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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Woodrow Wilson Center's Linda Killian Gets it Wrong

In a Wall Street Journal Washington Wire Blog piece this morning titled Joe the Plumber and Gun Control, Linda Killian, senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, writes about one time congressional candidate "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher's open letter to the families of the victims of Friday's Santa Barbara killings.  She uses that as the jumping off point to claim that the NRA and Second Amendment activists overstate the original meaning of the Second Amendment:
Mr. Wurzelbacher and others insist that their constitutional right to bear arms is sacrosanct. But as Michael Waldman writes in his new book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” the Second Amendment was written specifically to provide a mechanism for protecting a young nation from attack through volunteer militias.
I haven't read Mr. Waldman's book but given his background, it's no wonder he takes the view that Killian attributes to him.  It's just as easy for me to provide scholars who have written publications supporting the pro-rights position that the Second Amendment protects an individual right outside of state militias.

But her larger point, based on her sharing a couple of poll results related to background checks, rings hollow.  The killer underwent background checks for each of his firearm purchases.  The fact is, a so-called "universal background checks" would not have stopped the Santa Barbara stabbings and shootings.  Americans sacrificing a portion of their freedom for the feeling that it would make them more secure in a classroom or movie theater, as she suggests they should do, will not change that fact.

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