Michael Moore's 15 minutes


As the Examiner noted:

Last night on Piers Morgan, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore suggested that if the founders knew about modern weaponry they would probably have supported more gun control.

Moore noted that when the founders wrote the Constitution, they had guns that took 15 minutes to load a firearm that could fire one shot. [My emphasis]

Actually, a musket could be loaded in 15 seconds by the more accomplished marksmen. Thirty seconds or more for less skillful shooters. Moore could have just misspoken when he said 15 minutes, or he could be as ignorant as he sounds, judging by his past performances.

I don't know what the founding fathers would have made of automatic weapons, other than view them as a beneficial tool for citizens to arm themselves against government repression -- the kind they knew all too well from British rule. I also think that they were would be appalled at the way Americans now use guns on each other. But I don't think they would have been for the more restrictive bans (e.g. outlawing handgun possession)  being pushed today because the founding fathers--reflecting popular opinion--believed that every man had not just a right, but an obligation to be armed. That was  because state militias, made up of every free male citizen, was seen of the country's primary defense against invaders from without and autocratic rulers from within.

I don't see how the right to bear arms covers automatic or semi-automatic weapons, which are as much killing machines as land mines and bazookas. My own view is that like all rights enumerated in the Constitution, they are not absolute. Michael Moore's ignorance notwithstanding.

Hat tip to Pat Hickey in With Both Hands.

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