Infringe: History of a Word and the Debate Over Guns

What’s in a word? Lots, maybe, when its a key word in the most contentious debate in America. The word “infringe” determines the threshold of how the Constitution should be enforced and what laws to pass. We seem to use it to mean a “minor trespass” but that runs counter to its etymological roots [the word means to break], and is not commonly how Framers used it. To test that, we’ll cite examples from George Washington and others.

But do we understand the word, and if we do, are we applying it correctly in our political debates over guns and politics? In this cast we look at how framers like Washington, Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson used the word, and how it’s applied in DC v. Heller and US v. Miller. We contrast infringe to its Constitutional cousin abridge, and we look at what the NRA asserts about the 2nd amendment’s words, including the word infringe.

From 2022 – We also looked at the New York carry law Supreme Court case