Keith Olbermann owned himself on Twitter.
The left-wing former ESPN and MSNBC commentator unveiled a novel argument for the constitutionality of gun control — that the Second Amendment doesn’t use the word “own.”
Mr. Olbermann made his legal claim in a video he posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon before that evening’s baseball All-Star Game in Denver, where authorities had earlier arrested four people over a stash of long guns and ammunition.
“Consider again the holy Second Amendment to the Constitution and ask yourself this question. Why doesn’t the 2nd Amendment have the word ‘own’ in it? Why does it not say the right to own guns or a synonym for own?” he asked sarcastically before reciting the existing amendment.
It says “‘keep and bear’ … not ‘own.’ ‘Keep’ doesn’t mean ‘own’; ‘bear’ doesn’t mean ‘own,’” he said to his close-up camera.
In his tweet promoting the video he declared that “the 2nd Amendment does NOT authorize gun OWNERSHIP!”
The Second Amendment “isn’t about gun ownership, it’s about regulation of state militias,” he said on the video. “Yet thousands of us die every year buried under this same [expletive].”
That “keep and bear” neither means nor presupposes ownership was not an argument made by any of the dissenting justices in the Heller decision that established contemporary gun-rights jurisprudence.
It also was widely derided on Twitter, as numerous people pointed out that “keep” does in fact mean “own.”
One person posted an image of the dictionary definition of “keep” as “have or retain possession of.”
Another asked whether “you think the word ‘keep’ referred to equipment on loan from the state?”
And a third pointed out that “keep and bear” is actually a stronger guarantee than “own.”
“It specifically says ‘keep & bear’ because owning a gun does not mean you get to keep it or bear it. To hammer it home, the KEEP part means the government CAN. NOT. TAKE. IT. AWAY!” wrote John Taznar.