Question of the Day: Time for a New and Improved Second Amendment?

Second Amendment (courtesy sodahead.com)

Greg Penglis reckons the Second Amendment is the Rodney Dangerfield of civil rights: it don’t get no respect. Writing for canadafreepress.com, the flight instructor argues that the government’s constant infringement on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is so egregious, it might as well read, “A well equipped government, being necessary for security and order, the right of the government to be ultimately armed against the disarmed citizenry, shall not be infringed.” But Penglis’ rant is more than the usual pro-firearms freedom kvetch. Here’s his proposal for a new and improved Second Amendment . . .

What if the Second Amendment had a IIA clause, and a IIB clause? What if the Constitution looked like this?

Amendment II. “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.”

Amendment IIA. “Congress and the state legislatures shall make no law, nor allow any law to stand, which touches, limits, regulates, or controls, the individual right to own and carry any firearm. The President and the governors shall issue no executive order, nor promulgate or enforce any regulation nor allow any such to stand, which touches, limits, regulates, or controls, the individual right to own and carry any firearm. The Supreme Court and all inferior courts shall make no decision which interprets the Constitution so as to touch, limit, regulate, or control, the individual right to own and carry any firearm.”

Amendment IIB. “Failure to fully enforce the Second Amendment within six months of starting any elected or appointed term of office shall be punishable by immediate removal from office or automatic and immediate impeachment. In the case of impeachment, trial shall be complete before the end of the seventh month of the accused’s term by the Senate or state legislature. If convicted, appropriate punishment, which shall not be less than treble damages above all compensation and benefits paid during the current term of office, nor less than ten years imprisonment, shall be handed down swiftly.”

Your thoughts? [h/t Bruce Krafft]

comments

  1. avatar Mario says:

    Do it. The issue I see however is the usage of the word “firearm” which in modern terms isn’t interpreted as broadly as “armaments” would be. I need my cannon.

    1. avatar CentralIL says:

      Or my laser, my particle beam weapon, my coil gun, or whatever else is invented in the future.

      1. avatar Tommycat says:

        Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range

        1. avatar Don says:

          or my pocketknife.

        2. avatar James R says:

          Pshhh.. Everybody knows the 40-watt is the wussy compromise wattage between the 9 watt and the 45 watt

        3. avatar B says:

          Meh, phased 40 Watt was only invented cause the T-800’s couldn’t handle 10 Joule x .25s. The 10×25 S is a real man’s plasma rifle.

        4. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

          Another size queen stuck on the mythical 10×25 S? With the correct amperage regulator a phased 40 is more than adequate to solve any problem that’s solvable. If you need more you’re either A) a waste of dilithium crystals or B) a klingon who is compensating for something.

        5. avatar Retro says:

          …or a reverberating carbonizer with mutate capacity…as long as you’re not an unlicensed cephalaploid.

      2. avatar DJ says:

        Coil gun – you get bonus points for the “Dorsai” reference

        1. I don’t think coilguns are a reference to this “dorsai” you speak of.

          What is Dorsai?

        2. avatar Nagurski says:

          The idea behind coilguns have been around alot longer than the Dorsai books.

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

      3. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

        Or even the occasional illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator.

        1. avatar Bob says:

          No, that’s a weapon of mass destruction, like a nuclear bomb, only more powerful. Only governments should be allowed to have them.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      And ammo. The amendment as proposed explicitly calls out firearms, but not ammunition. Therefore politicians would likely assume they can ban ammo if they choose.

      Really the only amendment we need is one that reinforces the theme of article 1: that the government is limited to a few listed powers. Something along the lines of:

      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.

      Oh wait…that’s been in there for over 222 years, yet politicians still seem to ignore it when it doesn’t fit with their plans.

      1. avatar Diesel Dan says:

        You beat me to it. Especially since the 7N6 ban just came about, which angrily reminded me of the same B.S. to do with mild steel M43 and Barnes copper bullets. As it is, the ATF’s own words state “The term ‘armor piercing ammunition’ means a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a
        handgun AND which is constructed ENTIRELY (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium” sound like M995, M993, M61, Mk 211, etc should be allowed since there is lead in them. We should also add in a clause about firearm/armament parts, just in case.

      2. avatar Ardent says:

        You mean the way criminals ignore firearms laws? Yes, politicians do it to.

    3. avatar MacBeth51 says:

      Easy fix. Change “Firearm” to “Weapon”

  2. avatar TheYetti says:

    Can I get some mandated militia duty? That would solve a lot of issues; just a hypotheses.

    1. avatar Mario says:

      No.

      13th amendment:
      Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        And there exists an entire government department whose sole purpose is violating that amendment….

      2. avatar ropingdown says:

        Why duly convict? Just publish arrest records for trivia on the internet. Let the society, state employers, federal employers, do the punishing. People seem to like that idea……

        Amending the 2nd is a non-starter. Change the provision and you’ll be throwing out Heller and McDonald. Good luck with that approach to political reality.

      3. avatar BR549 says:

        Militia service compels anyone wishing to partake of these freedoms to also help ensure they remain available to everyone else, now and for generations to come. Compulsory militia service is necessary precisely to keep from happening what is happening now; the Militia act of 1903 saw to that. It sought to quietly transfer power from the states’ governors to the rapacious federal government. After that, the feds just needed to find some way to get more money to pay for the appetite of their pet monster. Enter the 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve, conveniently in the same year.

        Remember, whenever you see politicians pushing some piece of legislation for our “benefit”, there will always be some backhanded aspect of it that will bite you in the ass down the line.

        1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

          Compelled military service is not acceptable in a free society. By advocating mandatory service, you are suggesting that one does not have a right to his/her own life, since a government may force a person to go die in a war. The justification is irrelevant; involuntary servitude is still involuntary servitude.

          If, on the other hand, you suggested that the right to vote should be tied to becoming a trained member of one’s state militia (either as a soldier or a person who provides some other form of support, e.g. medical, logistics, etc.), that would arguably be more reasonable. That would remove the element of coercion, since it would not be mandatory to participate (one would not have the ability to vote if one did not participate, but one could still make the choice whether or not to participate).

        2. avatar MothaLova says:

          Try fielding a fighting force on that principle. (“So, I don’t have to keep risking my life if I give up the right to vote when my one vote doesn’t make a bit of difference anyway?”)

      4. avatar DJ says:

        Explain child support payments that go to a chronically unemployed custodial parent in light of the 13th amendment.

        The Constitution has no meaning beyond the interpretation of a judge somewhere.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “Explain child support payments that go to an unemployed custodial parent in light of the 13th amendment.”

          Presumably, it’s OK if it’s “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

      5. avatar MacBeth51 says:

        Doesn’t apply. Else, they couldn’t draft anyone

    2. avatar IdahoPete says:

      10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes

      (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

      (b) The classes of the militia are—
      (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
      (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia. [i.e., everyone else between the ages of 17 and 45]

      Contact your Governor and demand that they start a training program for the militia (That was the 1781 meaning of “well-regulated”: well TRAINED.)

      1. avatar Byte Stryke says:

        Actually, in the 1700-1800s “Well regulated” meant that it was to be properly trained and provisioned.

      2. avatar LongPurple says:

        The Oxford English Dictionary gives the following examples of how “well regulated” was used.

        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 general concept of “well regulated” was to describe something as “properly functioning” or “performing as
        expected”.

        1. avatar LongPurple says:

          Applied to a militia, it would indicate troops that were properly trained and competent in the standard discipline to be established by Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          The 115 V. 60.000 Hz. AC power at my wall sockets is very well-regulated, indeed! In that context, and the voltage regulator in the car, it means “kept constant.”

          And then there’s dietary fiber and regularity… 😉

        3. avatar LongPurple says:

          I’ve come across more than one gun-grabber who thinks the Founders “Said right there they wanted guns regulated”. They can’t explain how “well regulated” jumps through space from the prefatory clause, where it can only modify “Militia”, into the operative clause where it (somehow) is supposed to modify “Arms”, or “RKBA”, or “guns”.
          Likewise, they feel free to have the meaning of “well regulated” lose its original meaning of “properly functioning” in the Second Amendment and time-travel over 200 years, to gain the modern connotation of “lots of rules, regulations, and restrictions”.

        4. avatar Jay Williams says:

          The general concept of “well regulated” was to describe something as “properly functioning” or “performing as
          expected”.

          That’s right.

        5. avatar Jay Williams says:

          And then there’s dietary fiber and regularity…

          Interestingly, Rich, that modern usage of the word “regular” is exactly the same as the word in the second amendment. Not a bad way to explain the old usage to someone who thinks it just means for the government to control the miltia or interstate commerce.

        6. avatar Rich Grise says:

          I used to be an electronics geek, before everything I ever learned went obsolete. 😉 And in electronics, the concept of a “regulator” is one of he first circuits you learn. When the voltage gets too high, the regulator tells the generator to reduce its output; if the voltage gets too low, the regulator tells the generator to turn it up. The generic term for this is negative feedback.

          And anyway, it’s the militia that are well-regulated, not the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms. In fact, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms is the negative feedback mechanism that keeps the militia well-regulated. That should go in my notable quotes file. 😉

        7. avatar LongPurple says:

          @Rich
          “In fact, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms is the negative feedback mechanism that keeps the militia well-regulated.”

          That’s an interesting analogy. Of course if you attempt to use it to illustrate an advantage of a well-armed citizenry, the average gun-grabber will immediately reject the idea on the grounds that voltage regulators were not invented when the 2 A. was written.

  3. avatar Cameron S. says:

    My body is ready.

  4. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Well it would fix a lot of…. “I support the 2A, but…. ” Comments.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      I could quibble a little with the final wording, as in “firearms” as opposed to “arms” which was the intent of the 2A. I have stated in the past my problem with revising or repealing ANY of the Bill of Rights, but additional amendments clarifying the interpretation of the Bill of Rights? Maybe, but perhaps a very slippery slope.

      IMO, the Second Amendment is absolutely clear and succinct as it is written. The only addition as an amendment needs to be the prohibition of any government entity, at any level, interfering with any of the rights in the Bill of Rights, since their intent was as a prohibition against government, not a permission for citizens.

  5. The “automatic and immediate impeachment” clause should apply to the entire bill of rights and quite a few other government matters and responsibilities.

    1. avatar B says:

      Its all the political back scratching in Washington. They keep overlooking each other’s crimes in order to keep power. Proposing a law that infringes on the Bill of Rights should result in immediate treason charges by the DoJ. Not following or ignoring the Constitution should result in same.

      1. avatar Jay Williams says:

        But the DOJ is in on it!!!

    2. avatar DJ says:

      Since the people that would have to pass it into law are the ones who would be bound by it, it’s never going to happen.

  6. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    I wouldn’t mind if IIB was instead the 28th Amendment and was applied to all 10 Amendments in the BoR. It’s wishful thinking that it would do any good though.

  7. avatar Ryan says:

    Simpler is usually better how about:

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

    See, easy as pie.

    1. avatar Mario says:

      “The right of each and every person” would be better, because everywhere else “the people” means the individual, but to the idiots fighting this amendment, here it’s apparently used collectively.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        I agree. Dump the militia part. It’s about individual Liberty, after all. And it is also a Law of Nature: “The Natural Right of Each and Every Person …”

        The Constitution might be the supreme human law of the land of human laws, but Free Will is the foundation of Natural Law.

  8. avatar Delbert Grady says:

    Its plenty clear as written, only demonic libtards could twist it into what its not, subvert it and pervert it.

    1. avatar Conway Redding says:

      No, the clarity of the Second Amendment as it stands is compromised by the phrase, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,..”

      1. avatar Delbert Grady says:

        Milita clearly meant the citizenry. Well regulated clearly meant no bands of criminals usurping the rights of others. Seems clear enough.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Apparently not, and unless Delbert Grady is the next Supreme Court justice your clarity isn’t the issue.

      2. avatar Kyle says:

        The militia was the citizenry, that is clear from the Federalist Papers such as Federalist #29. And the phrase “well-regulated” meant “in good working order,” such as a “well-regulated house,” a “well-regulated government,” a “well-regulated drawing room,” etc…all uses of the phrase in the past. It was a common phrase.

  9. avatar A-Rod says:

    “shall be handed down swiftly” will have the same speed as ‘all deliberate speed’. Meaning it will be too ambiguous to ensure reasonable haste (See Brown vs. Board of Education..).

  10. avatar JoshinGA says:

    The original wording seems plenty clear and encompassing to me…

  11. avatar Evan says:

    “All arms are legal to citizens without any restrictions and can carry them freely”.

  12. avatar Malcolm says:

    I would NOT be in favor of revising it now because it would simpy mean putting 2A up for a vote, which may not go the way we all want it.

    However, if we could wave a magic wand and change the wording, I would go with a national version of the Michigan State Constitution, Article 1 Section 6….

    … “Every person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state”

    1. avatar B says:

      And that’s worked so well in protecting you from horrible gun laws, right? You guys need a permission slip to purchase a handgun, you have to register it, and you need a carry permit.

      Changing the 2nd Amendment isn’t the answer, its changing the people who are infringing it. It could say “Laws regulating firearms are illegal for the Federal government due to it not being an enumerated power” and they’d still keep the federal background check for dealers because kids and “convenience.”

      I heard a New Jersey guy call in on a radio show and say he couldn’t believe NJ was last in gun ownership. I think he just can’t see how much his rights have been infringed and would be shocked at what the rest of us own.

      1. avatar Malcolm says:

        But Michigan is a shall issue state. So it isn’t a matter of proving why the government should give you a weapon, it’s about the government trying to prove why you should NOT be allowed to buy and carry.

        And, since the rules regarding disqualification are clear and reasonable, I have no problem.

        1. avatar B says:

          … See, this is what I’m talking about with that New Jersey guy. YOU NEED A PERMISSION SLIP AND REGISTRATION TO BUY A HANDGUN AND YOU DON’T SEE A PROBLEM. Stockholm Syndrome, learning to love the boot on your neck. Excuse me if I don’t trust people who live in a state with a constitution that says “everyone has the right to bear arms” and still live in a slave state with my rights.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          The question is not whether rules regarding disqualification are clear and reasonable, but that they exist at all. The Second Amendment contains no provision for any government agency to create, maintain and enforce a list of persons the government decides should not be allowed to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. To grant the government such authority entirely negates the purpose of the 2A, which is a blanket prohibition against government interference.

          What appears to be “clear and reasonable” to you, today, may be changed at a whim tomorrow to add YOU to the list of disqualified persons. At that point, how can you argue that the government has no authority to come and take your guns?

        3. avatar WSBS says:

          Personally, I don’t understand how we (and by “we,” I mean gun owners) ever compromised to the position that seems to be consensus on the very existence of background checks and registration. Sure, we don’t want the “bad guys” to have guns, I get that. What I fail to understand is how being a convicted felon who has served out what ever state-imposed punishment was rendered makes him/her the eternal “bad guy.” Simply put, if a (wo)man is unable to be trusted with a firearm, then why is (s)he trusted with free air?

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Michigan’s wording is very clear and concise, yet Michiganders still need to apply for a permit to carry concealed… Thus proving that the specific phraseology used in the foundational document don’t seem to carry much weight in our society any more. You can make the wording as airtight and foolproof as you want, but when the people in charge choose to disregard those words, it won’t matter much how clearly it was phrased.

      1. avatar Malcolm says:

        But reasonable restrictions are not unreasonable.

        For example, the national 2A amendment says ‘the right of the people…”

        Given that, why not argue that 5 year olds are people? And yet, no one is suggesting that we we allow 5 year olds to carry.

        For me it comes down to this… make it easy for the honest law abiding to carry. Make it impossible for the crimminals.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          “Reasonable restrictions” are STILL infringements. And who decides what is “reasonable”?

          And as for “Make it impossible for the criminals.” How? Pass more laws? Enforce more restrictions? How many times does it need to be repeated – They are CRIMINALS. By definition they do not give a damn about your laws.

        2. avatar CArd says:

          “Make it impossible for the criminals”

          Which is, by definition, an impossible task.

      2. avatar Ardent says:

        This has me thinking about what began the divergence between concealed and open carry. The natural state would seem to be that either/or depending on dress, arm, and circumstance prevailed.
        I believe the original arguments were to ban open carry in certain places as the open bearing of arms (generally long guns) was off putting in high population areas.
        Somehow some states ended up with laws that allow constitutional open carry but require permits for concealed carry. I think I’ll research how that came to be since it’s counter intuitive.

        Further, I wonder what continues to drive the division; here, in Ohio, there were those who fought against concealed carry (with permit and background check) though open carry of any lawfully owned firearm was already legal throughout the state. Presumably these people believe guns are somehow made more dangerous when concealed?

        The problem with any change to existing law is that the issue of the RKBA is so charged with irrationality from those who oppose it that no written words could possibly alter the social landscape of it or the political opposition to it.

        Already those opposed are in strong favor of banning the arms least used in violent and or criminal acts (the so called ‘assault weapons’). It’s not as if it was a marginal thing either, these arms are so seldom used to commit criminal violence that their rate of such use is statistically insignificant. Meanwhile others insist on the implementation of technologies that either doesn’t exist, have no impact on crime, or both.
        There are currently laws against such frivolous and absurd things as shortening a shotgun or rifle barrel too much without paying a tax, as if that is somehow a public safety or crime prevention imperative.
        At the same time there are state laws that regulate cosmetic features that have no bearing on the utility or lethality of the arms they regulate.

        There are plenty who really believe, despite all evidence to the contrary and without any rational basis that the mere possession of a gun increases the likelihood of murder and who genuinely believe that we must be either insane or dishonest to assert otherwise.

        Meanwhile millions of Americans carry a gun each day and shoot no one who isn’t trying to kill them where they stand.

        Plainly put, there is neither good cause to regulate arms at all nor any sense to the way they are currently regulated. It’s no wonder that it’s impossible to convince some people of the current meaning of the 2A, and impossible to imagine that any modification of it would have real impact on the irrational insistence for civilian disarmament.

        As Ron White so emphatically insisted: You just can’t fix stupid.

    3. avatar Malcolm says:

      As I’ve mentioned in other posts, as a law-abiding citizen, I don’t have a problem with Michigan’s CPL process.

      Our (Michigan’s) process is simple if youre a law abiding citzen, and nearly impossible if you’re not.

      After taking the required safety class, from start to finish it took about 3 weeks from the time I filed my application until I received the CPL card.

      And yes, while someone who has a distrust of governement in general would have a problem with ‘the man’ getting your name on ‘a list’, I personally don’t have a problem with it since our process has, over time, prevented a lot of people who shouldn’t have weapons from getting their CPL’s.

      The result being: the process itself results in a large number of highly qualified people with impeccable reputations legally carrying weapons for the defense of themselves and their states.

      1. avatar B says:

        … You are either blind or being a troll. Your airtight permit system with its permission slip for purchase and nice neat list of gun owners only catches people who apply. Think on that for a moment. How does that slip of paper stop a gang banger from carrying the hi-point he bought out of a trunk? It don’t, but your Pols now have a nice list of guns to take away once they decide 5 rounds are plenty and not an infringement. But not that trunk gun. Your reasonableness is not reasonable for anyone in a free state. I’m not even talking about your permit system which you seem so proud of, I’m talking about registration.

  13. avatar peirsonb says:

    I like it. The Second Amendment, as written, has proven again and again that plain English ain’t plain English.

  14. avatar Anders A says:

    As soon as we open up the 2nd as imperfect and in need of clarification- we are opening the doors for anti-gun zealots to redefine it as well- and we may end up losing it. IMO the language is pretty clear if you know how to read it and understand the definitions of the words when it was written.

    1. avatar B says:

      The “vagueness” of the Bill of Rights is a feature, not a flaw. Everything that can be used for defense is an arm, free speech is everything, secure in person and possessions is EVERYTHING you are and own. They didn’t say musket, they didn’t say written on vellum paper, they didn’t say your farm. Statists seem to always control the language, and I think they knew that and chose their words very deliberately. Changing it to be specific would hurt us in ways we can’t even see now.

    2. avatar James says:

      Agreed. It may be tempting to either pass a new amendment or call a constitutional convention, but the less the Constitution is fiddled with, the better. We had a uniquely gifted group of gentlemen in the 1780s that we don’t have now. Also, even if you passed an amendment that stated, “red bricks are red,” there would still be judges who would declare, “red bricks are blue.”

  15. avatar Gun_Chris says:

    First off, calling out firearms specifically undermines future progress when we get our plasma and laser rifles.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Concur. Replace ‘firearms’ with ‘arms’ throughout and we should be good to go.

      I also like the idea of the impeachment clause applying to the entire Bill of Rights. Members of Congress have been pulling the “we can pass whatever we want, the courts can sort out if it’s Constitutional or not” crap for too long.

  16. avatar Anmut says:

    What Anders said.

  17. avatar Dondgeon says:

    just make it “…any firearm and/or edged weapon.” and all bases are covered.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      That leaves out slingshots, crossbows, trebuchets, etc.

      As stated above, the Bill of Rights is often vague for a reason. Too much conciseness only leaves room for lawyers to parse the meaning.

      1. avatar Brian says:

        I think the phrase ‘arms and munitions’ would cover most loopholes.

    2. avatar B says:

      “The 2B Amendment clearly mentions firearms and edged weapons. If Rand Paul and Jeb Bush from the 2016 Constitutional Convention could have forseen our microwave ray projectors and auto-igniting laser light switch skiver they would be shocked that we would even consider allowing them to be owned. Support reasonable restrictions on assault projectors and switch sivers.”

      Specificity is death to future rights. Skivers and projectors are protected by the 2nd Amendment already.

  18. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Yes.

    But no.

    The suggested changes are the best ones I have seen yet. And the B suggestion would best serve the Citizens if it were to stand alone and apply to the entire Bill of Rights.

    But to offer these changes, as great as they are, will only serve to increase the shrill whine of the gun-grabbers. “See, even *you* think the 2nd has it wrong and needs changes. That means *we* were right all along!”

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      I was leaning toward the same thought. That, and if we open it up for modification there is always a chance that it will be modified in the wrong direction.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Which elected official do you trust with amending the BOR? barry, slow joe, difi?

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          “Elected official” and “trust” in the same sentence? I would have thought you knew me better than that…

  19. avatar Skyler says:

    Firearms is a bad term because it excludes knives, swords, spears, pikes, and javelins, among many other weapons. It also excludes tazers.

    I see no reason to change the second amendment. If we can’t get it interpreted properly, then what makes anyone think that it can be amended favorably?

  20. avatar Guy says:

    Why not try using the one we have first?

    I know, I know… ‘It’s confusing! The way it’s written is tough to understand!’

    The only problem with that is that it isn’t confusing- there’s plenty of historical context and writing surrounding the entire Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers explained exactly what they intended it to mean in the Federalist Papers. Basically, all citizens should always have access to weapons commensurate with those available to the military’s infantrymen. There was very little interpretive confusion over the Second Amendment until people decided there should be some confusion for political purposes.

  21. avatar Greg says:

    Seconded. Motion carries.

  22. avatar Ontheotherhand says:

    Better is better

  23. avatar Publius says:

    They need to change the wording of each to say “the individual right to own and carry any firearm and magazine / ammunition storage device ” – if they don’t, you know that every politician and judge will use that wording to demand every gun have a single shot capacity.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      “and any other accessory”

  24. avatar Calvin says:

    In theory the IIa part is already in force for the whole of the US Constitution. Every elected member of any government plus many hired and appointed ones have sworn an oath to uphold it. If they’re not keeping the oath then they no longer meet qualification #1 and should immediately lose their positions.

  25. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    I am sure some slimy scumbag lawyer would find a way to defeat the purpose of the changes. Personally I suggest the following :

    In no way may any government entity mess with the peoples guns. Every resident of the country must possess 1 or more firearm for each year of age. If caught short of the number they will immediately be deported from the nation.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You would have to have a government subsidy to help those that don’t own a gun for every year meet the ruling. My great grand moms made it to 103. The first time you tried to deport a ww2 vet or little old lady because they didn’t have enough guns would result in a lynch mob at your door.

      1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

        Good catch. I am all for subsizing the poor. Matter of fact just give every resident a couple grand a year. Like food stamps. Now that should come out around 400 billion. That would be one helluva stimulis!

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          You do realize that in order to “subsidize” to the tune of 400B the government would have to take in about 4 times in new taxes, right?

          The other option being to just print 400B more per year and hand it out, which is wrong on so many levels.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Would it be cheaper in the long run(bet it would) if the government was required to give, free of charge, a new rifle to all residents on their 18th birthday? No gun for each year but within a few decades every American born would have a brand new M4 or whatever the standard issue to the troops was. We are all the militia, after all.

          Deprting someone for not having 62 guns sounds a might harsh. Or 42 or 37.

        3. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

          Come on guys, Don’t go soft on me now ! The FED prints 80 BILLION a month. And just hands it out to the banks. This is only half of that. A veritable pittance. And I ain;t backing off the one gun a year. It should be the choice of the people not the commie’s in DC picking the model. Hell, they might start handing out Freedom Group stuff !!

        4. avatar jwm says:

          Tommy. 80 billion here, 80 billion there. After a while you’re talking real money.

  26. avatar ST says:

    Ah! But the Vice President is NOT stated!

    So, he’ll have to offer a resolution to the President in order to save the children. Since he’s the only one with the legal ability to introduce common sense gun regulation , he’ll have to be the one to set the specific limitations on the use of firearms in society. Clearly, Europe and China have set the pace which we need to match in order to be a civilized country.

    BTW- the Vice President will do this because he believes in the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear ceremonial BB Guns.

  27. avatar The Pixelated says:

    Brilliant! Let’s get it done!!!

  28. avatar GS says:

    I agree with other commenters, it should include all arms, not just ‘firearms’.
    I also think it’s a bad idea to open the door to let a bunch of politicians tinker with the BoR, and you’re going to have the same problem we have now, there will be disagreement on what’s regulation and if the politician in question ‘knowingly’ failed to uphold the BoR etc. unless you can find a truely independent body who has the authority and ability to enforce the law, you’re going to have a hard time.

    To all of us, registration, ‘assault weapon’ bans and all the other crazy stuff they come up with is clearly unconstitutional, but if you take it to a supposedly independent judiciary, all of a sudden it’s all complicated. The only way I see it working is for a computer to enforce these kinds of rules and we’re not there yet with the AI, and who’s to say the programming can’t be corrupted.

  29. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    I woud add IIc:

    The right to bear arms being a guarantee of the public retaining the ability to oppose tyranny by the government, no law enforcement agency or entity shall have access to or be permitted to use any weapon not available to the general public or have weapons modified in a manner not available to the general public.

    1. avatar Greg Penglis says:

      I’m going to add your IIC to my original list. What you have done is exactly define my new principle of “defense equality,” where to retain the superior position of the citizen over the government, the citizenry must always be equally or better armed to the government, and equally or better able to carry arms as well. Thank you for the addition.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        If you’re going to modify the 2A at all, I’d say, not only reaffirm the citizen’s Creator-given, natural, civil right to keep and bear any and all arms, but also specify that federal officials are prohibited to possess any weapon in any official capacity unless specifically authorized on an individual basis by two-thirds majority of Congress. IOW, if Joe BLM wants to snipe landowners, he needs an affirmative act of Congress to authorize it.

  30. avatar cubby123 says:

    I ll second those atributes.

  31. avatar Salty Bear says:

    They’re ignoring it now. They’ll ignore it no matter what changes are made. “Compelling government interest,” and all that — as if the government could possibly have interests that supersede people’s rights. In fact, the only interest government should have is maintaining the people’s rights.

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams

  32. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    And attachments to arms…
    Suppressors.

  33. avatar Ross says:

    I’m good with that, but would rather see the execution by firing squad than 10 years in prison for any lawmaker who violated it.

  34. avatar Hannibal says:

    Yeah… okay… and I’d also like an Amendment guaranteeing me unicorn transportation and free blowjobs on demand. About as realistic and worth talking about…

  35. avatar guest says:

    Do it!

    If everyone would make this into a petition, if all NRA members would do this, if this change of the constitution would be the SINGLE focus of every gun rights group and group sympathetic to it – then it would have a fair shot. Instead of this everyone focuses on small issues, trying to fight back the assault on gun rights by dealing with every RESULTING issue one at a time. This would literally change the whole system of gun control, istead of dealing with the effects of gun control.

  36. avatar Ralph says:

    Under this new 2A, incarcerated murderers would be able to carry flame throwers.

    Massive fail.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Let him. In fact, issue one to each convict on entering the prison. Just don’t give them access to napalm or any of the chemicals necessary to refill the thing. Use it once, throw it away. Good luck getting another one or finding a place to sleep after you burned your cell block to the ground. I fail to see a problem with this system.

      1. avatar MothaLova says:

        +1

    2. avatar Salty Bear says:

      Only if there are flame throwers in prison.

  37. avatar Andrew Wood says:

    Strike the entire Militia reference, and insert “Except as punishment for the conviction of a felony”.

    1. avatar Salty Bear says:

      If you think every little thing is a felony nowadays, just you wait.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      And who gets to decide what is a felony, or which felonies might be disqualifiers, or maintain and enforce the list? If you give this authority to the government you have given them the right to infringe on the RKBA and by default turned the Second Amendment into a privilege licensed by the government it was intended to keep in check, not a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right.

  38. avatar MothaLova says:

    I would amend the text so that it reads that any law infringing the amendment is null and void and no penalty, civil or criminal, shall be imposed for violating any such law. (Requiring Congress and the President to act in order to stop the effect of a law running contrary to the amendment is wishful thinking.)

    And the amendment should cover weapons generally, as others have said.

    Otherwise, the amendment is not only a good idea, it is absolutely necessary at this point.

  39. avatar Tommycat says:

    While I may agree with the sentiment, I would propose that we not touch ANY of the first 10. Though I wouldn’t mind adding in a new amendment that “If any member of congress suggests amending or removing any of the first 10 amendments to the constitution may they be hanged by the short curlies until dead.

  40. avatar Don says:

    You should just generalize IIA and IIB to cover the entire constitution and add them as a new amendment.

    -D

  41. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    I like the idea. It would help perpetual obfuscators such as Senator Feinstein see and think more clearly, as well as the gaggle of magazine-limiting politicians, the cooks who spoil the broth. Hands off, in other words. Leave it alone.

  42. avatar former water walker says:

    This came out of Canada? Cool.

  43. avatar JoshuaS says:

    It is actually written too broadly, only because there are legitimate powers exercise by the government that may “touch” firearms. E.g., a trade embargo with an enemy country. That would involve all goods, and hence guns.

    How about criminals deprived through due process? How about not allowing a visitor to carry a gun in to visit a prisoner?

    Too many problems when written this broadly.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      There’s no problem with over-breadth or vagueness here.

      Most of our rights and privileges are stated without exception in the Constitution (e.g., the right to religious exercise), but it is understood via general principles of law and specifically through the 14th Amendment that life or any liberty may be destroyed through due process of law.

      Otherwise, my right to observe Jewish Law would trump the government’s right to force me to fight in the trenches on a subsistence diet of C-rations.

  44. avatar Glenn in USA says:

    I do believe the Constitution is not perfect document.
    It has holes, it is deficient, it is ambiguous in certain places.
    But even where it is painfully obvious, it is ignored by our Federal Government.
    Our Traitorous government makes new laws every day infringing on ALL our Rights, everyday.
    Also, the idea of the Bill of Rights (or the rest of our inalienable and natural rights) and state incorporation is NOT clear or clearly stated.
    Even if you re-wrote only the 2nd Amendment by due process, that would not fix 1% of the problems we have with our government.
    Even if you re-wrote the 2nd Amendment, would the states have to recognize it?
    The states have their own constitutions.
    What if a state had a more liberal gun rights?
    Which one would take precedence?
    These are not easy questions that could be settled in some Gun Blog.
    To those who think the 2nd Amendment is fine as it is, I say you are completely wrong.
    Although minimal wording is better, the ambiguity of the current wording has only provided grounds for EXCUSES for actually infringing our PRE-CONSTITUTIONAL, UNLIMITED, NO-NREGULATABLE, INALIENABLE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.
    Before we get to the argument of better wording you must first accept the FACT the the current wording is inadequate.

  45. avatar Glenn in USA says:

    Another note. I seem to recall that the Founding Fathers considered joining the State Militias as either voluntary or involuntary, though there were exceptions such as clergy, ferrymen, Conscientious Objectors. And even though I consider myself a strict Constitutionalist and that there should be no required license to own or carry a firearm in any fashion, am I a bad person in believing that some sort of training in handguns AND rifles should be mandatory by ALL able-bodied adults (men and women) wether they carry or not?

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      So long as the law came from a state legislature rather than the national government, and so long as it was, as you wrote, applicable to all rather than only to those seeking to purchase a gun, I believe there would be no objection a priori (although we’d have to look at every state constitution and case law, blah blah blah) (and pardon the Latin).

      1. avatar Salty Bear says:

        Strictly speaking, part of the purpose of enumerating rights in the federal constitution is to ensure the several states cannot make laws in violation of those rights.

        1. avatar MothaLova says:

          My understanding is that a universal mandate to receive training in the use of firearms would not infringe the 2nd Amendment. If that’s correct, then the remaining question is whether the national government has the power to create such a mandage. Since I believe such a law would not fall within any enumerated power in the U.S. Constitution, I conclude that it would have to come from a state government.

        2. avatar Salty Bear says:

          A government-issued universal mandate to do ANYTHING is contrary to the principle of individual liberty (see the so-called Affordable Care Act). It is unconstitutional purely on the basis that the Constitution does not give the government authority to do it.

          I concede that you could argue that the several states might legitimately implement a law requiring firearms familiarization training for all their citizens. However, the wording of the 2A makes it clear that requiring such training as a prerequisite to exercising one’s RKBA is unconstitutional.

        3. avatar MothaLova says:

          Salty, you’re reading too fast. Take a look at my first message. I expressly said that the requirement couldn’t be only for those seeking a gun.

        4. avatar Salty Bear says:

          I know. I wasn’t exactly arguing against you. I should have been clearer though. What happens if people don’t comply with the requirement for training?

        5. avatar MothaLova says:

          Send in the SWAT team! Duh. 🙂

          (I wouldn’t support the mandate, but I think it would be constitutional. As for enforcing it, well, perhaps not enforcing it would be better because enough people would comply on their own, anyway.)

        6. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “I wouldn’t support the mandate, but I think it would be constitutional”

          No. Wrong answer. There is no language in the Constitution that authorizes compulsory anything. Theoretically, even the income tax (authorized by A16) is “voluntary.”

          And making any thing compulsory – i.e., giving any person official sanction to override any other person’s Free Will is essentially a Crime against Nature.

        7. avatar B says:

          Make a mandatory firearms class in middle school. They could have little bowls of 22lr for them to use for playing around, and larger bowls with magnums rounds for the bigger kids.

        8. avatar MothaLova says:

          Rich – This is one juncture at which the libertarians and I part ways. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution is largely about the ways in which the legislature can compel us to do things. Take your pick: raise an army; lay and collect taxes, duties, etc.; borrow money on credit (thereby compelling us to pay it back); provide for calling forth the militia; provide a navy; etc.

          Other articles also allow for compulsion (e.g., treatymaking), but I think this one section is enough to make the point.

          http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei

  46. avatar phu que 2 says:

    What was the gun that the “terminator” asked for in the first movie?

  47. avatar Jim R says:

    Just remove the first half. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Keep it simple.

  48. avatar Ralphie says:

    When existing 2A laws fail to be respected, what makes you think a new 2A will?

    1. avatar Salty Bear says:

      Because courts and legislators have this warped idea that as long as you can still keep and bear some arms, the right is being respected. They think, “Oh you can still own a musket, so you still have the right to keep and bear arms.” But what they should think is, “That machine gun is an ‘arm,’ so you have the right to keep and bear it.”

      1. avatar B says:

        You can’t in DC, not even the ammo. Would be funny if it didn’t make me want to bang my head against a wall.

  49. avatar Jus Bill says:

    You realize that trying to do that will start a holy war the likes of which has not been seen since the Crusades.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      What else is there to do, anyway? Watch TV? Blog? C’mon, let’s have some fun.

  50. avatar The Last Marine out says:

    He forgot all arms, tanks, cannon, machine guns, ALL weapons of WAR, are for the use of THE Militia. The Militia is the main reason for 2A !

  51. avatar Clay says:

    Do rocket launchers fall under “Firearm”

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “Do rocket launchers fall under “Firearm”;”

      I know you’re just an antigun nut trying to be sarcastic, but yes. You do, in fact, have a natural, unalienable, human, civil, constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms of any kind, including atomic bombs. You have a right to anything the government has a claim on, since the government is your employee.

  52. avatar Grant Fish says:

    Yes, we do need to revise the 2A to remove the ambiguity.

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Period. End of story.

    No ambiguous references to the outdated concept of a “militia.” No mention of “well-regulated,” because nobody really knows how much regulation, or what kind of regulation, is needed to consider something “well-regulated.” We also aren’t sure exactly who we are supposed to be regulating.

    Pull out the ambiguous conditions and put it to a vote. If it passes, the gun-haters have no platform to stand on and the debate will end. If it doesn’t pass, we have lost nothing.

  53. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    A few issues I see with the proposal (some of which others have pointed out):

    (1) “Firearms” is a very limiting term (as there are many forms of “arms” other than handheld guns).

    (2) “Congress and the state legislatures” does not include local governments or administrative agencies.

    (3) The second amendment needs no “enforcement” … it simply needs an absence of infringement.

    (4) I’m not sure how one would declare that a person has been “automatically impeached” … via a court order by a lawsuit? It seems very messy.

    All of that said, I’m not sure anything like this would work very well, since politicians and judges are apt to ignore it anyway.

    But, if I was going to propose something, I’d suggest something like this:

    Amendment II.

    To secure the natural right of persons to defend themselves and others, the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, including all types of small arms and military weapons and their accessories, may not be prohibited, taxed, licensed, or in any way restricted by any level of government under this Constitution.

    Amendment IIA.

    As a well-armed society is the best defense against internal and external threats to liberty, all states under this Constitution shall be obligated to provide training to all residents who wish to become members of the state militia.

    A state militia may not be deployed outside of the United States without a Declaration of War by Congress, unless that militia is actively involved in repelling an invasion.

    All adult citizens of a state who have been properly trained and have joined the state militia in either a combat or non-combat role shall be entitled to vote in all federal and state elections. Persons who have not joined the militia of their state of residence may not vote in federal or state elections.

    I wrote another part too, but it’s more related to war powers vs. the RKBA.

    1. avatar ZM 1306 says:

      I do like the tie in with voting, this is a republic afterall not everyone gets a vote just for being born.

  54. avatar ZM 1306 says:

    Amendment II. “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.”

    Amendment IIA. “Arms are any and all weapons desighned, used, or otherwise desired for defence/offence. Shall not be infringed means there shall be no law pased by no man that restricts this right from anyone.”

    Amendment IIB. “Any public servant found to be engaged in violating this right may be shot, stabed, detonated, burned, or otherwise affected by the arms used by those attacked by the public servant.”

  55. avatar Arod529 says:

    Be cautious about modifying the 2nd Amendment. If the idea of modifying the core amendments for the “better” becomes viable, you can be sure that moves to modify them to restrict our rights will follow. Instead of fighting smaller state level governments, we would be fighting constitutional regulation. You don’t want to go there.

  56. avatar P.M.Lawrence says:

    IIB will be read as any trial is deemed complete by the end of the period, so either omitting or dragging out a trial would give a deemed not guilty verdict.

  57. avatar Southern Cross says:

    The original constitution was written by statesmen. The mark II version will have to be written by corporate lawyers to make it ironclad tight.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Don’t be stupid. If we’re going to go to all that effort, our energy should be focused on enforcing the Constitution that we already have, rather than mucking around with what seems to have been working for 225 years so far.

      And things are looking like it’s coming up for a field test. 😉

      1. avatar Salty Bear says:

        I don’t know, Rich. Look at the state of our union. HAS it been working for 225 years?

        A computer system considered secure at its inception will inevitably be vulnerable to intrusion and exploitation in a very short time. Hackers and thieves are constantly finding holes, exceptions, and technicalities in cyber defenses. We haven’t patched our Constitutional “software” in 225 years, and exactly the same thing has happened to our Constitution. Judging from the state of things I’d say it’s about time.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Salty, you’ve got it back-asswards. The thugs in charge aren’t following the Constitution, is what the problem is. What needs to be done is to remove the thugs from power, not trash the last bastion of our protection from them. You sound like you want to hand the whole country to the Communists on a silver platter.

          Enforce the Constitution and punish the thugs. If you don’t like the Constitution, then get your lame useless ass out of My Country.

        2. avatar MothaLova says:

          Rich – I think the two of you are actually in agreement. Salty’s complaining about the (often willful) misinterpretation and lack of enforcement of the Constitution. Sounds to me like your complaint is the same.

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          No, Motha, Salty was advocating changing the Constitution. That, I’m against. The Constitution is the only thing we have standing between us and abject slavery, and is not subject to compromise.

  58. avatar Dean says:

    Now there is a platform to run on.

  59. avatar William Burke says:

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  60. avatar Cody says:

    Isn’t that what shall not be infringed means? Pretty sure those clauses are covered in that and we are just too lazy and comfortable with peace to stand up and do something about it. But in ready when y’all are to fix this.

  61. avatar Jeff Rutter says:

    Why can’t we keep it simple? More strife has been caused by that useless call for a well regulated militia. A pure, simple, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed.” should suffice for even the most brain dead liberal.

  62. avatar Nagurski says:

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Any politician who introduces legislation that can be construed as an infringement on that right shall be slapped in the face by Nagurski or by any deputy he appoints.”

  63. avatar Alice Fishbaugh says:

    I like the improved on version of the 2nd. Seems to me in my humble opinion that a good many of the people in an office of government have forgotten or even never understood to begin with, that they are in those positions to serve “we the people” and not to “lord over us.” I aim this at whomever it needs to be aimed at from the highest office of President to the smallest person on the totem pole. It seems we have to begin to take harsher actions because a lot of those who govern us are forcing the hand of “we the people.”

  64. avatar teebonicus says:

    The proposed amendment reads too much like statutory law – too complicated.

    The only change needed (if any is indeed needed at all) is to drop the prefatory clause entirely. The operative clause covers it nicely.

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

    Who needs more than that?

  65. avatar John says:

    Personally, I prefer my own version….KISS.

    Public Safety being a tyrant’s ruse, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, for liberty, self defense, sport, or subsistence shall not be infringed, regulated nor otherwise interfered with.

    Members of the local, state or federal governments, regardless of branch, who violate this right shall forfeit their right to trial and be immediately guilty of a capital crime. Punishment shall carried out by the nearest armed citizen and at the earliest opportunity.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      KISS:
      “… shall forfeit their right to trial and be immediately guilty of a capital crime. Punishment shall carried out by the nearest armed citizen and at the earliest opportunitybe summarily executed.”

      1. avatar John says:

        That’s the idea, but I wanted to include by who so there wasn’t any weaseling out of a sacred duty.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          OK, how about “summarily executed by the most convenient armed citizen who can beat said bureaucrat to the draw (everybody’s armed, remember?) and not harm any bystanders”?

          Obviously, in the space that the antigun nuts are using in lieu of a brain, that means instant “wild west.” Well, I say that if any “wild west” foolishness did take place, it wouldn’t last very long. Hell, even in the real wild west, there wasn’t the kind of carnage you saw all day on TV and in the movies.

          Huh! I just looked up the Wild West and places like Dodge City had very strict gun control. But back then, there was one road through the town, so only two ways in or out.

          And there just aren’t that many darned troublemakers anyway!

  66. avatar int19h says:

    “The Supreme Court and all inferior courts shall make no decision which interprets the Constitution so as to touch, limit, regulate, or control, the individual right to own and carry any firearm.”

    This is clearly not written by a lawyer. The Supreme Court has the ability to decide which things are constitutional and which are not – putting such a limitation into the constitution basically does nothing, as they can rule their own actions constitutional regardless.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      That is where the real battle lies: reclaiming from our nine robed rulers the power to determine constitutionality through other representatives. The question of constitutionality was never meant to be left to one branch of government, and certainly not to the branch that is least responsible to the people. Nor is there any basis in the Constitution for the Supreme Court’s claim to such an exclusive privilege. Rather, the Supreme Court justices seized that privilege for themselves, and they retain it only because we have not contested their coup.

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