Letters to the Editor: The right to bear billy clubs? The originalists are absurdists

Gun-rights activists carrying semiautomatic firearms rally at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., in 2020.
(Bryan Woolston / Getty Images)

To the editor: It’s getting ridiculous. U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez overturned a 100-year-old prohibition against billy clubs because it isn’t “long-standing,” contradicting what he decided in 2021.

He based his ruling on the “originalist” Supreme Court’s finding that to be valid, such prohibitions must date back to Revolutionary or Civil War times. Yet the court is expected to allow bans on bump stocks for semiautomatic rifles, neither of which dates back to those times. Ridiculously inconsistent.

Also ridiculous is the plaintiff counsel’s comment, “It’s common sense that the Colonial era didn’t ban people from carrying sticks around or owning sticks in their house.” Therefore, big sticks (billy clubs) should be allowed, right?


Also not banned were flamethrowers, hand grenades, machine guns, sarin gas and so on. So, they should be allowed now, right?

Instead of using the originalist litmus test to prevent banning incredibly dangerous arms, use the originalist test to choose allowable arms. Only allow arms that are, in the words of the Supreme Court, deeply rooted in the American “history and tradition” of the late 1700s.

The right to carry those arms shall not be infringed. Anyone and everyone may own and carry those traditional arms — but nothing else. Originalist-allowed arms would include, yes, sticks, as well as dirks, swords, spears and muzzle-loading pistols and muskets.

Anything more advanced would obviously not be allowed.

Geoff Duane, Torrance