The Absolute Worst Second Amendment Take in Existence Goes Forth

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Every mass shooting that occurs in the United States leads to one of two “conversations.” If the shooter is white, then proclamations about white supremacy and “white rage” take center stage, with the assertion being the “right” is somehow responsible. If a shooter does not check the left’s desired racial box, though, the conversation immediately defaults to gun control, where again, the “right” is somehow responsible.


It doesn’t matter what the actual circumstances of any particular mass shooting are. It doesn’t matter if the police completely screwed things up in egregious, unthinkable ways. It doesn’t matter if the shooter walked through an unlocked back door. It doesn’t matter if a background check was passed, thereby making “universal background checks” irrelevant. Nothing matters but what Democrats want, which is full-scale banning and confiscation of firearms from people who actually follow the law.

Enter the absolute worst Second Amendment take I’ve ever seen. It was published by MSNBC (shocker) and written by Dean Obeidallah, a comedian turned political commentator. Here are some of the highlights.


That this kind of abject disinformation was published by a mainstream outlet, even one as crazy as MSNBC, is insane. While Dean Obeidallah is not a legal scholar, I wouldn’t assert that he’d have to be to understand the history behind the Second Amendment, what it says, where it says it, and why it says it. Still, you’d expect some basic knowledge, which he clearly lacks, or he’s too dishonest to speak truthfully.

Let’s start with the basics. The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, which specifically denotes the enumerated rights of the individual, protected from the overreach of government. That alone is enough to defeat Obeidallah’s argument. The idea that the Second is somehow the only right in the Bill of Rights that grants power to the government makes no sense at all, nor is such a position backed up by any historical writings.


Further, even if you dismiss that fact, also note that there is actually a militia clause in the Constitution. If the Second was meant to only apply to the formation of government-led militias, that’s where it would have been placed. Instead, it was put in the section denoting individual rights because the Second exists to protect the individual right to form a well-regulated (a word in this context that means organized and trained) militia.

The mention of the “right to keep and bear arms” is there because a militia can’t be formed without individual firearm ownership. That’s backed by how militias operated at the time of the drafting of the Second. Individuals showed up with their own firearms, which at the time were “weapons of war,” and organized and trained. There is not a single historically-backed interpretation of the Second that somehow comes to the conclusion that it’s a right meant to apply to the government and not the individual ownership of firearms.

Lastly, when dealing with the ridiculous assertion that Heller “made up” an individual right to keep and bear arms, it’s important to remember that courts interpret the law, but they do not make it. The reason it wasn’t until 2008 that such a right was affirmed is that up until that point, it was an absolute given throughout all of American history that individual firearm ownership was a right.


Heller was necessary because of clearly unconstitutional gun laws forcing a ruling on the Second. No time before it was the individual right to own a gun in question, and anyone asserting such is being incredibly dishonest. You used to be able to own fully-automatic weapons in this country. Guns in schools used to be common. That’s not because the right to keep and bear arms didn’t arrive until 2008.

In short, Dean Obeidallah is a lying hack who has no idea what he’s talking about.


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