Interesting item in the New York Times about some recent decision of the American Supreme Court that isn't really important to the rest of us. Something about the right to bear arms. Anyway, the learned author shows how everyone in the debate (the Justices, that is) need to show how their contemporary position fits into the intent of a group of white male gentlemen in the late 18th century.
I'm not poking fun, honestly. On the contrary, I understand that a society needs to have some basic texts to which it relates when making important decisions; no legal system could long function as a legal system without. Nor a religious system, either. Except that most religious systems relate to documents that are far more ancient than 200-some years.
PS - On another subject, or perhaps the same one from a different direction: I'm alway struck by how the internal American discussion of violence gets tied up with the number of guns lying around. In Switzerland and in Israel, both, there are probably significantly more guns in the hands of the citizens (or more accurately, the citizens who are also reserve soldiers) than there are in the US. Yet in neither country are these weapons the cause of a large number of crimes or murders. Sometimes they are, yes, but not often. Violence, you see, is a matter of culture, not of tools. Or - and I apologize for repeating myself endlessly - it's a matter of choice, not of conditions.