Under all circumstances, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
No. It doesn’t. It says, A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.
Nor does it say, without qualification, The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
It says 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.
Now, I can see no ambiguity whatever in these words, but apparently the US appeals court thinks it means something other than the obvious. The US appeals court thinks it means
Any fucking maniac can have a bazooka.
Christ Almighty. No wonder they’re invading everyone they don’t like.
In a reply to this post, Brian expressed the view that the second amendment was bestowed on the people by their creator. Now, I have to confess, this puzzled me. I didn’t understand what he meant. Did God really write the American constitution? Damn me, I was baffled.
But after a while, I realised that it all made sense.
Wasn’t Charlton Heston president of the NRA? Yes, he was.
Aha! And didn’t old Chuck know God pretty well? Yes. They used to play cards together every Friday night.
Well then. It’s obvious. God told him over a beer: Chuck, I know y’all been worryin about this here gun control thing. Well, y’all can quit frettin cuz I’m fixin to put an end to it. Go forth and tell my People that y’all can bear arms. An’ ifn anyone asks why, you tell ’em it’s cuz I said so. Ya hear me, boy?
I hear you, God.
BREAKING NEWS MONDAY 16TH APRIL
RTE news reports as follows:
At least 22 people, including the suspect, were killed in a shooting rampage on the US campus of Virginia Tech University. Police and university officials have confirmed the death toll in Blacksburg, Virginia. The shootings took place in two separate areas of the campus and police believe a single gunman was responsible. ‘This is a tragedy of monumental proportions,’ Virginia Tech president Charles Steger told reporters. Police said they were investigating whether the gunman killed himself or was killed by authorities.
Most of the shootings took place at a part of the campus called Norris Hall, according to campus police chief Wendell Finchum. This is one of the deadliest shooting rampages in the US, a country known for its loose gun ownership laws. The last one of this scale on a university campus was when Charles Whitman went to top of the tower in the middle of the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas, on 1 August, 1966, and opened fire on people 27 stories below.
He killed 15 people, including his mother and wife the night before, and wounded 31 others.==================================================
UPDATE: The death toll is now 33.
It seems the shootings took place in two separate attacks by the same man, and there was a two-hour gap between them. This looks like monumental incompetence on the part of the University authorities and the police.
The first two shootings took place in the dormitory room. Apparently, a jilted boyfriend killed his former girlfriend and new boyfriend. Oh dear Jesus.
The university had what they call a “lockdown” system. This means that when they heard about the first two shootings, they locked the students into their classrooms, which was why the gunman was able to murder a further thirty-one students. Thirty-one more kids! Why?
Two hours after the first murders, it appears that this demented young man was able to kill a a further thirty people. Sons and daughters. Young kids like yours or mine. Young kids, murdered and unable to escape because they were “locked down”.
According to the campus police chief, after the first two people were killed, he thought it was “more than likely” that the killer had left the campus. He later spoke about “bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion”.
Successful conclusion? Well, that will be a relief to the families of the murdered kids.
I also saw George Bush on the news saying a prayer.