Cleaning up ideological debris


Those who offer rebuttal to my views as expressed in the Journal too often misquote me and saddle me with opinions I never had. In dealing with the Second Amendment, I never stated that our standing army did away with the need for a militia. I did say that the militias of Madison's Day, as cited in the Second Amendment, have been replaced by our National Guard. I never stated that the Second Amendment is a "collective" as opposed to an individual right, only that it is not an absolute right. That means it is restrictive. The 1930s Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment was not an absolute right. Robert Bork and current Justice Scalia agree. They all agree that our citizens have a right to keep and bear arms, but it is a restricted right, which means some degree of gun control.

Federalist Paper #46 treated the issue within the larger purpose of the whole of the 85 Federalist Papers. Madison, Hamilton and Jay published these papers serially in the New York newspapers, under the collective alias of "Publius," to convince the citizens of New York, their governor and Legislature to adopt the Constitution. The governor, legislature and the majority of New Yorkers opposed the constitution, favoring a weak national government subject to the will of the states, but the arguments of the Federalist Papers prevailed. Once New York came in, other states began to follow.

Calling on Elbridge Gerry for support in the case against me is simply a debater's blunder. Of the 55 delegates from 12 states at the Constitutional Convention, only 42 were present on the final day. All signed the draft Constitution except Randolph and Mason of Virginia and Gerry of Massachusetts. During his governorship, Gerry orchestrated a law "redrawing the boundaries of the state's senatorial districts ... to isolate Federalist strongholds and insure Republican domination of subsequent elections. One of the new districts resembled a salamander, and the derisive term "gerrymander' was quickly coined to describe this form of redistricting for political advantage."

Denton May