Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Challenge

From Banana Oil! :

If you favor gun control of any stripe, please read and attempt the following:

A well regulated Intelligentsia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.

Convince me, using only the text above,

  • that this sentence does not guarantee an individual right, only a “collective” right; or
  • that this sentence means that the only legitimate intelligentsia is the one controlled by government; or
  • that this sentence allows the government to decide which books are safe and which are dangerous, and permits it to ban those it does not approve, and to dictate how all books under private ownership must be stored; or
  • that this sentence permits the government to require the registration of all books and book owners.

Now there are a few rules here.

  1. You may not dismiss the authors of the sentence as being “dead white men” who “wore powdered wigs, so maybe they got a few other things wrong, too.” If you support gun control, then you subscribe to the belief that an object with no will can be good or evil, a decidedly odd thought. Address the text, not its authors.
  2. You may not bring up “wacko right-wing militia men” who support this and suggest that, because of them, it is bad. Hitler liked sugar, and so do you. Address the text, not its adherents.
  3. You may not dismiss it as “not applying to today,” unless you point out a clear term limit or expiration date within the text, or show another amendment that explicitly annulls this one. (Besides, you never know when what is useless today will be invaluable tomorrow.) Address the text, not your pipe dreams.
This pretty much made my,, whatever. Finals are over, so it made my first day of summer.