Second Amendment tattoo (courtesy ratemyink.com)

PROPOSED AMENDMENT: “Because a well-regulated National Guard and Reserve, and well-regulated Federal, state, and local public safety departments, are necessary to the security of our free states and our free nation, the rights of citizens, while serving in their capacity in the aforesaid organizations, to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  See what they did there? Click here to vote yea or nay at philly.com.

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126 Responses to Philly.com Pimps New, “Improved” Second Amendment [Not Shown]

    • What he said.

      On an interesting note, the site of the National Constitution Center, who actually wrote the “new” amendment, has its own poll, on this page. It’s currently running 94% opposed.

      • The National Constitution Center didn’t propose this as its own idea — at least, there’s a disclaimer to that effect in bold type on their web page. It looks like they hosted some sort of online forum and the “improved” amendment is the distilled product of the opinions and suggestions they received in their forums…which, judging by the result, apparently were inhabited by idiots, gun control shills, or both.

        • Gun grabbers are akin to roaches; they cannot stand the light.

          For what ts worth, the Grabbers’ Choice version of 2A is still failing the People test.

      • An obvious attempt to reverse the actual meaning of the 2A, that is, the civilian disarmament people have been trying to claim all along that the “Well regulated militia” clause was the important part, not the “right of the people shall not be infringed” clause.

        So does this mean they believe that you do not actually have this (or any of the rights in the first ten amendments) unless you are working in an official government capacity? If so they have obviously not bothered to read the Federalist Papers.

        Next argument; if the government is allowed to define WHO has access to these rights, and when, are they still natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights, or rights granted by the government that can be taken away on a whim?

        • With a grammatically correct reading, BOTH of those clauses are equally important.

          A well regulated militia [standing army] is necessary to a free state.

          BECAUSE a standing army is necessary, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.

        • piersonb. Fail. Although I do personally like the interpretation of the 2A that more or less says, “since a militia is needed to protect the country, the people have a right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from the militia” you CANNOT confound the militia with a standing army. The constitution specifically prohibited a standing army and the founding fathers were EXTREMELY against the concept of a standing army and professional soldiers. You can’t suggest that interpretation or you’ll get ripped to shreds. Please go do some research about standing armies and the u.s. constitution and the founders. And, for that matter, “the militia” itself, because the basic definition of the militia was NOT something that was standing or always there, but rather something that was put together ONLY on an as-needed basis. It is literally the exact opposite of a standing army! Otherwise, your argument is fine with me and I think interpreting that the 2A is suggesting that people have a right to arms to protect themselves with militias is a valid choice.

          Although the SCOTUS said it’s simple an example clause. An example of why the people would need firearms. Since the militias are kind of an ad hoc thing and they are made up of the people when called upon, the people must have their own guns. It’s one example of many examples of why people would require guns. The suggested similarity would be if the first amendment said something like “Freedom of the press, being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to speak freely shall not be infringed.” Now that wouldn’t mean that you could ONLY speak freely if you are a member of the press and speaking through a newspaper or something. It would just be one example of why freedom of speech is important. That’s another interpretation of the Militia clause.

        • Grammatically speaking, the first clause is not equal to the second. It can’t stand on its own, and has no meaning or purpose by itself. It merely adds context and specifies one intended purpose of the controlling clause.

          The core of the Second Amendment is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It’s a complete sentence in its own right. Grammatically, it can stand by itself. It’s imperative. It’s an order: do not do this.

          The anti-gun types who claim the Second Amendment’s construction is archaic and ambiguous are taking refuge in willful obfuscation. It’s actually one of the most common sentence constructions in the English language. Anyone who has ever read anything has seen it.

          A couple of examples:
          – Being a gun owner, I am a wholehearted supporter of the individual right protected by the Second Amendment.
          – Being an English major, I hereby pass judgment on all cavilling lawyers and disingenuous pundits who claim it’s difficult to interpret such a simple, straightforward sentence as the Second Amendment.

          The first sentence doesn’t mean I have to be a gun owner to support the right to own one; “being a gun owner” just tells you a bit about why I feel so strongly about that right. The second sentence doesn’t mean that only English majors can interpret the Constitution; “being an English major” tells you why I feel compelled to pass judgment, but doesn’t say anything about what the judgment is.

          The Second Amendment doesn’t say that gun ownership is a “right” that belongs only to people in government-sponsored organizations. It’s a simple, clear declaration of individual rights.

          Okay…went longer than I intended. Being an English major and general word nerd, I get a bit worked up about this sometimes. 🙂

    • Voted against just to help the landslide opposed number. The end goal has been laid bare. An end to private firearms ownership.

  1. So, right now, this minute, members of those organizations do not have the right to bear arms? That seems to be the problem this ‘amendment’ is addressing.

    • That’s not what they are saying. Obviously those groups do–the point of the amendment is to limit the right to bear arms to those groups. Any other possession by citizens not engaged in those occupations or activities would be permissive, not as of right. Which of course means a totalitarian police state.

  2. This alone should be proof positive to any casual, politically uninvolved gun owners that the antis have only one thing in mind. Complete and total disarmament of private citizens. Us 2A and civil rights activists have known this for decades but for the vast majority of clueless, low information gun owners, this realization may come as a shock.

    • Absolutely. This shows the pure, naked truth–that they ARE coming for your guns. Maybe not now, but eventually they will have them no matter what it takes. No amount of skulduggery is beneath them. No deception is unacceptable. They will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want.

      • You left out the reason the second amendment exists Jim R; They will lie, cheat, steal and KILL to take the second away from us; which is why they want to dis-arm us first.
        You can’t control someone who can say no from the barrel of a gun.

  3. Voted Nay along with 91% of the other voters so far. A militia as mentioned in the 2A is not equivalent to the armed forces.

    • actually the militia IS equivalent to the armed forces in the wording of the second. What the second amendment is actually saying in modern terms is: “because we have to have a standing military, the right of the people to keep and and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The implication of the amendment is that the private citizen is allowed to own arms as a counterbalance to the military, so that if the military/government ever overstepped its bounds, the citizenry would have the means to defend themselves and overthrow them.

        • Nope. Try again. Articles of Confederation, maybe–haven’t looked at them in decades. The idea was discussed but not adopted during the Constitutional Convention.

      • A more correct paraphrase would be: A trained and capable militia, drawn from the general citizenry, is essential to the freedom and security of the nation; therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be restricted.

        • This is more correct. The American Revolution was fought by soldiers who mostly brought their own rifles to the battlefield. The founders intended for there to NOT be a standing army of any significant size, so they constructed the second amendment such that the general citizenry could equip themselves to muster for the common defense when and if such a defense was necessary.

        • In addition, the DCM program acknowledged that intent by providing Government-sponsored marksmanship training to citizens to ease training after induction in the military. It;s a shame it’s being strangled to death.

      • You will note that a well-regulated militia is necessary for a free state, not one under tyrannical rule, not one under a packed the supreme court, and so forth. SCOTUS includes a good analysis in their Heller opinion. Once a tyranny takes hold (of whatever innovative sort) no assertion of rights by the people gets very far.

        I would also point out that the Bill of Rights isn’t about the rights of the central Federal government, but rather about the rights of the people and the limitations on central power. The trend in recent decades has been, though, to concentrate on the assertion of federal rights against state interpretations of those rights, or lack of them. People therefore tend to think of the states as somehow backward, with the federal government in the vanguard, because of the civil rights issues. However, many states have been leaders in the protection of free speech, the right to bear arms, and especially the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures: In these areas the federal government has proved anything but a defender of individual rights.

        Many state constitutions kept it simpler, as Pennsylvania did, and simple enshrined the right to keep and bear arms for defense of self or the state (of PA). Our license to carry a firearm (at least in my county) will only accept one ‘reason’ you want to carry, and that is self-defense. Simple.

  4. The anti-gunners need a lesson is basic logic. The bills of rights is there to expressly define certain limits on the government’s power, thus protecting citizens from overreach. For any anti-gunners out there, please explain to me why the government would need an amendment to protect it from itself? The idea is simply absurd, which is why the collective rights interpretation of the 2A (favored by 4 Supreme Court justices) is absurd.

    • Exactly. It’s absolutely ridiculous and absurd on its face for the reasons you mentioned. Additionally, the Bill of Rights are protections that individuals get from the government (with the exception of the 10th, which additionally protects States from the Fed). It has been agreed upon since the drafting that when those amendments refer to “the people” and “citizens” that they are referring to individual people. Not groups of people. They are NOT collective rights. They are individual rights. They didn’t slam some collective, government organization right smack in the middle of 9 individual ones.

  5. “…Federal, state, and local public safety departments…”. Someone here said it best: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” These idiots actually think that their wonderful “safety departments” are actually there to rescue them from being victimized. All they do is investigate the crime after you are already beaten, raped, and/or dead.

    • This is actually par for the course for Philthadelphia. They’re pulling crap like this all the time. Every time the rest of the state stands up to them and says “Do the letters F. O. mean anything to you?”. There are a LOT of gun owners in this state, of all stripes. The state legislature knows that pissing them off would be very bad for their careers.

    • If you support term limits (which I have come around to doing), then vote no on that amendment. It doesn’t truly limit terms since it allows a politician to run again after a “cooling off period”. Politicians could simply switch places over and over.

      • Which is exactly what they’ve been doing in California for decades. Can’t get rid of the vermin, because once they’re termed-out they just move to another hole in the baseboards.

  6. We have a process for amending the Constitution. If some wonk wants it so much, put it to a Constitutional convention.

    • I’ve said this several times now. If you think “90% of Americans” feel the way you say they do, then quit nibbling around the edges and sack up! Repeal the Second Amendment! Then we’ll both see where the rubber meets the road.

    • I have a suggestion for an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

      The first ten amendments to this constitution describe certain natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights of each individual citizen of this country and cannot be infringed, amended or repealed by any government body, agency or regulation.

  7. So natty guard, check….federal state and local public SAFETY depts check. Well damn…my brothers in arms still on active duty are gonna be livid when they find out they’ll be issued hopes and dreams to win firefights with. This “amendment” sounds like it’s leaning heavily towards a state’s right thing, in that case I’ll petition Gov Perry to deputize every Texan into at least an informal NG so we have blanket coverage.

  8. Funnily enough, I know several people who claimed that “Obama didn’t actually come for your guns” and that the Democratic party respects the second amendment.

    I just forwarded this to them.

    I doubt it will change hearts and minds though, anymore than Obama supporters are willing to admit he’s a liar and a hypocrite.

  9. This is exactly why the Constitution is FUBAR. Even if this passed, or even if 2A was repealed… every individual would still have the right to own and carry firearms! The Constitution is NOT the end all, be all.

  10. This was around various gun forums yesterday. I would like to point out that they zero’d out the vote count. At one point there were over 10K rejects. While the people of the gun are still voting strong, philly.com pulled a fast one and tried to tilt the scales in their favor by resetting the votes. FOAD to them.

    • thanks for the heads up.

      sort of like CNN this week, deleting all of the top-rated anti-war comments on stories about Syria.

        • Well, I guess I was naive. In high school in ’70-’71, we read “1984,” “Brave New World,” “Lord of the Flies,” and a couple of other books that nowadays would be considered subversive, and I had hope that people would clue up and not let the same thing happen here. Now it’s happening right before my very eyes. What’s a guy to do?

        • “and when the creature turns out to be flawed, he (Dr. F) blames the creature for not getting created right, kind of like God did in the Garden of Eden.”

          Exactly! Sometimes – well, often, really – I feel like God and Satan are running a good cop/bad cop routine on us.

        • Good-cop/Bad-cop. Interesting way of looking at it!

          I personally believe that too many people are subjugating themselves to the God of Power rather than celebrating the gifts of the God of Love.

        • <off-topic>
          For some reason, I wouldn’t trust the Vorlons – they’re powerful, and probably not evil, but they have their own arcane agenda. Maybe the Minbari. My inner letch, of course, likes the Centari. <leer, snort>

          I was heartbroken when they blew up the station and ended the series – there was such a wealth of potential material with all the “people” passing through the station, the ZoCaLo, the telepaths (and yes, I emailed them many moons ago and Alfred Bester was, in fact, named after the real Alfred Bester) and that mysterious planet they were in orbit over. And Susan Ivanova AKA Claudia Christian – hubba, hubba!
          </off-topic>

    • The votes at the national constitution center were zeroed today, too. Last night, a few thousand to reject vs. a couple hundred to accept. Now it’s about 300 to accept and 200 to reject.

  11. “We have all the power, but we might let you join us.” They keep using the word freedom. I don’t think they know what it means.

    • They KNOW what it means, and they dig freedom, baby! FOR THEM. NOT FOR YOU AND ME, the SERFS.

      That’s right, folks: THEY HATE OUR FREEDOMS!

  12. You just know that when this poll returns 20 to 1 against the amendment, the paper will never let the result see the light of day.

  13. Putting aside that the Constitution doesn’t grant rights, it only enumerates them. So the people would still have the right to defend themselves regardless. What’s stunningly idiotic about this interpretation, is that it pretends that its authors found it necessary to mention that the military should be allowed to own guns. It would be like saying the navy should be allowed to have ships. Obviously, when they wrote “the people” they meant just that, and not the government. As no sane person would ever question whether the army should be allowed to be armed.

  14. Here is how the 2nd Amendment should read

    As it is the natural, absolute and fundamental right of the individual to keep and bear arms, Congress, any State, any political sub division with a State shall make no law no law:

    — That in any way, abridges, restricts, infringes or denies the absolute right of the individual who is not lawfully incarcerated, who is of 18 years or older in age, to acquire lawfully, keep and carry either openly or concealed about their person, arms or components of arms and ammunition, in any all and all areas of the nation.

    — That requires any Individual who is not lawfully incarcerated, who is of 18 years or older in age to seek permission, permit or license, from any authority, to acquire lawfully, keep and carry either openly or concealed, arms or components of arms and ammunition in any all and all areas of the nation, for the defense of the individual, property and the defense of the state.

    — That requires arms or components of arms and ammunition, or record of any lawful sale or the possession thereof, to be registered or recorded with any authority.

    — That imposes any special or selective, tax or regulation on any individual, corporation or other entity engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of arms or components of arms and ammunition.

    — That places liability on any individual, corporation or other entity engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of arms or components of arms and ammunition for the misuse of arms or components of arms and ammunition, used by another individual in any act.

    • I like.

      Folks, are there any other issues that should be included? We don’t want to leave anything out. SYG perhaps? Lead ammo? Hollow points? Armor piercing? Silencers?

      • “– That requires arms or components of arms and ammunition, or record of any lawful sale or the possession thereof, to be registered or recorded with any authority”

        word it up to include public and private entities…not just “authority”
        include all companies and businesses, intra-state, national, international…
        Let nothing exist that can be perverted into a registry

        Don’t know how you’d go about reporting something stolen though.

      • Hmmmm. I don’t think including many specifics (e.g. silencers, hollow points, etc.) is generally a good thing, because then when some new technology comes along, a government might say “we can exclude that because it’s not specified as protected.”

        What I’d rather do is generally have broad prohibitions on government action and then explicitly state what powers a government does have.

        FWIW, I would write something like this (this covers not just the 2nd amendment but also parts of Article I, Sections 8 & 9). This definitely isn’t perfect — too long for my tastes — but is an attempt at clarification of rights and of government powers …

        [1] The right of people to keep and carry deadly weapons and protection from deadly weapons, including but not limited to all forms of firearms, blades, and body armor, shall not be infringed by any level of government under this Constitution. An armed society is necessary in order to preserve life, liberty and property against all forms of aggression, be that aggression of foreign or domestic origin.

        [2] Governments shall be granted the power to regulate the carrying of firearms on government property that is primarily used to conduct government business, including executive, legislative and judicial buildings, military facilities, law enforcement facilities, and prisoner facilities. Governments shall be forbidden from prohibiting the carrying of firearms on government property primarily used by the general public, including but not limited to sidewalks, roads, parks, forests, seashores, wilderness, and other areas of government property commonly used by the public. Any government property for which the carrying of firearms is prohibited must provide sufficient armed security for the protection of all visitors and must provide a secured storage location for all visitors’ weapons.

        [3] No special taxes, background checks or other restrictions may be imposed upon the sale, purchase, possession, or carrying of deadly weapons.

        [4] No registry of deadly weapons may be created by any government, other than a registry of those weapons that are provided to members of the organized militia and armed forces by governments. Any such registry shall not include any property not owned by governments without the explicit consent of the owner.

        [5] Governments may enact legislation creating a “waiting period” before those who have previously been convicted of a crime of violence against another person may purchase, possess or carry a deadly weapon. The waiting period shall begin when any convicted person’s liberty has been restored and may be up to but no longer than ten years.

        [6] All able-bodied persons who have reached the age of the majority are considered to be members of the unorganized militia. Those who choose to become a member of the organized militia of their state shall receive training and shall keep, secure and maintain their weapons and other supplies at their place of residence. Members of the militia may be called into service by their governor or other designated official for the defense of their fellow citizens and the state, in compliance with state law.

        [7] Those who volunteer to may be trained to serve in the United States armed forces. The United States shall provide and maintain naval and air forces. Members of the army shall receive initial training and shall receive continued trained at regular intervals, but no standing army shall exist.

        [8] No involuntary draft shall exist, whether for the purpose of obtaining soldiers for war or for any other purpose.

        [9] The United States naval and air forces and state militias may engage in military action to immediately repel an invasion of the United States as called upon by the Commander-in-Chief or by other designated persons, as defined by law. Members of the army may not be called into active service without a resolution from Congress, and may not be sent into combat without a declaration of war from Congress. Any military combat actions undertaken by the Commander-in-Chief or other designated persons to repel an invasion must be approved by Congress within one week of the commencement of military action.

        [10] United States military forces may not be used for purposes of law enforcement nor may they be used to support any other level of law enforcement within the United States.

        • “What I’d rather do is generally have broad prohibitions on government action and then explicitly state what powers a government does have.”

          The thing is, those powers ALREADY ARE enumerated in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
          You can enumerate and proscribe until you’re blue in the face, and it doesn’t mean squat when bad men (or Mad Ben) ignore them, and the people won’t hold them accountable for their high crimes and misdemeanors.

        • I’ve got a better idea:
          A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

        • @William – ’tis true … we’re in a tough spot.

          @Rich, good idea. Love it. We tried it. Didn’t work.

          So … now what do we do?

          Soap box hasn’t worked.
          Ballot box hasn’t worked.
          Jury box …. tough to use when judges and lawyers do everything they can to discredit and hide the concept of nullification, and when too many of the people go along with whatever the government wants.
          Ammo box …???

    • WHO THE FORK is the Government that they can tell citizens they must acquire and maintain arms? Because that’s what your “improved” 2A requires.

      People fought and DIED against just such shit as that.

  15. are we proposing changes to the Constitution now? cuz I have a few I’ve been saving up for just such an occasion….

  16. I propose an amendment:

    “Liberals serving no purpose other than to vilify, race bait and propagate the general spreading of hatred and divisiveness shall be shot into space. Moonbeams belong in the heavens.”

  17. The good news is (besides the fact that the proposed amendment is failing in the polls on both sites that it’s featured on) even if they were to successfully add this to the Constitution, all that it would do is secure the right of cops, federal agents, military personnel etc. to keep and bear arms and secure a power for states and local governments to regulate firearms. It’s completely pointless on both counts. The former is obvious; the latter because, according to Professor Kevin R. C. Gutzman, state and local governments already have this power under the Constitution (provided that the state/local government in question doesn’t have something equivalent to the Second Amendment in their own constitution):

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/03/18/gun-control-the-second-amendment/

    Thanks to the Tenth Amendment (below), even if this was used to replace the Second Amendment, the federal government would still not have the Constitutional authority to regulate firearms because such a power is not listed in the Constitution.

    Tenth Amendment

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  18. What they’ve proposed contains the word “right,” but it isn’t about protecting any rights at all — it’s merely enumerating a privilege one can claim by joining a government organization.

  19. I continue to be baffled how anyone with a grain of common sense thinks that the 2A is not an INDIVIDUAL right, just like every other one. Further, how anyone can think that the Constitution and the BOR actually GRANT rights, when in fact it PROTECTS “the people” from the .gov, with the 2A providing the teeth and means to actually prevent the infringement of ALL rights.

  20. you got to be fing kidding me, this would make america a police state. could you imagine if they did this to the 1st “if your a government employee your allowed to talk” if you love your country, regardless of your views on the 2nd, you should be pissed. its a natrual born right to defend yourself, not a right given by the government if you work for them. remember no other amendment said “shall not be infringed” because they knew if it wasn’t infringed none of the rest would ever be taken away

  21. It’s back up to 92.5% against showing 3450 votes. as of 1:30PM eastern.

    Doesn’t look like the proposed amendment is going anywhere.

    One wonders how they will spin this, since it would seem a crushing indictment of the civilian disarmament lobby. For decades gun control has been the third rail in politics. If it ever becomes so in media the sheeple will sway as well and perhaps we wont have to fight any more such loathsome legislation from the antis.

  22. Proposed Amendment to Amendment:

    AMENDED PROPOSED AMENDMENT: “Because a well-regulated National Guard and Reserve, and well-regulated Federal, state, and local public safety departments, are necessary to the security of our states’ free citizens and our nation’s free citizens, the rights of citizens [mumbo-jumbo deleted] to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed for any reason, at any time.” See what they I did there?

    • Yo dawg we heard you like making amendments so we made an amendment to your amendment so you could amend your amendment.

      • Mea culpa.. At first I didn’t realize who had proposed the silly thing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Second Amendment as it stands. But I do think it’d be fun to let them call a Constitutional Convention (if they can) and ignore their proposal, but spring “ABOLISH THE SIXTEENTH!” on them.

  23. sad that such ignorance is being given air [or print] time…shows a complete misunderstanding of the original meaning of “militia” and the founding fathers’ fear, and weariness of, “standing armies” which is what the national guard, reserves etc. are…just sayin’…p.s. just looked at that silly article and 92% of voters voted to reject the new wording, thank goodness

  24. Lemme attempt to translate this passive-aggressive garbage into what they really meant to say:

    PROPOSED AMENDMENT: “Because a well-regulated National Guard and Reserve, and well-regulated Federal, state, and local public safety departments, government agencies are necessary to the security of our free states and our free nation the current government, regardless of virtue, the rights of citizens the government, while serving in their capacity in the aforesaid organizations, to keep and bear arms against the citizens shall not be infringed.”

    Umm, no. Can’t wait to see what other basic rights of free people the “readers” of philly.com and the NCC blog think need to be entirely reversed.

  25. Here’s my proposed, updated amendment. I willing to accept that the DOD has access to crew-served weapons and ordinance that is not going to be commonly available. So I suggest that any restriction placed on possession or use of guns or ammo also applies to all LEOs and government entities that operate domestically.

    “Because a well-equipped militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    “Any citizen over age 18 shall be able to own and possess any current and past typical service weapon of a common infantryman, military officer, and law enforcement officer. Only a felony conviction may restrict this right and only for a period of 10 years for non-violent convictions.

    “Any restriction placed on the ownership or use of any weapon or armament by citizens outside the armed services also excludes for ownership or use the same weapon or armament by all government agencies state and federal, excluding the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency.”

  26. Nice try, Philly. Although I’m not a lawyer (I just play one on my keyboard), it may violate not only the U. S. 2nd, but the 14th Amendment as well.

  27. My revision: the right of the people to keep and bear the same array of arms that their opposition bears in defense of themselves, and others, from tyranny, and great bodily harm, shall not be infringed

  28. This is a win, three times:

    – They’ve been backed into conceding that the constitution applies to gun regulations, limiting what they can do with state, local, or federal laws and regulations. Which is the point of the US Constitution. (Actually 1 of 3 deeply interwoven points, but that’s another matter.)

    – They’ve been forced to recognize that the constitution as it stands doesn’t support their position, so to get what they want, they gotta change it.

    – Most important, they’ve been forced to plainly articulate what they really want: guns for agents of the overlords, but none for the proles.

    As a bonus, I think this is a response to things like Levin’s book, the Bill of Federalism, and the several academic conferences on a constitutional convention over recent years. It may be a hack jumping on some buzz. That just helps. If it’s an operative looking to steal the energy around “What’s the constitution say & what do we want it to say?” it’ll backfire.

    Smart proponents of gun rights will similarly look to borrow the energy & mistrust from the NSA revelations, the IRS excesses, and the inevitable cronyism & self-dealing as ObamaCare gets implemented. I’m speaking here only of the inherent, inevitable ineptitude and venality of bureaucracies, which resemble organized crime syndicates more than anything else. I make no comment on the value of any particular policy.

    And now I rant…

    As an even better bonus, this exposes a fundamental conceptual difference that shows up in a lot of political arguments: Are individuals agents of government, or are governments agents of individuals.

    If it’s government (nation, society, culture, civilization, me and the two guys I agree with who shall rule all of Rome as a Troika) uber alles, then it makes sense for only certain of its agents have the prerogative of violence at need. What’s a few people harmed or killed because they can’t protect themselves, or many constrained by fear or prudence for the same reason, compared to order? If we are all cells of Leviathan, ad hoc self defense counts as disorder. Hold on to that. The outcome of good guys OK, bad guys not is not the outcome that matters. What matters is the action wasn’t authorized.

    If it’s individuals first, then we delegate to them the prerogative to use violence on our behalf, sometimes, under particular circumstances. Meanwhile, since each of our lives belongs to each of us, we intrinsically have the prerogative to defend ourselves at need. Ships right in the same box. Ad hoc self defense is orderly.

    It really comes down to who exists for who’s sake. Are we agents of the government with the authorities it allows, or is a government something we create to take care of certain common problems we can better solve together? As our agent, a government has the authorities we give it, for the purposes we name, under the constraints we require. That or they’re thugs & we’re serfs constrained by their threat of violence.

    The Bill of Rights, including the 2A, really only enumerate stuff you shouldn’t have to say at all if the government is our agent vs. we its. These amendments are either reminders of what’s none of their business, constraints to keep them from getting too in charge-y, or both. That this argument comes up again and again ultimately shows how unresolved this question is in the US as a whole.

    The question is simply, who is to be master? (Worth looking up where that quote came from. Turns out that guy was a subversive, too.)

    End Rant

    • Or it comes down to which element of the Republic is granted the police powers under the U.S. Constitution, and the answer is ‘the states.’ Clearly this bothers many metro-political leading residents of America’s major urban agglomerations (NYC, Chicago, LA, SF, Wash DC) who would prefer a set of rights and restrictions tailored to their wishes, a Six Cities Constitution, if you will.

    • I guess I don’t know what “Federalism” means. Sometimes it sounds like it’s in favor of a central authority, and sometimes it sounds like it’s against it, e.g. “The United Federation of Planets.”

      Maybe it depends on who’s saying it and what their agenda is.

      • I guess I don’t know what “Federalism” means. Sometimes it sounds like it’s in favor of a central authority, and sometimes it sounds like it’s against it, e.g. “The United Federation of Planets.”

        That’s because you’ve been paying attention. There are at least these uses, as far as I can tell:

        1 – Historically, the “Federalists” were the folks advocating for the current US Constitution, with a far stronger central government than the preceding Articles of Confederation. Key to the new Constitution’s checks was “Federalism” – explicit dual-sovereignty between the national government and the “federated” states.

        The Federalist Papers are a collection of public arguments in favor of the then new constitution, claiming essentially that 1) It had enough coordination and central control to have successful defensive wars, and successfully fund a budget (And how has that worked out?) and 2) It had enough checks through divided sovereignty & divided government that this increase in centralized power wouldn’t go sideways. (And how has that worked out?)

        Less well-known are the Anti-Federalists who engaged in the same public argument, countering the Federalist positions with 1) Are you, crazy? and 2) What are you, nuts? the argument between the Federalists and Anti’s turned essentially on how clever and relentless power seekers are vs. the mechanisms in place to thwart them.

        2 – “Federalist” administrations in the early US refers to those who sought increased consolidation and scope of action in the Federal (national) government, under the existing constitution.

        3 – Modern usage, sometimes uninformed people casually say “federalist” referring to folks who want the national government to do anything and everything.

        4 – Modern usage, the “Federalists” who propose things like the Bill of Federalism are actually looking to reduce federal power in re: the states. They focus heavily on dual-sovereignty – “Federalism” – as established by the Constitution in their understanding.

  29. They will try anything to turn us all into Jews after Hitler took control. Take our firearms and imprison or kill us if we refuse.

  30. BAH. HUMBUG! The Eleventh Amendment should have read, “Amendments may not be rewritten or re-interpreted in any way, EVER.”

    • Hmmmm. What if we let them go full-on constitutional convention, so that they’d “flip their hand” or whatever you call it when someone reveals their true intentions?

      And then, while the convention is in process, spring “REPEAL THE 16TH!” on them. 😉

  31. Holy shite… when they write it out that way it really makes no logical sense… why would the government need to protect the right of the government to keep and bear arms? And why would they do it in a document enumerating individual rights?

  32. I left them a little comment,
    “DO YOU THINK THE PEOPLE ARE STUPID! We will keep our guns either by civil means or by force. I’d actually prefer that you try to come take them.”

  33. This is called TREASON,let ‘s Change all the amendments to suit whoever,Let’s ask Piers Morgan to redesign it for us,Maybe he can help! Ya, that’s the answer.Let’s all smoke POT and get a think tank going on what the answer is.I know let’s take a poll of all the gang bangers and gun crime criminals in prison as what they think we should do.I’m sure they’ll have some great ideas .Oh wait,these idiots already did all this,I’m sorry I forgot.

    • Well, we do know that the bloodthirsty warmongers fear and hate pot because it makes you peaceful, and that the Reefer Madness was founded on racism.

  34. To quote the Founding Fathers as they all simultaneously achieve a rotational velocity in their graves equal to the speed of light:

    “Oh, F#¢& that!”

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