What do Amy Coney Barrett, hermeneutics, postmodernism and gun rights in the United States have in common? Probably nothing for most people, but I am hoping to make a killing, no pun intended, with them from the US stock market. Sorry, greedy me! After reading about Barrett, the newest justice of the US Supreme Court , and the description of her conservative judicial philosophy as “originalism”, I bought loads of shares in Smith & Wesson Brands, the famed gun manufacturer, with all the spare cash I could muster. Quite simply, you now have a gun-friendly Supreme Court, where there is a clear conservative majority ready to overturn state laws that categorically ban convicted felons from owning guns. And it’s likely that there will be a tidal wave of appeals in the US courts leading to a relaxation of gun ownership restrictions, at both state and federal levels. If Democrat Joe Biden wins the presidential race as predicted by most polls, he would advocate tougher gun control. That would, at least initially, prompt gun nuts to buy more weapons before the laws tighten or could be challenged in courts. But what is judicial originalism? I am no legal scholar but did study hermeneutics, a philosophy of how to interpret texts, in graduate school. The discipline was largely developed by 19th-century German legal scholars and theologians to interpret, respectively, the laws and the Bible, through rigorous textual principles. In many ways, America is still the great wild west with all those guns Originalism is the exact opposite of postmodernism; both fall under hermeneutics. The latter argues “there is nothing outside the text”, so the intentions and self-understanding of authors are completely irrelevant. Originalism, however, believes the intended meanings of the authors are all that matter. In the case of judicial originalism and the US Constitution, it means a judge should faithfully determine what the constitutional framers originally had in mind, and interpret a law accordingly. As a further elaboration, a judge may also try to determine how average citizens might understand a constitutional matter at the time of its adoption. This is the textual originalism of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Barrett clerked under Scalia and shared his judicial philosophy. Four conservative justices are believed to be ready to expand gun rights under the Second Amendment. With Barrett, they now have a solid majority. In many ways, America is still the great wild west with all those guns.