Typo discovered in Second Amendment; Supreme Court says the “right to bare arms” refers to tank tops, not guns
WASHINGTON D.C. -- In a decision that shocked the gun lobby, the Supreme Court overturned centuries of jurisprudence on Monday by acknowledging that a crucial Constitutional typo means that the Second Amendment actually protects Americans' right to "bare arms," as in sport sleeveless dresses and t-shirts - and not "bear arms," as in own guns.
Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, "In all American history, no case has more clearly demonstrated that correct spelling is a matter of life and death. The Founding Fathers were trying to ensure that Americans had the right to wear tank tops, in all their life-giving glory, not purchase instruments of death! How many Americans have died thanks to James Madison's sloppiness?"
The National Archives' Dr. Juliet Foster discovered the typo two years ago while doing routine preservation work on the 226-year-old U.S. Constitution, noticing that "bare" switched to "bear" between drafts.
When Foster came forward with the typo, the National Rifle Association hired historians who insisted that the Founding Fathers had to have meant guns, not comfortable clothing, because contemporaneous notes referred to "firearms."
But in an amicus brief, Harvard historian Jill Lepore noted that at the time of America's founding, the word "firearms" was colloquial, or slang, for "really muscly, great-looking, buff arms." Etymologically, she said, "this fabulous Revolutionary phrase is antecedent to today's men flexing their biceps and telling women, 'Welcome to the gun show.'"
In the hours since the Court's landmark ruling, lawmakers, lawyers, and lay citizens alike have marveled at how much more sensible this interpretation seems in retrospect, with many expressing disappointment that the venerable typo could incur such a high death toll. Even the Court’s most conservative justices joined in Justice Ginsburg’s opinion - an accident of intellectual consistency that caused Clarence Thomas to suffer a minor stroke - because of their fealty to “originalism,” the idea that the precise language and intentions of the Founders is the only basis for interpreting the Constitution.
“Upon reflection, it seems utterly, fatally obvious,” said the New York Times's Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak. “Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton all sported ostentatious, liberation-themed tank tops in the summer months. What were we thinking?” he said.
The historian Doris Kearns Goodwin notes that the Founders probably intended the Second Amendment to forestall King George III's “cruel and unusual” fashion standards, which subjected British men and women to constrictive, sticky, and unflattering garments like long stockings, frills and overcoats.
According to Twitter's resident Constitutional scholar, @WokeGeorgetownLaw4Bernie, with 76,989 followers, recent scholarship reveals that, "John Adams often enjoyed crashing mad waves off the beach, bro, while flashing his sick Samoan warrior tattoo on his upper-right arm!"
While an undisputed blow to the NRA, @WokeGeorgetownLaw4Bernie notes that the ruling marks an important win for thousands of American men like him who belong to gyms and spend more than $2,000 a year on whey powder and sunglasses.