It's certainly not news that there is widespread disdain in the UK for the Second Amendment's Constitutional guarantee of the absolute, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. What is surprising, to me at any rate, is seeing it argued that enshrining the protection of any right in a written constitution is a silly, outmoded idea. That, however, is apparently the position of George Robinson, a member of The Guardian's editorial staff.
He starts out with the typical (in the UK) contempt for the Second Amendment, specifically:
The so called 'right to bear arms'. The Second Amendment.It's not "so-called 'right to bear arms'"--it's a genuine, bona fide, fundamental, human right.
The untouchable written clause in the American way that gives anyone - from a yeehaa Texan President to a yahoo Detroit drug dealer - the God-given right to wield a weapon capable of causing death.For an Englishman, George's grasp of English seems a bit . . . less than impressive, when he refers to the right to keep and bear arms as being "given" to the people by the Second Amendment (a fallacy that is a real pet peeve of mine), and then, in the same sentence, refers to it as "God-given." It can't be both, George.
How? Why? I don't get it.You certainly don't, George--finally, something on which we can agree. I suppose we have found common ground, after all.
So, far, of course, he has said nothing that should surprise anyone familiar with how the right to keep and bear arms is viewed in the UK--or among the advocates of forcible citizen disarmament here, for that matter. It's the next bit that floors me.
For anyone who doesn't know, America is governed by a written constitution. A series of amendments cast in stone - like the Commandments handed to Moses.First, even if one discounts the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights, hell has apparently frozen over seventeen times, most recently in 1992, when the Twenty-Seventh Amendment was ratified.
The UK is governed by an unwritten constitution. The UK's laws are not easily changed, but if a law becomes archaic, out-dated or unworkable, it can be changed. You've got more chance of hell freezing over than you have of changing the US constitution.
That blatant mischaracterization of the U.S Constitution is not what has me worked up, though--it's his apparent contention that an "unwritten constitution" (which sounds about as useful to me as an unloaded gun) is somehow superior to a codified set of limits on governmental power.
These laws were adopted in 1789, a time when a police force per se did not exist. The reason people kept arms was because the people WERE the police. They were asked to keep watch on the community and confront any suspicious persons.The "Earth is flat" idea had obviously been pretty soundly discredited about three hundred years before the late 18th century ratification of the Bill of Rights, and although Robinson acknowledges the use of "hyperbole" in that reference, he liked it enough to use it both in the quoted text and in the title of his little editorial.
So let me get this straight. The most powerful and developed country in the world is being run in accordance with rules set when people still thought the Earth was flat?
Well, not quite, but you can see my point through the hyperbole.
If ever there is a Tyranny's Best Friend Award for which to compete, Josh Horwitz probably has it locked up on the U.S. level, but Robinson's opposition to written constitutions will make him tough competition on the global level.