New York Times: Re-Write The Second Amendment

 Ugly gun (courtesy nytimes.com)

I’m not particularly surprised that the New York Times has published an op-ed calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. The left-leaning former newspaper of record is so anti-gun they commissioned their artists to create an image of the world’s stupidest, ugliest gun (as above), implying that all guns are stupid and ugly. To them — to Zachary Elkins in particular — they are. As is the bit of the United States Constitution that protects American citizens’ natural and/or human right to armed self-defense. Not that he’d use the word, but Elkins knows his position is extreme . . .

Before you mock the idea of a constitutional amendment, consider that hardly anyone is happy with our unstable status quo: gun enthusiasts fear their rights are under constant threat; gun-control advocates point to the danger of illegal guns and easy access to firearms.

Here’s the thing Zach. One side is right—firearms freedom is under threat—and one side is wrong—making illegal guns more illegal or making more guns illegal won’t do a thing to reduce their “danger” to society. In fact,”easy access” to firearms is precisely what the framers of the Constitution wanted. Which is still the case for those of us who cherish freedom and liberty.

To broker a “grand compromise” (a.k.a., throw the Second Amendment under the bus) Mr. Elkins’ essay delves into U.S. history. Selectively.

First, Elkins discounts settled law (and common sense) that has established the Second Amendment as an individual right, most recently in the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision. To wit: “The 5-to-4 vote also suggests that the decision is not fixed doctrine.”

Second, Elkins ignores the plight of disarmed African Americans, whose suffering formed the basis of the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision. This somehow escaped the attention of the associate professor of government at the University of Texas.

“What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?” the gun-rights advocate asks. “What part of ‘a well regulated Militia’ do you not understand?” goes the retort.

Partly because of this ambiguity, the Second Amendment seemed almost irrelevant for most of our history. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many American towns and states regulated guns. In the deadly confrontation at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., in 1881, Wyatt Earp was enforcing a ban on carrying guns in public.

“Almost irrelevant.” With two words, Elkins dismisses a world of pain, torture, humiliation and murder inflicted upon disarmed African Americans. Not to mention the millions of citizens left defenseless against criminals by unconstitutional gun control laws.

As for citing the shootout at the OK Corral, what of it? Does the fact that the Alien and Sedition Acts trampled on the First Amendment make the First Amendment irrelevant? More to the point, this guy is a professor?

This constitutional uncertainty should suggest to both sides the possibility of agreeing on a formal clarification of the constitutional text. Zealots will scoff, but many reasonable people would find reassurance in a revised Second Amendment that was properly balanced. Those who propose responsible limits, like background checks, would welcome constitutional support for common-sense safeguards. Those who worry about the slippery slope of encroachments on gun rights would find comfort in an explicit reassertion and reinforcement of the general right to bear arms.

Just for S&Gs, what is Mr. Elkins proposing, exactly? What is the language of this revised Second Amendment that will reconcile two irreconcilable positions on civilian disarmament? Crickets chirping mixed with the sound of zealots scoffing.

Shame on the Times for publishing this drivel, the sole intent of which is to paint gun rights advocates as “extremists.” On the other hand, it’s kind of reassuring that gun control proponents are spouting utter nonsense in a scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel kinda way.

Even so, I shudder to think what would happen if another spree killing or high profile assassination goes down within the next few months. We are only a trigger pull away from this kind of crap becoming “common sense.”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

98 Responses to New York Times: Re-Write The Second Amendment

  1. avatarJames1000 says:

    Love that oicture. The Brits never would’ve stood a chance with that gun in the hands of revolutionaries.

    • avatarMy Name Is Bob says:

      Considering there’s no flint in it renders it sorta useless, lol. I think it’s so cute though how these newspapers, struggling to remain relevant and expand their readership, continually piss off and alienate the people and their rights. Good riddance to bad rubbish says I!

  2. avatarDougR says:

    Elkins is just another liberal dbag.

  3. avatarPulatso says:

    I want a flintlock with a mag and optics. Also, bonus points for bringing up the Alien & Sedition Acts.

  4. avatarTodd Price says:

    Well, thank goodness they would have no chance of 75% of states approving such a change, even if they could muster 2/3 of both houses of Congress.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      You don’t understand. THE ALMIGHTY NEW YORK TIMES HAS SPOKEN! It’s practically a law unto itself.

      Robert, how about sending them a guest editorial calling for the repeal of the First Amendment?

  5. avatarMerits says:

    I don’t see what needs ‘reinforcing’. Seems awful clear to me as is.

    Maybe some ‘upholding’ would be useful.

    Part of being a professor in general these days seems to require thinking that the Constitution is there to give out things, rather than limit the government.

  6. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    Gods and Thunders, that’s what’s worried me for quite some time – as anyone who knows me around here will know.

    Someone has finally described the Unholy Grail of the grabbers, and unfortunately if they managed to do this it’d be every bit as legal as was apportionment or only white, male land-owners having the vote used to be.

    Fortunately, the Ammendment process takes a while, and lots of states wouldn’t ratify such an abomination, but it’s still a clear and present danger.

    Who’s for a million “militiaman” march. We the People need to be seen.

    • avatarShenandoah says:

      Meet me at the mustering grounds.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      The Sixteenth Amendment was never anywhere CLOSE to properly ratified!
      Have you tried not paying your income taxes? If we have to pay income taxes despite the fact it’s technically not the law, what hope is there for the Second Amendment? Don’t put it past Obama to just declare the Second null and void. He’d have the liberals standing in line to kiss his ass if he did.

    • avatarLarry says:

      The march will come after, and only after, individuals have had to echo the words of Texans 150 years ago, “come and take it!”

      ‘sall a good story, but someone will need to actually stand up, to fight and kill and die, before there will be a real consideration of retaking a Constitutional government. The very concept is currently mocked by those sworn to uphold it, and no one calls them to task. If no one stands up, no one will ever call them to task.

  7. avatarJohnny says:

    SSDD.

    Let’s rewrite the 1st Amendment while we’re at it where nobody under 180 IQ can publicly speak or express their opinion.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      The lefties complain about “corporate” free speech – the Citizens United Case and all that. We’ll let’s give them what they want. Since the 1st Amendment was meant to apply to people and not to evil corporations, we’ll say that the first Amendment only applies to persons, real or corporate, so long as such person (a) has less than 10 employees or independent contractors, and (b) if a corporate entity has fewer than 15 partners, members and shareholders, and (c) has GAAP consolidated gross revenues of less than $10mm / fiscal year. That should quite nicely stop all corporate speech by large entities like the NY Times Co., while protecting my favority blogs. And large corporations will still have the right to publish newspapers if they choose, they just wont have 1st Amendment protection from government intrusion.

    • avatarLarry says:

      Or under 120 IQ can vote or hold office.

  8. avatarPantera Vazquez says:

    Did anyone expect anything different from the NYT? If so-Why?

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      That PA MAIG mayor who tried to get a BJ at gunpoint – I wasn’t surprised, and yet, when the expected happens, sometimes it still seems surprising. It’s surprising they all continue to be so utterly predictable.

  9. avatarAnmut says:

    Gun grabbers know that it would just take another 20 dead children to enact a country-wide confiscation… so watch for one in April. They are not above dancing on graves to push their agenda – and it’s not much of a reach for them to actually cause the death that they pretend to be trying to protect us from. All you have to do is read the comments at the HuffPo.

    • avatarDisThunder says:

      I fear this greatly as well.
      The only thing we can do, and it really is more than it sounds, is be prepared for that fight anytime, anywhere. If you conceal carry, than you need to CARRY. That means all the time, not just when you go downtown after dark. Wayne might be only as good as his worst soundbite, but us good guys and girls need to be armed; we know all too well it’s the only way anyone will ever control the carnage and stop a spree shooter. And it’s the only possible way we could ever turn back the tide of another rush to disarmament.
      So be practiced, be calm, be collected, and be READY. If enough of us are scanning for threats and watching out for our friends and loved ones, we just might be in a position to save lives and kill some rhetoric.

  10. avatarFred says:

    We should “rewrite” the Second Amendment so they can’t keep throwing out that “it only covers muskets and militias” crap. With other historic legislation they’re content with the Supreme Court rulings, such as First Amendment issues with new media and events that are not strictly named (such as funerals), but with guns they ignore the Supreme Court rulings “for the children”. Rewrite it so it covers all guns and all gun clubs, associations, leagues, events, and militias because the other side can’t do anything beyond doing a google search for the definition of militia to know it requires every able bodied male in the United States to know their way around a gun.

  11. avatarOro says:

    “This constitutional uncertainty should suggest to both sides the possibility of agreeing on a formal clarification of the constitutional text.”

    I thought we just did that – it was called Heller. Pretty formal clarification. Has this guy slept through recent history?

    • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

      No, he is just ignoring the inconvenient truth.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      The same writing style appears in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and so on. They have no trouble with that – they only dislike it in the Second because they hate what it clearly says: “…SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

      It’s understandable they’re dissatisfied with it. THEY HATE WHAT IT SAYS. PERIOD.

  12. avatarSwarf says:

    Someone needs to send him the historical definition of “regulated” as it pertains to guns (where is DG, anyway?).

  13. avatarLC Judas says:

    No we are not. We are a trigger pull away from a new level of paranoia and panic but frankly if we were teetering on the edge of losing the Second Amendment, the mimed public outcry by unmanned Twitter accounts and random commentators from fashion magazines would be seconded by organizations that do more than meet a few times with female spokespersons for media coverage.

    If the ability to abolish, rewrite or destroy the Second Amendment was available now it would already have been used. That is not to say in the future it won’t be an issue if we can’t turn the tide now but the tea leaves as they are show that civilian disarmament is only for people with armed guards. It doesn’t show any real measures to create progress. Enough people were taught history, even if they failed it in public school.

  14. *gasp!* What?! The NYT has a writer who doesn’t like guns OR The Second Amendment?!

    MY God, say it isn’t so! And here I was, all this time, thinking liberals liked guns, and freedom, and The Constitution…wow….color me shocked.

  15. avataranonymous says:

    This constitutional uncertainty should suggest to both sides the possibility of agreeing on a formal clarification of the constitutional text. Zealots will scoff, but many reasonable people would find reassurance in a revised Second First Amendment that was properly balanced. Those who propose responsible limits, like background checks censorship, would welcome constitutional support for common-sense safeguards. Those who worry about the slippery slope of encroachments on gun rights a free press would find comfort in an explicit reassertion and reinforcement of the general right to bear arms free speech.

  16. avatarmediocrates says:

    “well regulated militia” is the justification for the right to keep and bear arms. I thought that had long been established. Just goes to show you how uneducated the seemingly educated people are (or think they are).

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      It’s NOT established as long as they still hate it. The Second Amendment is ICKY. Thus, it has to go, *by any means necessary*. And I DO mean ANY.

  17. avatarGrege says:

    Are people still subscribing to the NY Times? I

  18. avatarCyrano says:

    “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?” the gun-rights advocate asks. “What part of ‘a well regulated Militia’ do you not understand?” goes the retort”

    Then the retort should go “well regulated Militia” doesn’t mean what it has become in modern times. It means well supplied, informed, and disciplined in the methods and tools of defense.

    http://www.constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

    The meaning of the phrase “well-regulated” in the 2nd amendment

    The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

    1709: “If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations.”

    1714: “The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world.”

    1812: “The equation of time … is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial.”

    1848: “A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor.”

    1862: “It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding.”

    1894: “The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city.”

    The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

    • avatarPulatso says:

      Thank you for this!

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Wow! Thanks so much for this. Best post all week.

    • avatarkarlb says:

      I am a bit skeptical of the original author’s claims about the etymology of the word. While there is a secondary meaning that is different than today’s meaning, it is derived from the idea of a clock’s regulator: while it does help the clock run smoothly, the real need of the regulator is to slow the running of the clock’s mechanisms. The primary meaning (from L. regulare) still meant to rule.

    • avatarDoug says:

      Yes.

      As to the idiotic snark “What part of ‘a well regulated Militia’ do you not understand?”, it seems totally clear that the militia wording presumes an armed citizenry. As long as you have an armed citizenry then you have all you need to form or reform a well-regulated militia, even in our ‘safe’, ‘civilized’ 21st Century.

      Conversely, when the citizenry is disarmed, then you no longer have the ability to get a functional militia together even in case of imminent dire necessity. And because we as a society care what happens to the militia members, that definitely and absolutely presumes public possession of reasonable, appropriate weapons for such a purpose, not just antiques with flints and powderhorns or small-caliber varmint guns.

      Article two only makes sense in the context of an armed citizenry.

    • avatarLarry says:

      As I approach 70 years old, I only just noticed THIS YEAR that the 2nd does not give individuals the right to keep and bear arms.

      Don’t get crazy now.

      The 2nd instead RECOGNIZES that right exists, and prohibits infringing on it. Recognizes it as if there would never be a question of the natural right, and only intending to prohibit things like CCL’s (don’t need ‘em-an infringement), FFLs, barrel lengths, select fire, silencers, hundreds, maybe thousands of infringements.

      I’ve long noted that the 1st merely directs that CONGRESS shall make no law (Which sounds like the States and even cities CAN make such laws) which is routinely ignored, but the 2nd says “shall not be infringed” clearly preventing any infringement from any quarter, also routinely ignored. Amazing.

      • avatarint19h says:

        >> I’ve long noted that the 1st merely directs that CONGRESS shall make no law (Which sounds like the States and even cities CAN make such laws) which is routinely ignored,

        It’s not ignored. Historically, all amendments in the Bill of Rights (as well as the rest of the constitution, except where it specifically talks about the states) only applied to the Federal government – which is why several states did e.g. have official state religions early on. It was expected that states would have their own constitutions where they would place the rights they would deem most important of protection from their own government; the only point of the federal constitution was to prevent the federal government from disregarding the political power of the states.

        This all changed with the 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” (and even then, the shadow of not yet fully invalidated United States v. Cruikshank still hangs over it). It is only because of this that First and Second Amendments became a stick that can be used by citizens of the specific states to rein in their governments. Heller or McDonald decisions would have been impossible before the Civil War, because it was perfectly constitutional for states to come up with regulation of the right to keep and bear arms, however stringent (which is why a few states banned concealed carry, and most slave states did not allow states to possess arms).

  19. avatarDrVino says:

    While we’re at it, Zach, let’s re-write the Bill of Rights to exclude Liberals, Jews, “journalists”, anyone from New York….. etc….

    BTW, you’d think Zach would have read “Lord of the Flies” and learned a lesson…

  20. avatarWatchmen lewis says:

    funny how they like using the first amendment

  21. avatardwb says:

    Zachary Elkins is an associate professor of government at the University of Texas

    can they kick you out of Texas for an article like this?

    unfortunately they do not allow comments. shocker.

    • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

      I have closed my eyes, and I am imagining the Ghost of Sam Houston kicking this guy in the nuts. Mmmm, aahhh!

    • Apologies on behalf of my alma mater. Unfortunately, being the preeminent public university with a really awesome business school and a really awesome engineering school means you attract a lot of fools and idealists.

  22. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    Associate Professor of Gov’t does not equal being a lawyer (even if he is cross-listed on the UT Faculty). My ex-wife is an associate professor. Trust me – her “holier than thou” arguments sucked,too. Oh, and Zach has a PhD from UCal- Berkley. ’nuff said.

  23. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    Arizona was a federal territory in 1881, Earp could do whatever he wanted.

    On a side note: How do you become a College professor without a college education?

    And further, I find NO comfort in something called a “general right to bear arms”. Keep you amendments – striking down the 2nd Amendment would probably be one of the surest ways to start a 2nd civil war.

  24. avatardwb says:

    oh, and incidentally, last i checked at least 35 states supported the Heller decision through an amicus brief and are shall-issue concealed carry states. any constitutional amendment, if anything, solidifies the Heller decision IMO.

  25. avatarNS says:

    the hilarious part is that his argument – that we need to amend the Constitution to enact “common sense” gun control – erodes one of the biggest claims of antis: that the regulations they seek to impose will not conflict with the Constitution. If he were sure of this, why advocate an amendment?

  26. avatarstngray713 says:

    i really wish they would just try and amend and at least try to impose their views through the proper channels. if they truely believe 90% of americans agree with them then put up or shut up.

  27. avatarSteve says:

    Hey, if they can get the requisite 2/3 Senate and 2/3 state to support it, by all means, go ahead and try.

    Until then, shut the hell up and leave us responsible citizens alone.

  28. avatarJacknine says:

    At least this is a far more honest approach and is what the founders intended with clause 5 if you want to change the constitution or the bill rights.

    2/3 of house and senate, and 3/4 of states to propose and amend. Good luck with that.

  29. avatarR. L. Hails Sr. P. E. says:

    I congratulate Mr. Zachary Elkins. He writes clear truth. The issue of gun control by legislating a zillion stupid useless rules e.g. magazine size, model number, registration, etc. is, at it heart, a lie. The root issue is whether a free people can own and possess an instrument whose primary purpose is to kill. Target practice and deer are nice, but the second change to our basic law was clearly meant to stay alive in a dangerous world. The exact same issue, and risk, is extant today. Criminals, by definition, do not obey the law. Killers kill, it is plain truth.

    Armed we are free, disarmed we can easily become slaves, or cadavers; this is the history of the world. Now that all the political lying has been exposed, it falls to the gun control proponents to revise our basic law. As the lawyers say, at long last, we are at issue. And as Benjamin Franklin advised, “You have a Republic, if you can keep it.”

  30. avatarShenandoah says:

    Ok, so if we start gathering at our local mustering grounds every Saturday, drilling and training with our weapons in a cohesive fashion, you’ll just leave us alone and won’t beg Obama to send in the drones to dispose of the scary militiamen? Is that what you mean Mr. Professor man?

  31. avatarbernard says:

    y’know, maybe a real attempt to repeal or modify the 2nd would actually bring about a real conversation where the swayable masses would learn the actual merits and origins of the law. Who am I kidding?

  32. avatarjwm says:

    The NYT can FOAD. Along with their staff and writers.

  33. avatarAnonymous says:

    “Just for S&Gs, what is Mr. Elkins proposing, exactly? What is the language of this “grand compromise” that will reconcile two irreconcilable positions on civilian disarmament?”

    Universal background checks! (complete gun registry of all the people of the US). So when the day comes to confiscate, it is easy to know who has what. And according to the universal background check wording of law, the traceability of the guns as well. And of course if any of the law if violated – the person gets a felony rap and then must turn in their guns.

    • avatarAlphapod says:

      I’d expect it to happen more like in Mexico, where their constitution included the provision: “The inhabitants of the United Mexican States have the right to possess arms within their domicile, for their safety and legitimate defense, except those forbidden by Federal Law and those reserved for the exclusive use of the Army, Militia, Air Force and National Guard. Federal law shall provide in what cases, conditions, under what requirements and in which places inhabitants shall be authorized to bear arms.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_keep_and_bear_arms#Mexico).

      The result, of course, is that their RKBA has been “reasonably restricted” to the point of being non-existent, for most intents and purposes. THAT is why there can’t be an amendment to include both rights and regulations. Because, before too long, there won’t be anything left of the “rights” and all that will be left standing is the regulations.

      But, on the plus side, at least all those restrictions have turned Mexico into a paradigm of low crime and no corruption, right?

  34. avatarGS650G says:

    Witness the power of media to form opinions and change minds.

  35. Any time Lefties talk about changing the Second Amendment, they acknowledge that it prohibits any form of gun control or registration.

    Changing the Constitution would ultimately require 38 states to ratify any change. I think we can always come come up with 12 states to counter this.

  36. avatarDave says:

    A very instructive case is the RKBA in Mexico’s constitution. It does exist, but look what sort “reasonable” restrictions they managed to have there:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_keep_and_bear_arms#Mexico

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Mexico

    It’s bad enough what is tolerated in the US in some places with the present-day 2nd Amendment. One can only imagine what things will be like if it’s “improved”.

  37. avatarMercutio says:

    What the learned author (and many others, it seems judging by the comments) fail to recognize is that the Bill of Rights does not “grant” rights, it only enumerates them and that they are “inalienable”; that is, they cannot be taken away, nor even given away by the People themselves. The Second is all about the right to self-defense, whether against criminals, an oppresive government or foreign attack.
    Changing or abolishing the 2nd does not remove the right to self defense by whatever means necessary; it merely identifies the enemy.

  38. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Common sense, no ambiguity there at all. I;m still waiting for the dosomethingers to get rid of the criminal safe zones. Randy

  39. avatarint19h says:

    It’s much better to talk about amending the constitution than it is about seeking loopholes for roundabout legislative or executive ways to circumvent it. Constitutional amendments are how the system is supposed to work. If people want the feds to have the authority to regulate guns, they should explicitly grant the feds that authority via the established process.

    Regarding 2A in particular, it’s actually worth amending it just to make the language clearer – reword it in modern English and clearly separate the primary “shall not be infringed” clause from the rationale, and clearly identify the latter as not extensive – or just drop that altogether. Also make sure that it is unambiguously an individual right. Something like:

    “The right of the individual citizen to possess, keep and carry arms for any purpose whatsoever shall not be impaired.

    Rationale: the security of a free republic from external and internal threats necessitates the existence of an armed citizens’ militia, and the security of individual citizens requires the ability to use arms in self-defense. Nothing in this rationale should be construed as limiting the right to the circumstances described.”

    It would also be nice to have a separate amendment establishing a clear right to self-defense.

    • avatarDave says:

      Here is Connecticut RKBA, as cited in http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/beararms/statecon.htm :

      Connecticut: Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

      How much of the law they just enacted is likely to be voided by the state courts there because of this provision? Constitutional protections are very important, but they are never going to be detailed enough to be a substitute for the political process. Eternal vigilance can’t be circumvented, fortunately or unfortunately.

      • avatarint19h says:

        Washington State constitution uses the same exact phrasing. I suspect a few other state constitutions also do, which makes me think that it originated in a single source. I wonder what that is.

        You obviously can’t write every eventuality and nuance into the Constitution, but as history has shown, the more expansive you make any explicit claims to rights & freedoms, the longer they endure.

        • avatar2nd Amendment Rules says:

          IF the government can regulate the right to bear arms with “permit” laws then the government can require permits to write a letter to the editor or to go to church!

  40. avatarSilver says:

    Proud to be a gun rights extremist.

    When leftists hate and fear you, you know you’re doing the right thing.

  41. avatarJohn, big says:

    If I hear “common sense” again I’m gonna grab a plastic fork and go Hunter Thompson on someone …

  42. avatarJohn, big says:

    If I hear “common sense” again I’m gonna grab a plastic fork and go Hunter Thompson on them…

  43. avatarjohn says:

    But I *am* an extremist.

    I will remain one.

    It’s a requirement if we expect to thwart the efforts of those who would try to strip our rights from us.

    They can ban whatever they want. I will not comply.
    They can require registration. I will not comply.
    The can require finger-printing. I will not comply.
    They can try to collect us in the night. They will not find me.
    I will come for them, and Hell is coming with me.
    There are millions of me.

  44. avatartdiinva says:

    two comments.

    Heller did not decide that the right to bear arms is an individual right by 5-4. The court was unanimous it declaring it an individual right. There are no “collective rights” in the bill of rights. All rights accrue to individuals (the people) or entities (the states). The four dissenters held that you don’t right to self defense with a gun.

    Although the good Professor is being disingenious he is taking the correct approach. If the anti-Second Amendment crowd wants to give the government the authority to ban citizens from owning guns the proper way is through a constitutional amendment. I say go for it gun grabbers and grab the gusto!

  45. avatarMike Taylor says:

    “I do not know what it is and it scares me!”
    I think we have heard what the other side of the aisle knows about the subject. Perhaps it is our burden to show them. I suggest one at a time. Pack-dog mentality is a bit hard to negotiate. Take a liberal shooting. That simple. I am a college student at the tender age of 42, and frankly I am outnumbered by liberal zealots in my daily life. The good news is that common sense is not dead, just taking a long nap. Take an idiot (fill in “idiot” with political zealot) shooting, the rewards are too great to mention in a simple comment. The cure for stupid is instruction, but there is really nothing we can do about lazy.

    • avatarRoadrunner says:

      One thing about common sense is that it just doesn’t run around screaming like a fool about everything. That’s why it’s so hard to notice sometimes.

      On the bright side, at least the NYT is capable of skidding into intellectual honesty every 20 or 30 years. I don’t recall their ever admitting even tacitly that the 2A actually protected the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

  46. avatar2nd Amendment Rules says:

    If liberals could they would replace the US Constitution with the New York Times!

    This guy needs to move to Cuba where he can be safe in a ‘gun free’ nation!

  47. avatarRalph says:

    It’s articles like Elkins’ that make me wish I had a copy of the Times and a parrot with diarrhea.

  48. avatarRKBA says:

    Sounds like we need to re-write the First Amendment while we are at it. Free Speech is a very dangerous tool in the hands of idiots, a group which Zachary Elkins and the New York Times are an integral part of.

    Or….. we could just leave it as it is.

    Remember, the 2A is not just any amendment, it is also part of the Bill of Rights.

    The first ten amendments are pretty much sacred.

    Anyone agree?

    • avatarint19h says:

      There’s nothing sacred about the amendments, the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution. It is a product of a human mind, and as such it’s not perfect and it’s subject to improvement. The direction of that improvement is contentious, though.

      Personally, I’d prefer to have the Bill of Rights strengthened, if anything. Make sure that 2A clearly reads as protecting individual rights, including the right to carry. Make sure that 4A is more explicit on what’s “unreasonable” (or better yet, enumerate what’s reasonable, and say that anything not enumerated is unreasonable), and strictly define the border exeption so that CBP doesn’t get to claim the bullshit 100 mile area for their searches. For 5A, make it clear that public use literally only means property used by the public, not taking from one private person and giving to another and justifying it by higher taxes. For 8A, clarify the definition of “cruel and unusual punishment” to prevent any further attempts to dodge it by redefining the meaning of torture, as Bush administration did.

  49. I don’t care what you guys say, I want a semiautomatic firearm that looks like it is a musket and has a scope and large magazine.

  50. avatarDerek says:

    “Those who propose responsible LIMITS, like background checks…”

    “Zachary Elkins is an associate professor of government at the University of Texas.”

    A professor of government who doesn’t seem to understand that the Constitution limits the government and not the people… Irony. Or Tragedy, I’m not sure.

  51. avatarAzimuth says:

    “Those who propose responsible limits, like background checks,…”

    Therefore, anyone who opposes “responsible limits” are irresponsible.
    This is way these educated liberals prefer to contort the conversation.
    Deceptive subterfuge like this is used when you’re losing the argument.
    This guy doesn’t even understand who the Constitution was meant to limit. I’m shocked, shocked that ignorant rambling is going on in here.
    Not really.

  52. avatargringito says:

    If administration renders impossible the legal access to effective (!) means of self defense, i.e. self defense weapons, guns, etc., doesn’t it thereby eliminate the natural right of self defense?

    If fear it does: A right which cannot effectively be exercised is a farce . In this context it means throwing the citizen into the open yaws of arbitrariness, despotism and predators.

  53. The birdcage liner that whines like a scratched record is actually late – and the so and sos over there stole this editorial off the Chicago Tribune’s “Repeal the Second Amendment” front page edit after the Heller decision. Not that I expect the windbag city rag to refute this theft of its ideas – its writer is likely flipping burgers somewhere as that rag slides towards bankruptcy even faster than its New Yuck comrade.

  54. avatarDana says:

    I support changing it to the following:

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be questioned”.

    Simple and straight to the point.

  55. avatarBlue says:

    How about we re-write the 1st Amendment banning NYT from using word processors, computers, digital media and go ahead and ban typwriters as well since they weren’t around during the drafting of the B.O.R.

    In all seriousness, the Tards apparently haven’t looked at the 9th Amendment either.

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