Monday, 31 December 2007

comma chameleon

This Op-Ed piece in the New York Times focuses on the discussion of commas as they relate to the right to bear arms, i.e. the commas used in the second amendment to the constitution of the USA. The official version in the National Archives has three (but versions with two also exist and there may even be one with four):

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.

The problem judges have been pouring over is how the intention of the writers of this one sentence - whether they meant to saveguard the right to bear arms for militias, as representatives of "the people", or for each individual - can be gleaned from the placement of a few dots with tails.

The really funny part for me came when writer Adam Freedman (bear in mind again that this is a discussion about guns) suggested:

The best way to make sense of the Second Amendment is to take away all the commas (which, I know, means that only outlaws will have commas).

Don't tell me that didn't make you giggle...

1 comment:

Big Ass Belle said...

it does make me giggle. but you know, we're all pretty wild eyed and foaming at the mouth about our weaponry, especially here in the south, even here in the upper south.

for the most part, i hate my people and when traveling, am hard put to confess my country of birth. but i do love my pistols and shotguns and rifles. i do. there's something elemental and basic about having them.

shame on me. i'm a redneck through and through. i am.