April 15th, 2014
06:15 PM ET

What I'm reading: The real history of the 2nd Amendment

By Fareed Zakaria

"Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands," writes John Paul Stevens in the Washington Post. "Those emotional arguments would be nullified by the adoption of my proposed amendment. The amendment certainly would not silence the powerful voice of the gun lobby; it would merely eliminate its ability to advance one mistaken argument."

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“In Ukraine, nuclear emissions could exceed both Chernobyl and Fukushima. Wartime conditions would prevent emergency crews from getting to an affected plant to contain radiological releases should reactor containments fail. And, with government services shut down in the midst of fighting, civilians attempting to escape radioactive contamination would not know what to do or where to go to protect themselves,” writes Bennett Ramberg for Project Syndicate.

“Such risks might be one reason for Russian President Vladimir Putin to think twice about ordering a military invasion of Ukraine. But, should war come, combatants must do all they can to keep conflict away from the nuclear sites and the off-site power sources feeding them.”

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“According to every reliable poll, Maduro is steadily losing popularity and his many militant speeches qualifying the opposition as fascists and traitors are not much help. But Maduro’s weakness is not translating into strength for the opposition forces,” argues Marcel Ventura in The Daily Beast. “They always had problems addressing the old populism of chavismo, and they’ve also been slow to adapt their tactics to the new militarism. Street barricades are fading, but they will mean nothing if politicians don’t show more ability to confront an ever less democratic government. So far, Maduro’s falling popularity only means the triumph of militarization.”

“The foundations certainly have been well laid.”

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“Hearing the opinions of people in Britain, Europe and America since Russia began to dismember Ukraine, I've been struck by how disagreement tends to focus on which of the two sides has behaved worst: Putin or the West,” writes James Meek in The Guardian. “The complexities of the people of Ukraine tend to vanish in this binary view, alarmingly close to the Putinite consensus, which is that if you live in Ukraine you must either be a loyal vassal to Russia or a fascist.”

“The truth is that between the minority of archaic radical nationalists in Ukraine's far west, whose role in the revolution won them a few posts in Kiev's otherwise moderate government, and the minority of neo-Soviet extremists in the east, there is a larger group of Ukrainians for whom the difference between the two cultures and languages is trivial.”

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“Berlin’s policy towards Russia reflects a tug of war between two schools of thinking – one that insists that Germany should uphold the values of democracy and freedom in its dealings with foreign powers; and another that is impatient with such concerns when they conflict with German economic interests,” writes Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg in the Financial Times.

“Each side scorns the other. The “realists” stand accused of shameless opportunism while the self-styled idealists are dismissed by their opponents as Gutmenschen – naive moralizers – or simply Russophobes.

“In the end, it is usually the realists who prevail.”


soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Judica

    They say one forgotten comma is what gave us the silly idea that just anyone has the right to bear arms. Would that the FF proofed more closely.

    April 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Emotional arguments regarding fantasized motivations and errors in writing the Cons
      ti
      tution will not convince me that it should be changed or disregarded.
      Have all of us noticed the new popularity of knives and shoe heels as weapons?

      April 16, 2014 at 8:36 am | Reply
  2. GOP Prayer

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    April 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  3. 100 % ETHIO

    Please, re-think, think again..., and figure-out: Who caused the problem,
    When its problem started,
    Why it just happened,
    ???????????????

    Let. Jeffrey Delisle (Russian-Jewish-Canadian Top Canadian Spy Agent caused it, in November, 2012, He got caught Red-Handed by FBI in Canada, when he exchanged Top Canada's Military Secrets to Russian Agent for only $70,000.00 CAN.

    Previously, Jewish murdered Lord Jessus Christ;
    The Manhattan Project-America's Nuclear Components stolen by Jewish and sold to China.

    Jewish are the enemy of Christians. They are taking revenge. They are promising a lot.

    April 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  4. ✠RZ✠

    Well done Zak! This format works just fine by me.

    April 16, 2014 at 1:31 am | Reply
  5. +RZ+

    I find that pepperoni pizza is succulent. I like it.

    April 16, 2014 at 4:23 am | Reply
    • The Ten O'Clock Scholar

      "Succulent"? Since when can a pepperoni pizza be considered "succulent"? Seriously. I'll have to ask my grand kids if there might be some catch word out there for a derp-troll (?)

      April 16, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
      • The Phrase you are looking for

        Derp Troll = The Ten O'Clock Scholar.

        April 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
      • Wrong again as usual

        "Derp troll" supposedly has it's own org. I'm told "derp ass troll" =The phrase you are looking for.

        April 17, 2014 at 8:23 am |
  6. Zak

    Thank you RZ. I too am a pepperoni pizza lover.

    April 16, 2014 at 4:25 am | Reply
  7. chrissy

    Lmao @ Joey, i rather like the "shoe heel weapons" myself.

    April 16, 2014 at 8:52 am | Reply
  8. j. von hettlingen

    It's true what James Meek wrote in the Guardian. Ordinary Ukrainians want nothing more than jobs and political stability. The unemployed and impoverished in the east want a better life. They see what the Crimeans have got from Moscow – higher salaries, better pensions, schools, facilities etc. They believe they would get they same, once they have joined Russia. Especially the elderly are susceptible to Russian propaganda.

    April 16, 2014 at 10:01 am | Reply
  9. chrissy

    Lololol @ derp troll! That sounds like a pretty catchy word already, i think your grandkids would like that. My grandaughter did when i read it to her! I approve your message btw! Lol

    April 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  10. chrissy

    Lol ok that sounds even better! So im guessing YOU are really JR since hes the "expert" on trolls and trolling! Kudos though for that enlightening info tho! It was good for a morning chuckle!

    April 17, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply
  11. teebonicus

    Clue: (Ret.) Justice Stevens's proposed change to the Second Amendment is a tacit admission that the amendment means what originalists have been saying all along. If not, then why would those five magic words be necessary?

    I'm surprised that no one else has even noticed this.

    April 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  12. Jeff

    I wonder what else the good justice would wish to change! If the the right wasn't a personal right why would they include it in the bill of rights and use the phrase the right of the, PEOPLE in the clause? People in ever other clause means citizens. I know I don't have the pedigree you guys do so my opinion isn't worth as much.

    It seems to me that the only amendment that gets so scrutinize is the second amendment. If only they put a comma here or the word militia there instead of here. Well they didn't, and it says what it means in plan langauge. Why is that so hard to understand.

    Perhaps we can also change the meaning of the fourth amendment for stop and frisk purposes. Add a couple of words here and there for the safety of the people. After all how many criminals abuse the fourth amendment! With 21 years in law enforcement I can't tell you how many criminals I've run into that abuse that one or the fifth. Instead of punishing the people by restricting there rights why not hold the criminal responsible? Oh I forgot that may not be fair to some criminals, but the law abiding your rights are not worth that much when trying to engineer a prefect society in a multi cultural nation. Well I'm tired of giving up my freedom for multiculturalism.

    I'm really getting tired of the third grade mentality that engulfs this country and how the left is always willing to hand the government more and more power. The left is also willing to worship at the alter of big government at the expense of the people's rights.

    Well I guess if I could I would tell justice Paul he can go to hell. It's not people versus guns. It's my safety, and my right.

    April 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  13. Jeff

    Justices Stevens to go to hell

    April 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  14. Know it?

    Ummm... article? Or just quotes? What the heck hell did I just read!

    April 23, 2014 at 8:20 am | Reply

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