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Reasons for Many of Our National Gun Crises, Part I

I am livid, deeply saddened, and deeply troubled by what is happening in our country today. We see multiple mass murders, and hundreds of deaths all told, from gun violence. And, we seem totally unwilling and unable to do anything to stop this madness. In addition. Our governmental structure seems to be almost immobilized in addressing key issues which affect our people, our nation our democracy. Why? In a several part series, I will try to outline major reasons.

One of the first reasons is a word institutionalized by Antonin Scalia: Originalism. Originalism is a made-up word with no inherent meaning, a manufactured myth mascara ding as judicial philosophy. It takes the stance that our founding fathers were absolutely precise in their use of language in their writing of the U.S. Constitution that we must interpret their words as they would have wanted them to be understood. Further, as their words absolutely support the values that they wanted the Constitution to support, we cannot change the meaning without undermining the core values those words support. The Constitution was intended to be an unchanging, precise document. There are huge problems with all these assertions and assumptions.

First, language (words, phrases, and their meanings) change over time, and the Constitution was the product of a give-and-take negotiation. Too really know what the meanings were which the framers of the Constitution intended attached to those words, one would have to have lived in that time and tsken part in the deliberations. Second, negotiations are a messy, imprecise process. at is unlikely that the exact phrasing chosen was the choice of all involved.

Third, the Constitution, was written, was not intended to the be written in stone. The founders knew that were human and that conditions would change, which would require new procedures and new value choices. The Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments are proof of that. Further, as one of the chief framers of the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson, stated that “the earth belongs to the living, not the dead.” He went on to say that the constitution should be rewritten every 19 years.

Today, we have at least 4 Supreme Cort judges hiding behind “originalism” and using it as an excuse to block desperately needed changes to serve our people well. The reason is simple: These judges were chosen for their political ideology, not their ability in jurisprudence. They have chosen to base their decisions in political ideology, not reasoned, independent judicial judgment. They are doing a huge disservice to our people and country and are not worthy of their posts.

wordywalt 9 May 25
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2 comments

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0

Which begs this question: "Why has the Legislature failed to ensure that the Constitution is rewritten every 19 years?".

3

The problem as usual comes down to dogmatism vs. pragmatism. Excellent post.

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