No, New York Times, the Constitution doesn't "require Americans to allow armed teenagers" 

Young people between the ages of 18 and 20 are allowed to carry rifles to protect their country, but according to the New York Times, allowing them to concealed carry in the states constitutes gross irresponsibility. Who knows what harm they might cause! From an editorial:

In its recent Second Amendment rulings, the Supreme Court struck down complete bans on handgun ownership, but explicitly left room for limits on gun ownership and possession by felons and the mentally ill, and other reasonable restrictions like Texas’ age limitations. The Supreme Court has said nothing to suggest that the Second Amendment requires Americans to allow armed teenagers in their communities.

Beyond the dubious legal claims, the idea that young individuals ages 18 to 20 have a constitutional right to buy weapons and carry them loaded and concealed in public is breathtakingly irresponsible.

Beyond the dubious adverb abuse (breathtakingly irresponsible? Really?), young individuals ages 18 to 20 not only sign up for selective service, they also vote. They're full citizens, to whom the Bill of Rights guarantees certain rights, which includes the Second Amendment. Breathtakingly. Does the New York Times think that we should limit 18- to 20- year olds freedom of speech because who knows what damage they can do? Universities sure do, given their preference for unconstitutional speech codes that clamp down on the student press.

But what breathtakingly odd phrasing, that the "Supreme Court has said nothing to suggest that the Second Amendment requires Americans to allow armed teenagers in their communities." That's some sleight of hand. Let's move the sentence around a bit to get the Supreme Court to agree with me too. "The Supreme Court has said nothing to suggest that the Bill of Rights requires Americans to allow 'Dancing with the Stars' to air in America."

Here lies the breathtakingly ignorant view of how the Constitution works, in which the Constitution supposedly explains what the people can and cannot do. But how it really works is that the Constitution sets forward what the government can do, and anything that goes unmentioned remains with the people to decide. The Bill of Rights is the part of the Constitution that explicitly (or breathtakingly) names positive rights that cannot be infringed -- i.e. the right to keep and bear arms. It would do the New York Times well to hire editorial writers who understand this basic concept.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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