nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Can a group mind have an original intent?

For a long time, I've been complaining that the second amendment doesn't make sense. Otherwise, how could so many smart people read it in two opposite ways?

I was trying to find out whether people in the early US could really own ship with cannon, and found out that the second amendment was a political compromise.
Mason's draft, which was adopted, had the provision: "That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state..." No mention of an individual right. (In fact, militia service was not a right at all, it was a duty). BTW, voting was restricted to landowners and running for office restricted to major landowners.

Jefferson's draft provided: "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms." No mention of the militia. And he would have given the vote to all taxpayers and militia members (he explained that those who paid to support the state or were ready to fight to defend it had a sufficient tie to warrant voting privileges, whether they owned land or not).

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