Our right to bear arms
Denny's is running an ad which celebrates America's greatness (constitution, American dream, melting pot that proves our differences are our strength (though of course all the patrons are white as white), and - as one old lady says, "our right to bear arms"). At the end, the little girl says "Bear arms?"
Clearly, she's reinterpreting "bear" as a noun modifying "arms" rather than a verb with "arms" as its direct object (and of course, the meaning of "arms" is different, too). And why can she do that? Because English verbs are indistinguishable from nouns.
Yes. When you're presented with an historically English (Germanic) word such as "bear" you can't tell whether it's a noun or a verb. You need context - syntax- to make that determination. And even then, sometimes, the syntax doesn't help. Like this one, in which either reading (bear as noun or verb) works grammatically, even though one reading is a bit nonsensical.
|our right "to bear" arms|
= "carry arms"
|our right to "bear arms"|
= "arms of a bear"
Worrying about "verbing nouns" as if it's somehow destroying English ignores a fundamental fact about our language. Unlike some - Russian comes to mind - there is no obligatory bit of grammar, no suffix or ending, that marks a word's category. Sure, particularly in words borrowed from Romance languages there are some (-tion, -ate, -ity, -ify, even a few Germanic ones like -ness) but there are many, many words with no clues at all. And we don't waste our time complaining about this with "bear arms" or "race cars", do we?