I have on occasion taken on the job of proofreading and editing other people's writing. I do this sometimes for co-workers or other business endeavors, sometimes for a friend's personal writings.
There are, however, people that are considerably better at writing than me. Or should that be 'myself'? I? Nevertheless, I certainly don't think I'm good enough to correct great writers. You know that guy Shakespeare? Yeah he is one writer I wouldn't even try to correct. Hell, I'd have to be able to make full sense of what he writes in order to correct it. And sadly I'm better looking than I am smart, and I'm not all that good looking...
A good and virtuous nature may recoil
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon.
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose.
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.
Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace,
Yet grace must still look so.
Shakespeare's words have been the focus of readers for many years. Their meanings interpreted and reinterpreted. I don't need baggy dance pants to say: "Can't touch this."
Other great words that have the focus of a great many are these, the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:
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.
Many people have also sought to understand these words. It has been interpreted to verify that qualified Americans have the right to defend themselves with weapons. It has also been said that this Amendment is limited to only military. Perhaps the confusion is that our language has changed a bit over the decades and these words used to parse better several generations ago.
They are so essential to our freedom that it is important that the words NOT be twisted to take away our freedom.
Am I the right person to interpret these words? Am I qualified to change the way that this statement is phrased? Absolutely not.
But I will anyway. 'cuz this is my blog.
If the rest of the parts for my time machine would ever show up, you can be certain that this Amendment would no longer read this way. Because of the effects of changing the past, I would hope that the present would morph into something a little more secure, a little more safe.
The Second Amendment would read differently. Because of me and my time machine. It will remain a mystery as to why the rest of the Amendments are written with a quill, and the ink of the Second Amendment looks suspiciously like a Uni-Ball Signo.
So here is the new Second Amendment. Notice that it has fewer commas.
The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
I actually made one of the shortest Amendments even shorter. I tried at first to make the Amendment better by adding more explanation to the text, but I'm going with "short is sweet" this time. Besides - can't stay long in the past - I'll be late for something I'm sure.
Why do I think that these are the right words? Because of the men that founded our country. They believed that freedom was a gift granted to them not by other men, but by God. They believed in independence and personal responsibility.
Specifically spelling out that the citizen has the right to bear arms wasn't just thought up one afternoon.
"Hey George Washington. I noticed that some people like gunz 'n stuff. Should we mention that people can keep them without the government rounding them up?"
"Sure, sure. Y'know the muskets and stuff would never be considered serious weapons in the future. Not like we won and want to keep our independence using 'em."
Yeah. You see that I don't write dialog well. Shakespeare I ain't.
The right to bear arms is a simple concept. It is simple to us now as it was simple to out founding fathers way back when. Hence the few words used in the Second Amendment, either the real one, or my modified one. The simple concept is that I have the right to enjoy and defend my life and liberty. I have the right to protect property and defend myself and my family.
That is what free men want - then and now.