The phrase “constitutional carry” appears in M.D. Harmon’s column a few days ago (“Maine joining other states where Second Amendment rights shine, June 6). Now it’s in an article about Maine Sen. Eric Brakey, called a libertarian and one who believes in the constitutional protection of concealed carrying of weapons (“No take-it-slow start for rookie Maine legislator,” June 8).

The Second Amendment does not treat the matter of concealed carrying of weapons. At all. It doesn’t say one can nor can’t. To suggest otherwise, by using the phrase, is either a mistake or a lie.

For the first 200 years or so under that Constitution, the repeatedly accepted definition of the Second Amendment was that it sanctioned the possession of firearms for the purpose of making possible an armed militia. Nothing more. If “constitutional carry” ever had any meaning, that was it.

A Supreme Court ironically termed “conservative,” employing a wholly ungrammatical and ahistorical reading, set in motion the proliferation of gun possession and use we now observe.

Harmon argues that in the days of the founding fathers, everyone was free to have a gun. Therefore, we all should be so free. One might expect him to expand on this logic. Everyone back then was also free to own slaves, deny women the vote and so on.

Disciples of the gun lobby, masquerading as libertarian, know how to deal with such logic: ignore it.

Richard Flanagan


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