Ed Asner's Thinking is Backward

posted on March 15, 2018
Illustration by Court jones

Ed Asner has a new starring role, acting as though he knows what he is talking about.

In the 1970s and ’80s, Ed Asner played Lou Grant, a no-nonsense city editor who ran a newspaper newsroom in Los Angeles. Recently, Asner jumped into real “journalism” by spinning fake news about firearms and American history.

Asner and partner in journalistic crime Ed Weinberger penned a nonsensical column at Salon.com titled, “Sorry, NRA: The U.S. Was Actually Founded On Gun Control.” The two then went on to waste nearly 1,200 words making claims about gun ownership and the history of the Second Amendment that are easily disproven.

The column was too much for frequent America’s 1st Freedom contributor and National Review Online editor Charles C.W. Cooke, who addressed the duo’s claims head on in a column headlined, “No, Salon, The U.S. Was Not Founded On ‘Gun Control.’” (Google it for a very good read.)

Cooke took exception to Asner and Weinberger’s assertion that “as written, the Second Amendment follows closely in meaning and in language previous state and national Constitutions—all of which explicitly refer to militias and not individuals.”

Cooke’s response: “The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, which is 15 years after Vermont’s Bill of Rights, which held that ‘the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state’; 15 years after North Carolina’s Bill of Rights, which proposed that ‘the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State’; and a year after Pennsylvania’s Declaration of Rights, which ensured that ‘the right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.’ It is also 11 years after Massachusetts confirmed that ‘the people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence’—a plain statement that, like the others quoted, contains no references to a ‘militia,’ ‘explicit’ or otherwise, but does mention ‘the people.’”

Cooke then went on to address each of Asner and Weinberger’s incorrect assertions one by one, completely debunking the inaccurate, unhistorical column.

In the end, Cooke summed up the duo’s lame attempt to rewrite history: “None of the aforementioned matters much, of course, because Asner and Weinberger are not really investigating history, but trying to rewrite it. Theirs is a piece designed to convince the already convinced that almost everyone has fallen for a hoax. It’s hard work reversing much-beloved constitutional provisions, especially when they are built upon ideals that go back centuries. It’s much easier to pretend that ‘people’ doesn’t mean ‘people,’ and ‘right’ doesn’t mean ‘right.’”


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