Adam Winkler is a anti-gun professor for the University of California who exists to “find” interpretations for liberals hoping to undermine the clear intention of the Second Amendment.
Winkler has made a modest career out of “squinting,” squeezing his eyes shut to block out original intent, ignoring the plain language of the time, and ignoring private letters, public correspondence, and newspaper articles written by the Founding Fathers and the first Supreme Courts of the 1780s-1830s who reinforced the explicit truth that the Second Amendment means precisely what they intended it to mean, without nuance or re-imagining. Winkler has made a small name for himself in a certain circle of zealots for completely ignoring all original sources in order to fabricate an Orwellian fiction that leaves us with side-splitters like this:
In recognizing the legitimacy of many gun laws, the Supreme Court did no more than adhere to the text of the Second Amendment. In the part of the amendment that gun-rights absolutists usually ignore, the Founders extolled the importance of a “well regulated Militia.” (For years, the NRA’s headquarters displayed a sign promoting “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” conveniently omitting the amendment’s opening clause.) Gun advocates are right that this language was not designed to limit the right to people serving in military organizations like the National Guard; the framers repeatedly said the “militia” was composed of we the people, ordinary citizens with our own guns. Yet it’s also clear that the framers thought that the people who make up the militia should be “well regulated”—trained, disciplined, and properly instructed by the government to use arms effectively, safely, and properly.
Yes, Winkler is claiming that the Founders intended the government to train, discipline and control the unorganized militia… the same unorganized militia that exists for the explicit purpose of threatening war against foreign enemies or domestic government when it becomes tyrannical.
Gee, there’s no obvious potential for abuse there.
It’s an argument for putting pedophiles in charge of a daycare, or for arsonists to teach fire safety.
It is a claim so obviously, flagrantly false that a sober person would wonder if he was trying to slip it past the editors of the Daily Beast as an absurd joke. But he isn’t. He’s made a career of squinting to see only the truth he desires to create.
There is a reason they are called “the unorganized militia,” Mr. Winkler.
The Founders don’t want the government knowing their training, capabilities, organization, methodology, or tactics. They trusted “we, the people,” not “you, the government” to develop the sort of skills that one can find freely in the private sector, ranging in content from the basic rifle marksmanship that you may find via Appleseed to the more advance skills you might pick up at Front Sight or Academi.
The want us “armed with every terrible weapon of war,” and would want us armed with weapons of contemporary military utility, whatever that means in a given time period. Don’t take my word for it; read the Founding Fathers in their own words.
In 2013, the singular firearm that most clearly matches the explicit intent of the Founding Fathers is the AR-15 platform rifle with 30-round magazines. There is a very strong constitutional argument to be made that the M-16 selective fire rifles and M-4 selective fire carbines, along with M-240 machine guns and M-249 squad automatic weapons also meet that intent as they are the small arms in common use with our military.
Winkler doesn’t have a constitutional leg to stand upon in his absurd arguments, though I hope he continues to push them; if gun control advocates do attempt to pass laws upon his “unique” interpretation, it will eventually lead to a United States Supreme Court challenge that will be predicated upon original intent, Miller (1939), and Heller, destroying the liberal gun control movement forever.