(Washington – January 6, 2011) For the first time in American history, the Representatives who make our nation’s laws heard the document that gives them their authority read on the House Floor. New Hampshire Representative Frank Guinta was one of the readers.
The entire United States Constitution was read, line by line, by various House Members at midday Thursday. The order of reading was assigned on a first come basis. Coincidentally, Guinta, a staunch supporter of the rights of gun owners, got to read: “Second Amendment. 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.”
“It was a true honor to participate in this historic reading,” Guinta said afterward. “Our Constitution is not some musty historic document. It is a living framework that guarantees our individual rights, and spells out the authority that we, the people, give to our government. Washington gets in trouble whenever it strays beyond the powers expressed in the Constitution, leaving the people with the burden of undoing the damage.
“As this 112th Congress gets underway, it is appropriate that we Representatives hear the actual words that give us our authority to act, and which also limit our ability to act. One thing that is different about this Congress from previous ones is the new House rule adopted yesterday, requiring every bill and joint resolution be accompanied by a statement explaining its constitutionality. As long as we stay within the limits allowed by the Constitution, we can act with the confidence as we do the people’s business.”