The Greatest Failure Conservatives Make When it Comes to our Constitution

constitutionPerspective—it’s something I always encourage people to use.  Unfortunately many people are reluctant, or incapable, of doing so.

This is especially true when it comes to our Constitution.  How dare anyone say an unkind word about the “infallible Constitution.”

But let’s take a look at just a little bit of what the original interpretation of our Constitution allowed.

Our Constitution, when it was written, allowed for very young women (13-14 in many cases) to be married off by families in arranged marriages to much older men.  Well it didn’t “allow” for it as much as it didn’t prevent it from happening.

This probably had to do with the fact that the average life expectancy in the late-1700’s was around 35 years of age.  Probably another reason why our right to health care wasn’t that big of a deal back then.

However, now days if a 13 year old girl was married off to a 30 year old man we would call that child trafficking, statutory rape, child molestation—or all three.  The man would be labeled as a sex offender, then be required to register as one for the rest of his life.  By the rest of his life I mean as soon as he was freed after serving a very lengthy prison sentence.

Then we have the almighty Second Amendment and the words “shall not be infringed.”  Many believe this amendment is one of the foundations of our rights as Americans.  It’s meant to empower people against a tyrannical government.  When people use this argument, based upon words written over 200 years ago (during a time very different from our own), they completely ignore the glaring fact that our society has changed drastically.

The Second Amendment was written during a time where militias were our primary means of defense against enemies, Native American conflict was frequent and “going out to dinner” meant a family hunting trip in the woods.

Oh, and when guns were single-shot muskets. 

Do you really think that if the Founding Fathers knew what our society would become, and what weapons would evolve into, they would have been so general with the wording of our Second Amendment?  After all, couldn’t some argue that “right to bear arms” means all arms?  Things like plastic explosives or military style rocket launchers and missiles.  I mean, if weapons are meant to “keep our government fearful of its citizens,” why is it that the federal government gets to have all of the really kick-ass weapons?

Shouldn’t we, as American citizens who celebrate our Second Amendment, be allowed to own F-22 Raptors loaded to capacity with however many missiles or bombs it can carry?  What could possibly go wrong with selling RPG’s at Walmart—without a background check?

Just imagine if someone could travel back in time and tell a father in 1780, “No, you cannot marry off your daughter to that much older man, that’s illegal.  Oh, and so is owning slaves.”  That father would have scoffed at your attempt to “infringe upon his rights as an American” and you would be deemed unconstitutional by many—if you were lucky enough not to be shot, or hung as “treasonous” for even suggesting something so preposterous.

Yet, in 2013, if someone advocated for the rights of families to sell off their young daughters to older men and for people to be allowed to own slaves, sane people would call them disgusting monsters.

Perspective is not a dirty word.  In fact, it should always be used when referencing the “core of our Constitution” (something written over 200 years ago) and how it translates into a modern society. Refusing to acknowledge proper perspective is the greatest failure conservatives make when discussing our Constitution, and how it should be applied today.

Because I hate to break it to conservatives, but progressive liberal ideas are an American tradition.  They’re what freed the slaves, gave women the right to vote, ended child labor, created Social Security and Medicare, built public schools and our Interstate Highways, integrated schools, brought groundbreaking technologies, discovered life changing health advancements and pushed our country forward.

Those were all done by “radical liberals” bucking tradition, not conservative Americans sticking to it.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Best reasoning I have seen in regards to our Constitution.These conservatives want to live in a bubble in the 1700 ‘s when it comes to the second amendment.The whole point of the Constitution was that it could change and grow as the county did also. There was a reason they left the ability to make amendments. Some of them were smart enough to know that times change and people change and the only absolute in this world is death

    • Sometimes I wish/dream we could start from scratch with a new Constitution; but can you imagine how that could ever be done now, with such polarizing hatred? Yet, it would be an interesting exercise, eh?

    • Naptime

      The point was to allow it to change…. so far as it stuck to very basic principles. Many of the changes liberals seek, are an affront to these basic principles. Society changes, human nature does not.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        What “changes liberals seek?”

      • Nice generalization. Care to name any in particular, or do you just like name-calling?

      • atrivialgirl

        We seek to stop letting tens of thousands die so that every conservative can be hip deep in .38 Specials, Glocks, AK-47s, and AR-15s.

  • If allen.La constitution and each of its amendments are not static but dinamicas.El who thinks otherwise is wrong.

    It should be mandatory at school reads “A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.”

    I quote a line from the text below:

    …I am the poor white,fooled and pushed apart,
    I am the Negro bearing slaverry’s scars,
    I am the red man driven from the land,
    I am the immigrant chutching the hope I seek-
    I finding only the same old stupid olan.
    Of dog eat dog,of mighty crush the weak…
    O,let America be Americ again-
    The land that never has been yet”

    • OJ

      Awesome counter to this article.

  • If allen.The constitution and each of its amendments are not static but dinamic.The who thinks otherwise is wrong.

    It should be mandatory at school reads “A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.”

    I quote a line from the text below:

    …I am the poor white,fooled and pushed apart,
    I am the Negro bearing slaverry’s scars,
    I am the red man driven from the land,
    I am the immigrant chutching the hope I seek-
    I finding only the same old stupid olan.
    Of dog eat dog,of mighty crush the weak…
    O,let America be Americ again-
    The land that never has been yet”

    • It was mandatory in one of my classes, and it gave the “other side” of history

    • Naptime

      Even honest liberal professors will admit that Zinn’s book is propaganda. I had a very objective progressive professor who told me that the book was a waste of my time. I didn’t listen, and he was right. Zinn’s book has so many problems with it, from academic commentary from both sides of the aisle, for anyone to consider it a book for mandatory reading is laughable.

      • dave.lefevre

        I am not sure it is a waste of time when high school textbooks are selected to give cheer leading views of U.S. history. If the primary school approach was more balanced I might be apt to agree with you.

      • atrivialgirl

        Or maybe we’ve had a center-right commentary on history for so long, it just seems like propaganda to you.

  • Ron

    I wonder what the founding fathers would have thought about all of the handouts our present day government provides today? We have morphed from the land of opportunity to the land of the welfare mentality.

    • blanket statements like this show you how stupid your thought process is.

      • Ron

        Work hard, people on welfare are depending on it…

      • speakoutforscience

        Ron, welfare is
        provided to Americans of ALL income levels, and especially to
        corporations. Welfare includes tax breaks, corporate
        subsidies and incentives, Wall Street bailouts, in addition to what is typically defined as welfare. Furthermore, a lot of people who receive welfare are working people but are underemployed. In addition, vendors commit a large part of welfare fraud.
        This aspect of the welfare system desperately needs reform–it is
        harming recipients as well as taxpayers. I just hope you never work hard and then are laid off and cannot find another job once your unemployment is exhausted. You just might need it.

      • gmart

        Yes, the oil companies love the subsidies our taxes provide to them.

      • atrivialgirl

        Right, because people on assistance are just lazing around. That ridiculous statement has been proven to be total BS. Pull another comment out of your backside.

    • Michael Crutcher

      Our founding fathers weren’t concerned with handouts, as you shouldn’t be. They were more concerned about a government ruling us, taking our rights away, and particularly taking taxes from us in absentia. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Taxation without representation? These days, we are taxed, but we receive rights and freedoms that no other country in the world provides. We continue to provide those rights sip that everyone had the opportunity to live and prosper. However, rules must be set in order to regulate how much access to your rights step on access to my rights. If people are born into a situation in which they aren’t allowed to prosper as much as another, I believe that our founding fathers, along with the teachings of Jesus, would commend us for helping each other to live in the pursuit of happiness. I’m not all religious, but I do believe in helping those in need, and pussy of that is to not allow people of more fortunate circumstances to screw over and keep down those of unfortunate circumstances. You say handouts, I (along with the founding fathers) say “we’re all in this together.”

      • Jefferson (I think it was) advocated a system where farmers could never be taxed beyond what it would take to support themselves- as in, if the crop were poor, and they only had food and seed for themselves until the next crop, they shouldn’t be taxed. We didn’t have income taxes at the time, all revenues came from property taxes and excise taxes and the like- putting the tax burden squarely on the wealthy. The founders knew that taking money from the poor was self defeating. As we moved away from an agrarian nation, we moved to a universal income tax, with the same progressive structure that said no one should pay taxes which would tap into their means to support themselves. That progressive tax structure has been under attack for decades. Add in all the economies a well-to-do person has that a poor person doesn’t- I’ve had a car payment exactly once in my life.By puttung down 50%, my rate dropped to 19% from the usual 29%. Because I own a house, my interest rate went to 9%. The poor guy renting a trailer who needs a car in a hurry to survive would be paying 3x as much interest. Which is why many of us can never get ahead.

        Our fledgling economy depended on our merchant marine. We had war debts to pay and a new nation to build. Sailors would break legs or fall ill and get beached without resources. So we had our very first health insurance mandate signed into law by John Adams in the 1790s- A dollar a month was collected from each seaman, paid out by the owner or captain to the government, who then built hospitals where needed in ports or paid for private medical care to seamen who needed it. If the owner failed to collect the tax, it was a $100 fine- a hell of a lot of money back then. But even then, if there was a human need, the government thought it was proper to try and step in, and to charge an entire group for benefits they may never need.

      • Naptime

        There is a big difference between helping ones neighbor and a neighbor taking advantage of you. The founders would not have supported programs that allowed neighbors to continually take advantage of those who work hard.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        So Medicaid is letting people take advantage of you?

  • Dissenter

    Yes, I actually do. If you had had any legal training, you would know that your arguments are largely canards. The Constitution sets out principles which are universal in their application. They apply just as readily today as they did then and often, without resorting to torture of the text.

    Back in the day, cannons were in private hands. You could build a cannon in Maryland capable of hitting the Capitol. Under your interpretation of the 2Am, that weapon would be permissible, but a 32-round clip would not be? I agree with Scalia (not that Scalia always agrees with Scalia!) here: the Constitution “should not be interpreted strictly, but reasonably.”

    The age of consent for sexual relations and marriage was always decided by the states, and varied on that account. States raised their age of consent from 13-14 pursuant to their discretion under the 10Am, and if Kentucky wanted to lower its age to 12 tomorrow, it could. Similarly, many Western states recognized a “common-law marriage.” The federal Constitution has no real say in that arena, apart from any powers granted by the Civil War Amendments (in re: discrimination) and the Full Faith and Credit Clause. This is why individual states can’t prohibit same-sex marriages, or fail to recognize marriages solemnized in other states — this is still being fleshed out by the courts, but the outcome is inevitable.

    When it comes to gun rights, you doctrinnaire libs are almost as crazy as the NRA — and they are CLEARLY crazy. “A constitutional provision should not be construed so as to defeat its evident purpose, but rather so as to give it effective operation and suppress the mischief at which it was aimed.” Jarrolt v. Moberly, 103 U.S. 580, 586 (1880). The purpose of the 2Am was to act as a firewall against tyranny. The right to defend one’s life and liberty as against a foreign or DOMESTIC tyrant is both individual (a first principle of natural law), and absolute. That notorious conservative icon Malcolm X put it this way: “Anytime anyone is enslaved, or in any way deprived of his liberty, if that person is a human being, as far as I am concerned he is justified to resort to whatever methods necessary to bring about his liberty again.” And one cannot have a “right” without having the means to enforce it when it is invaded. I can live with my neighbor having a 32-round Glock because the Constitution, interpreted properly, says I have to.

    The stain of slavery was remedied the way it should have been, conceding that it never should have happened in the first place. Thomas Jefferson led the way in this regard decades before Wilberforce in Britain; his draft of the Declaration of Independence read, in pertinent part:

    “He [George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piractical warfare, the opprobium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against lives of another.”

    The words still apply, and have enough flexibility to serve us for another 200 years. If anything, I would submit that perspective is what you lack here. As James Madison observes, there is one and only one proper way to interpret the Constitution:

    “I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone is it the legitimate Constitution. And if that not be the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers.”

    James Madison, Writings of James Madison: 1819-1836 191 (G. Hunt ed. 1910); accord, Thomas Jefferson, Letter (to Wilson Nicholas), Sept. 7, 1803 at 2.

    Don’t like the Constitution? Change it!!! That’s what I tell my “friends” on the anti-abortion fringe, as well.

    • Roadie

      I have no issues with the right to bear arms….I just have issues with the uncontrolled distribution of arms. Read (2) below….the court ruled that the right is “NOT UNLIMITED”

      District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home and within federal enclaves. The decision did not address the question of whether the Second Amendment extends beyond federal enclaves to the states,[1] which was addressed later by McDonald v. Chicago (2010). It was the first Supreme Court case in United States history to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.[2]

      (2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

      • Roadie, you should casually blow smoke off your verbal gun muzzle. Well played.

      • Jonathan

        The second amendment actually infers no right to carry, only to possess. (the two words have different meanings)

      • Jonathan

        “The decision did not address the question of whether the Second Amendment extends beyond federal enclaves to the states,”

        There is no need for that discussion, the 14th amendment (passed after the civil war), extends constitutional obligations to any government entity within the United States. By virtue of this amendment, used to extend citizenship rights, but not written specific to this matter, it requires that the 2nd also be extended.

    • Jonathan

      Legal training??? How about a knowledge of history.

      Cannons (well guns above a certain caliber, because a Cannon is nothing but a really large gun in the context of guns that existed in the day) were ALWAYS restricted weapons.

      The United States has ALWAYS had gun control. Immediately after writing the constitution, the founding fathers themselves pass legislation that regulated guns and gun ownership, to the extent that some of the laws that were passed would be considered extremist and violations of the second amendment.

      They denied weapons to certain groups that they did not deem favorable (hows that for tyranny), and they MANDATED that others buy and register their weapons, for their duties in the state regulated militia.

      And Scalia talking about interpreting the constitution reasonably, the constitutional constructionist making that comment? (nearly had a stroke here).

  • American conservative

    Perspective is important, but in the future, lets also try use context, humility, common sense, respect for individual liberty, and maybe even a little respect for the views of those
    patriots which founded united states.

  • Erin

    Oh I love this.

  • Stuff4

    Except those crimes you listed generally aren’t federally crimes, they’re criminal laws enforced by the state… which was always the founders intention: That the states would create new laws to suite the era in which the people found themselves… look at the 2nd Amendment again, it pertains to the federal government (and the federal government should not be able to infringe the right of the people to bare arms… because the founders just finished fighting a war to set their states free from the Crown), not state governments, but due to certain portions of the 14th Amendment this is no longer the case. The 14th Amendment needs to be amended.

    • Actually, many of the founders were not in support of states rights, esecially if the states held states rights supreme over federal. Our Founder’s learned very quickly that would be an issue, and one that could threaten the union – which is why they pushed for radifying the Constitution & making federal laws supreme..

  • Don’t know how you do it, Allen; i.e., write so brilliantly almost every day!

  • Not convinced

    So just because it’s the year 2013 you think I should give up my right bear arms? I’m not a conservative and I totally disagree with that line of logic. That’s like saying that we should be content with giving up our fourth amendment rights because it’s a scarier world now. And I’m sure eventually you will write a nice little article about that.
    It’s illegal to sell off young girls to older men because it infringes on their rights, nut just because it’s a horrible thing. The entire purpose of the constitution was to maximize liberties, which we can all (I hope) agree with, yet here you are arguing for less liberty?
    Perhaps you should go find a nice totalitarian government to live under.

    • you say nothing of the responsibilities that come with those rights….91% of Americans believed universal background checks were the “right” thing to do…..yet somehow in a bizarre statistical impossibility….46 Senators voted no…..those on the right had better start holding their own accountable or this whole American experiment is coming off the tracks

      • ktrav

        An aberration to the constitution has somehow allowed gerrymandering to be legal in a majority of states. That’s why those senators voted as they did – to keep their extremist base happy. Otherwise they’d lose their primary to an even more insane individual who, due to gerrymandering of districts, would be guaranteed to win the general election.

        I’m far from a constitutional expert, but if the constitution does not address this major type of abuse, then a new amendment needs to be written to outlaw it.

      • Jonathan

        gerrymandering doesn’t impact senators, only representatives. Senators are elected ‘at large’ across the entire state.

        The issue with Gerrymandering and the Constitution though is that the States are considered sovereign (as though they are individual countries) in the context of the constitution, and thus are able to control all that which goes on within the state.

        One also needs to reflect that at the time, there were only 13 states, not the 50 that currently exist, and that people tended to not move around all that much, and any movement tended to be unidirectional (unlike the current highly mobile society that we have today), so within that context, it made sense to structure the nation this way.

        This goes to the heart of the article itself though, that one needs to examine the context of what the founding fathers wrote, in addition to just the literal interpretation of the words. That doesn’t just go to the 2nd amendment, but EVERY amendment. Even the ‘unreasonable search and seizure’ words need to be taken in context, because what was unreasonable 200 years ago, will not necessarily be unreasonable today (as we have SCOTUS decisions to prove, as the concept of ‘expectation of privacy’ did not exist until 1969.

  • “I mean, if weapons are meant to “keep our government fearful of its
    citizens,” why is it that the federal government gets to have all of the
    really kick-ass weapons?”

    Probably because gunsucks believe in trickle-down ballistics.

    • Naptime

      So you support trickle down government?

  • Perspective is a product of time. The Second Amendment was written when our local governments were burning young girls as witches, and wooden pegs were being used as dentures. We need to get with the times.

    • Naptime

      The 2nd amendment was written based on thousands of years of observations of human nature and vices like ambition. We can see this in the sources they discussed. As human nature doesn’t change, hence why it is called human nature, evidenced by the fact that we can read Homer and still understand it, and the 2nd amendment was written as a check on ambition, which still exists, as evidenced by the dozens of democracies that experienced violent take overs by socialism, communism, Nazism, totalitarianism, theocracy, dictatorships, etc., in the 20th century alone, please explain to me how you can logically conclude that although mankind was pretty much subject to human ambition, jealousy, love, anger, sadness, want, desire, etc., for thousands of years, all of a sudden in 2013 a switch was flipped and humans became angels on earth? The type of angels who launch their political careers in the living rooms of Bill Ayers who founded a group who tried to use bombs to kill innocent police officers. Your comment just defies basic logic.

      • atrivialgirl

        The 2nd Amendment doesn’t say one word about “checking tyranny.” Just because it sounds pithy to you doesn’t mean it’s in the document.

      • Jonathan

        One who was an extremist when it came to the second amendment once asked me the question (and yes this goes back a few years), ‘Just imagine what would have happened to that man who stood in front of that tank in Tienanmen Square, how he could have defended himself if he had a gun in hiss hands’ (the one that was immortalized in that news footage).

        Problem is, I don’t think the person asking me that question really understood the context, because if that man had a gun, he would be dead. It was specifically because he WAS UNARMED, and the Chinese government KNEW that the press was there, that the man lived to ‘tell the tale’.

        One no longer needs a weapon in the hand to defend oneself from tyranny

  • What makes you think that foundin father woulda scoffed at the idea ownin slaves was wrong? Hell, they *all* knew it, but they knew it wouldn’t be ratified if they said you can have slaves, and some of em didn’t want to give up their own slaves. You can look that kinda stuff up. It’s called “history”.

    • Or, in the case of 1776, “musical theater.” And a damned good evening’s entertainment, as well.

  • Naptime

    The Constitution was a check on the powers of government, not on the actions of people. That is where states were to institute civil and criminal laws. This was a direct design of the Constitution, not a failure. If the Constitution were to enumerate every single possible illegal action, it would be thousands of pages long. Weak commentary at best, as are most liberal arguments against the founding principles.

  • Naptime

    You can’t “bear” an F-22 raptor. Weak argument again.

  • Naptime

    The crux of this argument comes down to correctly identifying an upper limitation on what constitutes arms and what should be legal to own, which conservatives also realize. The core of the founding is based on human nature, from this human nature based on thousands of years of the most famous philosophers, the founders developed basic self evident principles. Since human nature doesn’t change, principles don’t change. This is why we can read Homer and still understand it, because the basic core of human existence is derived from the same emotions that man has experienced for thousands of years. We don’t focus on the fact that Jefferson was a hypocrite and never freed his slaves, we focus on the fundamental truths he identified, that all people are created equal, that all people have a natural right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, among other retained natural rights. It was these core founding principles and the efforts of the founders to keep slavery from becoming a permanently codified institution that led to slaves being freed. Women and blacks at the time of the ratification of the Constitution could vote in some states, it was the states who later went in and changed their own voting laws. The right of women and minorities to vote is and always was a result of the founding principles, of conservative values and ideals. Principled Conservatism isn’t about tradition, it’s about principles, which means bucking the traditions set by the failed welfare state that creates learned helplessness and intergenerational poverty cycles, it’s about bucking the tradition of the racist intentions of the founding of planned parenthood who saw eugenics as a way of keeping minorities from breeding, it’s about bucking the tradition of the Democrat party that founded the KKK, the Democrat party that voted largely against the Civil Rights legislation, against the racist aims of the early progressive movement and the racist aims of the early labor movement.

    Liberals and progressives have had some positive effects on society, but almost always as a corollary to ulterior motives. Democrats have had a rock solid hold on most inner cities for 3-5 decades, and yet the inner cities have languished during that time frame. Liberals have a strangle hold on education, driving the curriculum, seeing to it that we spend more than any other nation, yet this failed liberal education system has given us abysmal results. Neither side has a monopoly on right or wrong, but the left seems to have a monopoly on not understanding our founding or its principles, yet they are so arrogant about speaking about the subject they apparently know little about.

    • Maphesdus

      Regardless of which party encouraged racism in the past, it’s primarily the Republicans who are guilty of encouraging it today.

  • Gaducatisti

    Actually, the founding fathers were rather prescient. They feared tyranny more than an armed citizenry. While the technology of firearms has advanced, the technology of tyranny has also advanced. Could the founding fathers foresee the Orwellian governments of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, etc.? Probably not, but they provided us with a Bill of Rights. By the way, they also made the Constitution a “living document” by providing an amendment process. If you do not like the 2nd Amendment, then amend the Constitution to repeal it.

  • Ben

    Not all guns were single shot muskets, have you ever heard of the “Puckle Gun”? The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is all about tyrannical government. Our government has gotten too much power, and that is why we have the second amendment.

  • dave.lefevre

    Conservatives have ignored the Constitution except in terms of arms. There is a great video done by The Daily Show where they break down a Fox News segment where they pretty much disregard every other Constitutional amendment while defending the right to arms.

  • Mike Williams

    Mr. Clifton,

    Your comment about the age of consent is nearly accurate.
    Life expectancy was lower, girls were considered less than boys.
    There were a great many reasons why, not the least of them was a lack of knowledge of the human being emotional, mentally, and physically.

    As our society evolves and our laws adapt to changing times so our constitution was designed to changed and augmented to remain a persistent basis of our governmental philosophy.
    However, with recent events in Montana laws protecting our children have been set back over 200 years.

    Could you cover in greater detail the part of the constitution that covers the age of consent? I can not seem to find references. Some states seem to be hell bent on state constitutions and putting in age of consent laws in them. Mostly due to public outcry over some pedophile ring operating because it is allowed or is a “grey area in the law”

    Yet the US constitution only address the age of majority. For voting and holding public office. We do not need a 14 year old President.

    My studies of the constitution have lead me to understand that the constitution is not the law, rather it is the guideline we should go to when we make our laws.

    Our 2nd amendment is not a mystery. It is only made a mystery by refusal to accept what it says. Further compounded by lack of education (not implying you lack education) and understanding of terms as applied when the document was written.

    I read time and again about how the 2nd is to protect us from our own government should it turn tyrannical. That is not an accurate interpretation however it is also not an entirely wrong interpretation of the wording.
    Our government has checks and balances and built in methods for resolving political unrest, and they are non-violent. Being non-violent they are subject to voluntary adherence by the people affected. So if, for example, the entire congress was recalled via due process, and they decided to ignore the edict of the people, then the 2nd would be utterly useless with-out the ability to enforce the rest of the constitution. I cite the events in Mali as proof of theory. With that said. We need to understand further that the 2nd is more about civil defense and less about national defense, yet not exclusive of either personal.

    You have made the statement that the 2nd could be interpreted to mean any arms ranging from bow and arrow to nukes, tank, and planes.
    The simple answer is yes. It does. Scary as it is, it does. Fortunately,
    The average evil doer does not have the capital to raise and equip an army let alone buy a single fully loaded f-15. Fuel costs alone exceed my current budget. There are also other constraints on weapons systems some by law and some by the large support staff the demand. For example. The driver of an Abrams Tank can not fire the weapon, the gunner can not drive the weapon so now you need at least two people for a single tank. Then there is the knowledge of how to operate the weapon. In the case of RPGs and man launched missiles cost and availability are issues. RPG7 is what our enemies like to use against us. cheap and readily available, yet costs add up and they are not accurate so you need to practice, at an avg price of $50 a round that becomes very expensive. It is one thing to own something quite another to know how to use it.

    The movies “Red Dawn” give a scenario of what the 2nd is about, that is just one possible view. I use that to illustrate the concept of what the 2nd is trying to say not as the basis of my argument. In the movie, the original anyway, The invasion happens and a rather unarmed populace suffers an occupation were some who have guns are ferreted out because they were on a list of gun owners. You get the point I hope.

    While I do not agree that there should be bans on weapons, I do agree that there should be restrictions on who can buy certain things. Kids have no business purchasing weapons. Age of Majority covers this. Mental stability, don’t let the insane have weapons. Convicts of violent crimes should not have access to weapons. The implementation of these laws is simple. When you want to own a weapon you go get certified to own a specific weapon, then you can go buy it. No certification, no sale. That will not prevent a criminal from getting one, but it will curb a lot of gun tragedy as the weapon will be safed by a diligent owner when not in possession of the owner.
    That said, does an AR-15 belong on the hunt? That depends, what are you hunting, and where are you hunting. Personally I am a bow hunter, but if I screw up and piss off a 1500 lb monster of a beast, a bow might not stop it, but the ar might just do the job , via noise or just stopping power.
    But the 2nd is not and never was about hunting.

    Have a great day.

  • tsubow

    As you suggest, these conservatives want to return to a mythical past that didn’t actually happen. Like a lot of their thinking, the details and facts don’t matter. This is the curse of ideology.
    Their penchant for wanting to gut federal authority over state’s rights should scare anyone who is against slavery: and I don’t just mean African slaves. Workers who want a decent wage and safe working conditions should be wary of what these people and the corporate power brokers financing them want to do with labor laws, unions, social security, medicare, and pensions.
    I always think about these things when I see flag waving, costume wearing tea party hacks talking about the constitution and taking OUR country back. Excuse me, whose country? Back from who? Just Where you want to go? You got some explaining to do.

  • Maphesdus

    “This probably had to do with the fact that the average life expectancy in the late-1700′s was around 35 years of age.”

    I would like to point out that “average” does not mean “typical.” Sure,
    there was a high mortality rate for infants and children, which brought
    the average mortality rate of the entire population down, but if a person lived to be 20, he or she was typically expected to live another 40 or 50 years.