Cooke: "Even Obama Understands the Second Amendment"


Usual great stuff from Charles C.W. Cooke:

As one might expect, I put little stock in the idea that Barack Obama “believes” in the Second Amendment in any meaningful philosophical way. Nevertheless, the president is by no means a stupid man, and, regardless of his personal ideological preferences, he probably has at least a working grasp of the relevant history in this area. That being so, he has presumably made the same calculation that many other gun-control advocates have made: that it is far more profitable to argue that Heller leaves ample room for his coveted reforms than it is to pretend that Heller was incorrectly decided. Evidently, President Obama and I have dramatically different impressions of what Justice Antonin Scalia meant when he determined that the Second Amendment is not infinite in scope and that some regulations are, in consequence, permissible. But, whatever our differences, we both accept that that argument is a reasonable one to have. The debate that Sarat wants us to have, by contrast, is not reasonable at all, his idea being that we eschew the hard work of discovering the contours and edges of the right-as-written in favor of the pretense that it doesn’t exist at all. Were I a betting man, I’d wager that Obama has refused to follow this course because he rightly believed that he has a much better shot of defining what “shall not be infringed” means than he does at convincing a critical mass of Americans that “right of the people” in fact means “right of the state.”

To read the whole thing, click over to National Review.