Seth Meyers on the Second Amendment: ‘One of the Greatest Cons’ in History

NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers alleged early Thursday morning that those who promote gun rights are perpetrating “one of the greatest cons” in history. He insisted against all modern legal rulings that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to bear arms. Even liberal law professor Laurence Tribe has admitted that individual right.

During his diatribe, Meyers focused his ire on Republican politicians who decry the left’s attempt to politicize shootings by pushing gun control. Accusing them of hypocrisy, he declared, “the people who suddenly decry politics when a shooting happens are the same people who put guns in their political ads or proudly display guns in their backgrounds during political events, like they’re zooming in from a remote hideout in the woods during a zombie apocalypse.”

 

 

For Meyers, no normal person would put their guns on display in such a manner, “I mean look at—that’s insane I don’t care how you feel about guns, casually showing of a bunch of killing machines like this is demented.”

After saying he would leave a dinner party the host had such a room, Meyers tried to become a historian, “let’s dispense with this ridiculous lie that has become canon on the right that standing up to any sensible gun safety legislation means standing up for the Second Amendment it’s one of the greatest cons in the history of politics. For most of American history, the idea that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to own whatever gun you want was never even contemplated.”

For Meyers, this was so self-evident that even “Conservative Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger famously called it a fraud.”

Calling Burger a conservative is quite odd, but Meyers played an old clip of Burger on PBS from 1991 declaring, “If I were writing the Bill of Rights now, there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment.” Meyers wants to pretend the old liberal consensus that we only had a “collective” right to own guns never crumbled.

Focusing on the meaning of the word “militia,” Burger added, “This has been the subject of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups, that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Meyers used that to claim “That point is so blindingly obvious, it’s shocking we even have to debate it when the amendment was written, even the militia was supposed to be well regulated. Do you think the Founders would look at this and say, ‘That’s — that’s exactly what we meant!'”

After claiming that the Founders could never have envisioned some of today’s weapons, Meyers, while cracking himself up, alleged that they would be too stupid to know how to operate them, “In their day, it took nine minutes to load a gun, and half the time you pulled the trigger and it just went [muffled noises]- and the shot fell out on your shoe those dorks were tying keys to kites to learn about electricity. If you let Ben Franklin fire an AR-15, he would [ bleep] his burlap yoga pants.”

As for the intentions on the Second Amendment, George Mason once summed up the militia, not as Burger’s “state army,” but “the whole people, except for few public officials.”  

This segment was sponsored by Applebee’s.

Here is a transcript from the March 25 show:

NBC

Late Night with Seth Meyers

12:44 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: A majority of Americans want gun safety reforms, including universal background checks, mandatory gun licenses and a ban on semi-automatic weapons. It’s the politicians and their patrons in the gun lobby that are holding those up. Second, the people who suddenly decry politics when a shooting happens are the same people who put guns in their political ads or proudly display guns in their backgrounds during political events, like they’re zooming in from a remote hideout in the woods during a zombie apocalypse I mean look at—that’s insane. I don’t care how you feel about guns, casually showing of a bunch of killing machines like this is demented.

If I accidentally found a room like this at a dinner party, I would make an excuse and leave “Did you find the bathroom okay?” “Uh, you know, I did also, honey, the babysitter called and the boys are not feeling well so we should –” “Oh, no, you went right at the end of the hallway instead of left, didn’t you?” “No, no, no, I only went left. I only saw a bathroom. The boys, though, honey, they’re very sick. We should go it’s diarrhea.” “No one is going anywhere! [ Laughter ] “Oh, Cyrus, when will you put a lock on the gun room door?” 

Lastly, let’s dispense with this ridiculous lie that has become canon on the right that standing up to any sensible gun safety legislation means standing up for the Second Amendment it’s one of the greatest cons in the history of politics. For most of American history, the idea that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to own whatever gun you want was never even contemplated. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger famously called it a fraud. 

WARREN BURGER: If I were writing the Bill of Rights now, there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment. 

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Which says? 

BURGER: That’s “a well-regulated militia being necessary for the defense of the state, people’s rights to bear arms.” This has been the subject of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups, that I have ever seen in my lifetime just look at those words there are only three lines to that amendment a well-regulated militia if the militia, which was going to be the state army, was going to be well regulated, why shouldn’t 16 and 17 and 18 or any other age persons be regulated in the use of arms 

MEYERS: That point is so blindingly obvious, it’s shocking we even have to debate it when the amendment was written, even the militia was supposed to be well regulated. Do you think the founders would look at this and say, “That’s — that’s exactly what we meant!” And that’s not even taking into account that the founders could never have conceived of the weapons we have now. In their day, it took nine minutes to load a gun, and half the time you pulled the trigger and it just went [muffled noises]- and the shot fell out on your shoe those dorks were tying keys to kites to learn about electricity. If you let Ben Franklin fire an AR-15, he would [ bleep] His burlap yoga pants. “Deborah, I invented electricity! “Invent some better pants, Ben!” [ Bleep ] Hilarious but his wife was named Deborah. I would have thought the first Deborah was born in like 1940. [ Laughter ] Or how about private sales of guns, like at gun shows, which often don’t even require background checks, a loophole the vast majority of Americans want closed?

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