Jefferson: First of all, we’d like to thank Jayne for letting us take over her blog today to discuss the Second Amendment confusion currently so pervasive in the land.
Jayne: No problem, guys. I couldn’t think of a damn thing to write anyway.
Jefferson: James, why don’t you start things off since you’re mainly responsible for the whole mess.
Madison: I beg your pardon!
Franklin: Now, Thomas, we all had our chance for input at the time. Why don’t you just read it, James.
Madison: Thank you, Benjamin. Ahem.. . “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.” See. It says right there plain as the nose on your face, “well regulated.”
Hamilton: Might I say something?
Jefferson: Have we ever been able to stop you?
Hamilton: Suck it, old boy. Madison is right. It was clearly our intent that arms be regulated, and the gun legislation being debated in the present Congress – a sorry lot of idiots as I’ve ever seen – is most certainly in keeping with that intent.
Madison: Exactly! But all you ever hear these days is “Right to bear arms! Right to bear arms!” Read the damn thing, people!
Paine: Controlling access to arms in a population of 300 million is just “Common Sense.”
Hamilton: Really, Paine? A book plug?
Paine: Available in paperback on Amazon for $2.70.
Franklin: Shall we stick to the issue? Yes, the people have the right to own guns and yes, the government has not only the right, but the responsibility to regulate the kind of guns people can own and who can own them.
Madison: At the time the Second Amendment was written, we were concerned about the proliferation of muskets and pistols. Muskets and pistols! Could we have foreseen the types of killing machines that would become available to fall into the hands of any fool on the street, believe me we never would have included the amendment in the first place.
Hamilton: Frankly, I’m concerned with this patchwork of state legislation, inconsistent as it is.
Jefferson: We’re well aware of your views on Federalism, Hamilton.
Hamilton: Well, you tell me how they’re going enforce such laws. It’s a mess, I tell you. Strongly-worded gun legislation needs to be written at the federal level.
Washington: If I could…
Franklin: Of course, George.
Washington: No one is advocating taking people’s guns away. But in a civilized society there must be a balance between individual rights and community rights. There needs to be more thought of “we” and less of “me.”
Jefferson: Yes, very well said, George.
Washington: And I didn’t die of syphilis. I had pneumonia and the idiots bled me to death.
Franklin: Thank you, George. Shall we sum things up, colleagues?
Jefferson: I would just like to apologize to the American people for the vagueness of our language. To us “well regulated” seemed absolutely clear. In hindsight, perhaps we should have defined it in terms that… well…
Hamilton: Oh, go ahead and say it! In terms a four-year-old could understand. Quite honestly, we didn’t expect the population to grow so stupid. You’re such a namby-pamby, Jefferson! Since people are not responsible enough to police themselves over what types of weapons should be available in their communities, and since people have grown so completely uncaring about the threat of such weapons to the lives of others as long as they can selfishly have what they see as their “right,” we clearly need some rules!
Franklin: Well… All right then. Anyone else?
Paine: Yes. Common sense tells us --
Hamilton: Oh, for God’s sake, Paine!
Madison: Again, I just want to emphasize that we intended the “right to bear arms” to be “well regulated.” We never would have written one phrase without the other.
Hamilton: And were we alive today and running things we would absolutely pass strong gun legislation at the federal level.
Jefferson: I certainly hope we’ve cleared things up a bit, and I’d like to thank Jayne again for giving us this forum to speak on the subject.
Jayne: You’re very welcome, guys. Check in with me next week. I think God is going to drop by to address that freedom of religion thing.