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NRA-ILA: Keith Olbermann Revealed as Functional Illiterate

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Tired crank Keith Olbermann reached a new low in weak-minded rhetoric in recent months. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -( Tired crank Keith Olbermann reached a new low in weak-minded rhetoric in recent months with his doltish insight into the Second Amendment. According to the former MSNBC bloviator, the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to own firearms because the word “own” does not appear in the text. Never mind that the amendment affirms the right to “keep and bear” firearms, according to Olbermann’s sophomoric mind, the lack of the word “own” is dispositive.

On April 29, Olbermann tweeted

Aside from the manifest stupidity of Olbermann’s claim, consider some of the statements America’s founding fathers made contemporaneous to ratification of the U.S. Constitution. At the Massachusetts ratification convention in 1788, Samuel Adams noted, “The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”

Writing for June 18, 1789, Federal Gazette, Tench Coxe of Pennsylvania explained, “As the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”

Also, consider the former sportscaster’s profound arrogance. Much of the 20th century witnessed a vigorous debate in government and the legal academy over the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment. This debate hinged on whether the right to keep and bear arms applied to the “people” (as made clear by the text) or if the amendment concerned the power of states or individuals solely in connection with organized militia service.

The heights of the left-wing legal academy worked for decades to undermine the correct individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment, but at no point was a serious argument put forth that the Second Amendment did not protect individual gun ownership because the word “own” was not in the text. Might, if there was a single shred of merit to Olbermann’s premise, a legal scholar far better educated and more accomplished than the TV personality have proffered the idea? If only the Joyce Foundation or the Brady Campaign had had access to Olbermann’s brilliant constitutional scholarship back in 2008, surely District of Columbia v. Heller would have been decided differently.

Thankfully, with a 99 percent literacy rate in the U.S., the vast majority of Americans have a greater understanding of the Second Amendment than Olbermann.
In April, polling firm McLaughlin & Associates asked voters,

When it comes to the 2nd Amendment, do you agree or disagree with the following statement:

Voters agreed rather than disagreed with the statement by an overwhelming 73.4 to 18.0 percent margin.

Olbermann attended Cornell University where he obtained a BS in communication. One would presume the coursework for a communications degree would entail speaking and writing in English. It is our sincere hope that this high-profile revelation of an alumnus’ functional illiteracy prompts a reexamination of the curriculum.

About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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