What a difference a comma can make

newsroom@islandpacket.comApril 18, 2014 

The preamble of the Constitution of the United States reads: "We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"Promote the general welfare" -- That sounds like socialist talk to me.

Conservatives like to refer to the Constitution's First and Second Amendments as justification for allowing money to be treated as "speech" and unfettered access to guns.

The First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The 2nd Amendment, as passed by Congress, reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Interestingly, a slightly differently punctuated version was ratified by some of the states, "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

This slight difference in the use of commas creates different interpretations by different people.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

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