Sunday, October 15, 2006

Thomas Jefferson, Genius, Statesman, Fortune Teller

Two hundred years ago, when Thomas Jefferson crafted the most powerful sentence ever written by man, not only was he demonstrating his genius at writing but he was proving to be quite a seer. The most powerful sentence, if you don't know, is the second amendment of the US Constitution:
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Why is it so powerful? Because countless thousands have died under its spell. If you include suicides 30,000 people died by guns in a recent year. Multiply that by a few years back, even ignoring the 12,000 suicides and you'll see that the numbers dwarf most wars. But bear in mind, wars aren't generally under the purview of a single sentence.

Jefferson surely anticpated that two hundred years after writing it, inner city drug lords would mow people down with abandon, in service to their militia.

  • And I'm sure he foresaw that deranged men would walk into schools, line up our children against the blackboard and mercilessly assassinate them.
  • And I know for a fact he was smart enough to presage that six-year-olds would bring guns to school and kill their classmates.
  • And that 10-year-olds would use their guns to kill their principals and teachers.
  • And that an unbalanced young man would invade a school and machine-gun an entire class of kindergarteners. [Dec 15, 2012]

And that people would view this insanity and continue to mindlessly chant "guns don't kill people, people do. If we put the criminals in jail, this will stop."

Quite a guy, that Tom.

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