The Kolbe Syllogism
This week the 4th Circuit Court, ruling en banc, ruled that a Maryland State law banning “assault weapons” is Constitutional. The Court ruled that those weapons were “military” in nature and therefore they are not covered by the restrictions of the 2nd Amendment.
Conservatives are outraged. Progressives are ecstatic. Who is correct? Is it as simple as “I am conservative therefore the Court is wrong” or “I am progressive so the Court is right?” Did the 4th really ignore the precedents of Heller and other cases dealing with the 2nd Amendment?
In order to understand the issue, one has to consider two competing syllogism and their underlying axioms:
(A) All guns are military weapons.
Ownership of military guns should be restricted to the military.
Therefore the individual ownership of all guns should be restricted.
(B) All guns are military weapons.
The Militia is a military unit.
Individual ownership of all guns are protected by the 2nd Amendment.
Remember that in order to reach a valid conclusion, the basic assumptions of the axiom must be true. If the underlying presumption is false, the logic, regardless of how brilliant, will reach an invalid conclusion.
Did the Court base its ruling in a good axiom or upon a flawed presumption?