What James Madison Would Think Today …

Another mass shooting in California yesterday.  Two in three days.  Today is the 24th day of the year 2023 and we have had 38 mass shootings in the United States already this year.  There have been 2,790 gun deaths thus far (as of 12:30 a.m. on January 24th), 21 of them children under the age of 11*.  So naturally, those of us who care, those of us who are not gun worshipers, are distraught.

I’ve often wondered how horrified the Founding Fathers would be if they came back to life today and saw the muckety mess we’ve made of the nation they established.  A year or so ago, our friend Roger introduced me to News Thump, a British satire website that had this very timely post today. I thought it hit the mark.

I meant the ‘right to bear arms that existed in 1791’, clarifies angry James Madison

By Andrew

Following another mass shooting that has left 10 dead in Monterey Park in California, author of the Second Amendment, James Madison, has angrily spoken out from beyond the grave to insist he meant the ‘right to bear arms that existed in 1791’.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is one of the most contentious parts of the US Bill of Rights, and Madison has finally seen enough bloodshed to necessitate an intervention in ongoing policy debate.

Speaking through a qualified medium just outside Las Vegas, he said, “Let me be clear about this – the pro-gun lobby really pisses me off.

“And trust me, I’ll tell the pro-gun lawmakers exactly that, right to their faces when they eventually get here – which if they keep misinterpreting my intentions could well be a lot sooner than they think.

“The fact that I wrote the amendment in 1791 should be an absolutely massive hint as to my intentions regarding assault rifles and powerful semi-automatic handguns, don’t you think?

“I was perfectly happy for people to have a muzzle-loaded single-shot musket for home protection – 1791 America was a dangerous place. Not a ‘Disney is too woke for my kids’ dangerous, I mean actually not made up hallucinated dangerous.

“But I was safe in the knowledge no one was ever going to go on a killing spree, as they’d have to be within ten feet of you to be sure of hitting you, and would need a couple of minutes or so reloading their musket before having another go.”

Madison also explained his dismay at the use of his words to promote weaponry he could not even have conceived of back in 1791.

He continued, “A rifle capable of firing dozens of bullets in just a few seconds, which can be reloaded even more quickly, kills reliably from hundreds of yards away and is available in every shopping mall to any unstable moron that wants one? Jesus H Christ, are you people mental?

“I suppose in fifty years’ time you people will be claiming it was my intention all along that every American should have the right to carry a laser capable of slicing you into pieces from a mile away?”

Pro-gun lobbyists have reacted angrily to Madison’s outburst, insisting he clearly doesn’t have the first clue about what he meant when he wrote the Second Amendment all those years ago.

An NRA spokesperson said, “How dare he tell me how to decide what he meant by telling me what he meant?

“What gives him the right to speak out about the intention of the words he wrote down himself, which I have subsequently decided to interpret in support of my pro-gun arguments?

“No, I think I know much better than James Madison what James Madison intended.”

  Data per Gun Violence Archive

42 thoughts on “What James Madison Would Think Today …

  1. The mass shootings get the air time … but if a person pays attention, there are daily snippets of individuals shooting someone to death with a gun. No doubt if they were added up over a period of time, they would exceed those killed in the mass murders. But of course, sensationalism sells!

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    • Indeed so. I check the local news daily, and I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t a shooting here in Cincinnati. Most days there are multiple ones. I also follow the Gun Violence Archive and watch the killings mount as the year progresses. But you’re right … it’s the mass shootings, school shootings, mall shootings, etc., that get the public’s attention, and then only for a few days as a rule.

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  3. Good article. And the possession of such a musket being necessary to maintain a well regulated Militia – which was necessary for a free State. States rights was an issue back then too. Anyway, that literalistic, originalistic reading of the constitution is like reading the Bible verbatim.

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    • Agreed! But, times have changed, as have the nature of guns, and I think that if the Founders had been able to envision the weapons that would be in existence in the 21st century, they would have worded the 2nd Amendment much more carefully.


  4. The amendments were written in the times when the rights were, absolutely necessary, for the people to, protect themselves and their, loved ones, but the, modern day interpretations of what these rights entailed, is what these lawmakers, misinterpreted, as absolute, rights, and that makes the Constitution, that much more dangerous, in the minds of, modern day man.

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    • Exactly! The Founding Fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined the sort of weapons we have developed in just the last 50 years or so, and I’m sure they would have worded the 2nd Amendment much differently if they had. But today, the gun culture is so adamant that I don’t know what it will take to eradicate our gun problem.


  5. Pingback: What James Madison Would Think Today … | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

    • It’s funny, they will fight to keep an archaic law that causes nothing but harm and grief, but will fight to do away with laws that give people more rights and genuine freedom. Sigh. xx


  6. I suggested a year or more ago weapons manufacturers should only be allowed to produce single shot weapons. Then we could see how really brave a guy with a gun could be in a gunfight. They’d be pooing in their panties if their first shot missed. No more s8ngle-person mass shootings, guaranteed. (Really, they should not be able to produce ballistic weapons at all, but…)

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