La Dolce Vita

A few thoughts from Steven Rockford
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FEBRUARY 28, 2013 12:29PM

Amend the 2nd Amendment

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The Right to Bear Bazookas 

bill-of-rights 

Based on the actual wording in the 2nd Amendment of our Bill of Rights and the “individual rights” interpretation of that amendment held by the current U.S. Supreme Court, each person in this country can legally possess any weapon that is available to the U.S. military.   

Any effort to reduce gun violence through new legislation will prove to be an exercise in futility.  New gun control laws will most certainly be tested in the courts.  And, given the history of the court’s tendency to side with gun-advocacy groups based on their antiquated interpretation of the Second Amendment wording, any new legislation will prove to be unenforceable.  The only way that concerned citizens of this country can change our current violent gun environment is to seek to change (amend) the wording of the amendment that allows this violent environment to exist. 

The Founding Fathers sought to protect the states from a potential tyrannical central government by limiting the federal government’s ability to maintain a standing army, except during wartime.  To ensure that adequately trained forces were readily available in the event of a national  emergency, the states were given the right (through the 2nd Amendment) to arm and maintain “state militias” which could be called up by the federal government to meet wartime needs until a national army could be trained and deployed. 

Thus, the framers penned the following 2nd Amendment words to support the right of state militias (and state militia-member citizens) to maintain “armed parity” with the federal government: 

“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” 

But, does the wording in this amendment apply in today’s America? 

The term “Arms” was never fully defined in the Bill of Rights.  It basically meant whatever arms were necessary to be held by state militia personnel to maintain parity with the powers of the federal government.  Based on SCOTUS’s “individual rights” interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, this sentence says that “each citizen” of this country has a right to possess any weapon that is currently available to the U.S. military (standing army).   

In essence, this means that each of us can legally possess not just military-style assault rifles, but grenade launchers, surface-to-air missiles, M1 Abrams battle tanks and even nuclear weapons. 

This wording may have made sense to the framers at the time that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written, but it doesn't make sense today. 

The framers were rightfully concerned about the powers of our new central government vis-à-vis the tyrannical powers of the kingdoms of Europe (especially England) at the time of the American Revolution. 

By establishing a system of checks-and-balances, setting limits to a national standing army, and by maintaining state-controlled militias, the framers felt that tyrannical central power could be avoided. 

Today we have, by necessity, a large standing army.  Conservatives, liberals and centrists all agree that a permanent U.S. military is essential for the common defense of the people.  Furthermore, no one (except an anarchist) feels that it is necessary for the citizens of this country to have weapons that maintain parity with the U.S. military.  However, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution remains written in such a way as to allow for this right. 

I’m certain that the framers felt that, as circumstances changed, the federal representatives of the people would modify the right to arms ownership to reflect contemporary moral and ethical needs.  But that never happened.  Today gun-advocacy groups, funded by the massive arms industry, have used the last fourteen words of the 2nd Amendment to justify the most lax gun-ownership environment in the history of the civilized world.  Plus, their efforts to control the courts in regard to shutting down gun-control legislation have made it impossible for lawmakers to correct this situation (as evidenced by SCOTUS's recent ruling overturning a 32 year old ban on handguns in the District of Columbia). 

Despite the gallant efforts of the White House, a few senators and gun-control groups in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, it must be recognized that new gun-control legislation will simply not work.  The NRA has made certain that their second line of defense, the courts, will overturn any laws that limit, in any way, the free-flow of weapons in this country. 

The only way that the judicial obstruction to gun control can be alleviated is to change (amend) the antiquated constitutional wording that the courts feel supports their opinions. 

There is no time like the present to initiate an A2A (Amend the 2nd Amendment) movement.  A majority of the population is in favor of some form of gun control.  Like the movements which led to amendments allowing African Americans and women to vote, the supporters of “sensible gun rights” have now reached critical mass. 

A modern, rational, definitive, unambiguous and sanely worded gun-rights amendment has become a necessity. 

As Ed Schultz says at the beginning of his show: 

“Let’s get to work!”

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ru Kidding?

I live in Texas and I have no doubt I will be seeing a lot of tanks in driveways. Hell...they will probably have dealerships.

Does anyone think any more?

Can they own nuclear bombs????? Well, there goes the anti terrorist task force. How ill THAT work...



I'm scared....
I promise you, someone in Congress is gonna think this is a good idea.
Yeah, I'm scared too. I live in Arizona, the "Gun Capital of the Wild West."

Like you, I hope that someone in Congress wakes up to the need for 2nd Amendment reform.
i wouldn't mind amending the second amendment, so long as further amendment is made to the constitution, establishing the primacy of citizen initiative as the law of the land.

but right now, the usg asserts the right to detain and kill without judicial process. at what point do you think they will admit the government is tyrannical? maybe you have to figure it out for yourself?
During the time of the Glorious Restoration, the Right to Bear Arms, due to Charles II's infringement upon the right of protestants to own guns (allowing the Catholic minority, allied with Spain and France to bully them) caused much tyranical oppression. When William of Orange invaded and restored the Right to Bear Arms, this was popularly understood in terms of the rights revoked by Charles II, namely, the rights of gentlemen to own sidearms, dueling pistols, swords, daggers, dirks and stilletos.

It never implied the right to own the 17th century version of high-level military weaponry, such as cannons, ships of the line, heavy cavalry, siege weapons or the like.

I do not know if the 17th century conception of the right to bear arms also included with it an understanding that the populace should be able to own muskets or the arqubus.

That said, within 100 years, due to enlightenment philosophy and increased gvt repression, the right expanded to form a penumbra of sorts that came to include the musket.

In the colonies, the militia was the self-sustaining, independent self-protection force of each community that existed before a time of centralized government. The mayor of each town had control over the militia. Further, it existed theoretically, not in fact, and included all able bodied men in a settlement.

During the Seven Years War, there were many problems with the militia as a military force. They could only be used in the field for a certain period of time and they deserted, en masse, once their agreed contract with the British Army expired. They also had major reservations about being used beyond the borders of their colony. General Wolfe apparantly had a very hard time persuading NY or NJ militia to go into Canada with him for the invasion of Quebec. He could, at the very least, persuade them to defend Fort William Henry. But even then, they retreated whenever they got bad news about Native Americans attacking their homes.

During the US War for Independence, the militia were equally unreliable. They also didn't like being used far from home. They could only be used temporarily. They were citizen-soldiers and really could only be used for self-defense and to bolster the Continental Army in a period of emergency. For example, after Washington got his butt kicked in the Battles for Long Island and Manhattan, and Ft. Clinton, he retreated across NJ and lost many men. His army was temporarily salvaged by an influx of militia who would only stay with him for 3 weeks, after which they would go back home.

Washington was encouraged by General Charles Lee and Alexander Hamilton to have a fully centralized military and to conscript troops into the Continental Army, thereby ignoring the independence of the colonial militia, but Washington understood that said independence was crucial for a functioning democracy. He also knew that once the US was established, there couldn't be a big continental army (just a small peacetime one) and that we should have a defense force of militia to defend ourselves.

The thing is, during the Vietnam War, the Federal Government nationalized the State National Guards. This makes it very easy for the Federal Government to use them as mere auxilliaries for foreign military deployments. It also removes the original legal rationale behind the National Guard---which is that they would be the sole inheritor of the rights, duties and obligation of the colonial militia.

It is my legal belief (I'm a lawyer), that if we change Federal law regarding the national guard (which was only changed to assist US imperialism), we will neutralize the current 2nd Amendment debate (which happened as a consequence of this Vietnam era legislation).

If the state guards went back to their original conception, namely, an armed state defense force that is only at the command of governors, that can't be used outside the borders of the US, and if we solidify this by actually changing their name to the "State Guard," then the meaning behind the 2nd Amendment becomes more clear. Furthermore, if the state uses either conscription or volunteerism as a means of manning the State Guard, ensuring that it is not populated by professional soldiers, this further guarantees the democratic intent that underlay the colonial conception of the community militia.

It needed to be an armed citizen-based force, commanded by local authorities. It couldn't be a professional military force. It couldn't be commanded by the federal government. It was to be used by local government to defend local civilians from encroachments by power hungry centralized government, or foreign invasion. If, in case of the latter, it was to be used in conjunction with the standing army.

Alot of interesting legal arguments came about as a result of this, though, during the US Civil War. Many Confederate state militia refused to join Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, because they conceived of themselves along the lines of the colonial conception of a state self-defense force. There are many tales of municipal militia from Texas, Alabama and Georgia refusing to go to Virginia to fight. As such, Jeff Davis nationalized the militia and ordered them to go.

By the end of the "War for State's Rights," the Confederacy's central government was even more centralized than that of the Union, which is ironic, considering the fact that they were fighting for state's rights and against the concept of central government.

The idea here, though, is that the concept of the 2nd Amendment is tied up with the concept of the National Guard and the State Militia. If you nationalize the Guard, its only natural that an anarchic alternative of an armed-to-the-teeth populace is all you have left, if you want to keep allegiance to the original principles of Constitutional interpretation.

On the other hand, if you devolve power back to the states, and weaken federal authority regarding the military, you get a clever back-door compromise that will not only limit gun crime, but will limit US overseas interventions as well, possibly.
The problem with Americans, when it comes to military analysis, is that they always want to configure their forces in such a way that enables victory. But they forget that the Founding Fathers didn't want to give tyrants tools with which to achieve easy victory. They wanted to make things very difficult for tyrants. An easy win for a tyrant is a blow against the people.

This is why Washington felt that an unruly, undisciplined state militia force should have the right to flee the "Flying Camp" when their term of enlistment was up. He felt that the right to a "self defense force," however unprofessional, was far more important to a working democracy than having an efficient and nimble professional army that responded to the beck and whim of its commander, obeyed orders without question, and followed him to the ends of the earth. Washington realized that such a tool might very well enable the Americans to win countless wars, but it would also very easily be turned against its countryment.

Look at the draft. We got rid of it after Vietnam, because the war was so unpopular. That said, it was because of the draft that the war became unpopular and that we eventually pulled out. Because kids from all walks of life were drafted, because innocent kids were forced to fight and die, voters from all across the land demanded that their politicians end the war.

The British Empire realized that a draft was a horrible way to run an empire. Throughout their empire, they used volunteer soliders. This ensured that only the poor, desperate dregs of society, folks who had nowhere else to go, would fight. Because they were conscious of the choice they made, they would not complain when you sent them to India or Africa, America or Singapore. Some of them might even be violent by nature, and see the military as an opportunity for them to take out their latent aggression on folks abroad. It worked out very well for the British in this regard.

On the other hand, a draftee army (in an democratic culture) complains, disobeys orders, takes a long time to train and demands a greater degree of equality than a professional army. They despise hierarchy, too. Ergo, its much harder to fight wars of colonial conquest and imperialism with draftees, than it is with volunteers.

We did away with the draft, and now there is practically no public opposition to our wars abroad. Why do you think that is?
As a Devil's Advocate, I believe the framers of the Constitution knew that parity with the government, no matter what the weapons were developed later meant just that. You have to remember, these were the same people who hid gunpowder in sacks of flour, muskets under floorboards, swords, pistols and cutting weapons in bookcases, closets and under trapdoors --- and cannons under haystacks and hidden inside barns. Parity with the government they felt they had a right to revolt against.

Today, the USA spends more on defense than the next 26 countries combined. Only one of those countries isn't an ally. We don't need this huge standing army -- that's a farce. I honestly have felt and still do, that if I can afford one, I should be able to have an M1A1-1A Abrams Main Battle Tank -- its good for defense and can be fitted with a plowshare to plant my crops.

Of course, I don't even own a handgun. I choose not to.

Here are the facts in this country, you know the one you opine is ... "our current violent gun environment," is that homocides with guns have gone down for the last thirty years in a steady curve. Gun ownership is down. Gun voilence is actually down overall.

The real problem isn't guns and controlling them. It's a completely irresponsible and willfully ignorant stance against proper health care, in particular mental health care in this country. We stigmatize anyone who doesn't fit the "regular" mold, though it's hard to pin down exactly what that is and who it is that gets to decide what the rules for "normal" are.

I wonder, if we hadn't kept a large standing army after world war two, would Russia, China and other countries continued to build their massive armies? Maybe. But were those armies then or now a direct physical threat to this country? Isn't the proof in the tasting of the pudding the correct aphorism?

The proof is that, with a large standing army and spending so much on defense, we have created an artificially generated "need" to maintain one. If we sent them all home tomorrow, our economy would collapse. Then again, with all that money saved from defense, we could spend more on Social Programs and thus mitigate the sudden influx of former military members now "unemployed."

In any case, the truth is that violence is down, gun ownership is down and the reasons for gun lobbyists to do what they do has less to do with creating a violent society than to keep selling weapons and exporting them to smaller states in the world where anarchy, despotism and warlords spend happily on getting all those "civilian" weapons and all the others that "fell off the truck" from government coffers and storage.

If we hadn't maintained a large standing army, then maybe the military industrial complex would instead today be producing the finest civilian aircraft, ships and space launch vehicles the world has seen to date? Maybe we'd be living and working in space, the moon and possibly mars, because our monies were directed to peaceful and civilian pursuits as opposed to gearing up for wars that never came -- and in the realpolitik of history, would not have if we didn't stick our noses into the business of places like Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nicaraugua, Argentina, Columbia, Honduras, the Philippines, and countless banana republics to which we sold the guns, planes, cannons and bombs that wouldn't have been made in the first place.

The last thing we need to do is encourage this fascistic government, run by corporate oligarchs is to amend any of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. We still need to keep a weather eye on the people who would best be served by disarming the populace and telling us, "It's okay, that's what the US Army and the Law Enforcement Agencies are for -- to protect you." (Cue the Mwuah hah hah hah haaaah!s in the background)

Just look at what's already being done to our civil liberties as it is. Now we have Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, warrantless wiretapping, Drone Assassination by Executive Order, the Citizen's United ruling, worker's rights being negated and overturned, DEA and NIDA working to obstruct and obfuscate any meaningful changes to the War on Drugs, the CIA, FBI and NSA expanded for the Global War on Terror and lackeys and shills in places like Secretary of Energy directly from a pro-oil, pro-fracking cartel of multi-billionaires, the Treasury Secretary who comes from some of the same folks that engineered the Too Big To Fail economy collapse for profit scam.

And you think we don't need guns to protect ourselves from our own government? I believe otherwise and I use facts to back that belief up. Even so, I choose to believe we need to speak out and not start shooting it out.

So I appreciate your opinion and your point of view. Even though I disagree, vehemently, it is part of a discussion we should have.

In that discussion, though, it must be borne in mind that the polemics of a "violent, gun loving nation," is factually inaccurate and can be categorized into a column labeled "bullshit."

Once again, people: Gun ownership is down, gun violence is down and both these metrics belie the emotionally charged rhetoric that we need to put a stop to all these guns going around and killing people. It's just not true. It's just not factual.

Gun violence from clearly disturbed individuals is a horrific thing and I support background checks and cutting out the loopholes for places where those checks can be avoided. I know that illegal gun sales will continue. That's no reason to oppose stronger background checks.

By the same token, if gun violence is down, gun ownership is down and the gun manufactories are still cranking them out, then we have to wonder why? Because it's profitable, but the USA is the single largest exporter of arms of all types in the world. Correlation? I think so.

The US Government buys more arms than any other single contract -- and exports more than all the other gun suppliers in the world. And you think we don't need to be able to keep and bear arms, because we have a large standing army and police forces? Who do those army wo/men and police officers serve?

Us?

Or the government?

Last I checked when I gave a cop or a soldier a civilian order, I was looked at as if I might need a good ass-kicking and arresting. I don't they're serving me or you, so go ahead, let the government decide for us if we should have weapons of parity.

As a last note, every empire and government in history that became tyrannical and despotic, the first thing they do is tell the populace, "Turn in your weapons, we'll protect you from harm." Yeah right. I'd rather not. You're very welcome to, but as for me, I don't own anything they'd want -- though I can be quite a problem with just my stuff in the cupboard and under the sink. So I'll not own weapons, thanks. That doesn't mean I think the government should be the only force with guns in my neighborhood.

History is on my side in this argument -- all 6,000+ years of it.

--r--
Dunn,

I appreciate your lengthy justification for maintaining the status quo. I wish I could agree with your premise that gun violence and gun ownership are decreasing in America, but I have yet to find any published documents to support this. Perhaps you can provide us with background documents supporting your statements.

Thanking you in advance………………. Steven
"sought to protect the states from a potential tyrannical central government"

You sound like this could never happen. Trust us we are from the government and we are here to help you. Well, President Obama has decided, on advice of his legal team, that he can on his own send in drones and kill whom ever he wants, American citizen or not.

When asked about his legal opinions we are told that they are classified. That to release his review of current laws is a danger to national security. Are you kidding me!

That's not the worse of it. When asked if the government had to power to send a drone after an American citizen while on US soil, they refused to answer. There no answer is an answer. If the answer was no they would say so. Since they won't answer we have to assume that they believe they have the right. That's scary.

On a slightly different tangent. We can't have total background checks. If I, a gun store owner (not really), send your name to the BATFE for a background check to buy a gun, do you think that info goes away? No, the government now has a record of you applying to buy a certain weapon, your address, and other info so they can come and get it if they want. So you either backdoor register it or you violate a law they can arrest you for.

Say NO to universal background (registration) checks.
At least you're thinking, and not a brain dead conformist. Most people are so stupid, they don't even consider such things. They assume the antiquated Constitution is the FINAL DOCUMENT for the world...however...I'm not sure of the wording you wish to see enacted. My suspicious is you would use a Constitutional Convention to strip people of all their weapons...or perhaps leave them with a BB gun at most. Can you go into more detail with your proposal?
I'm confused by this post. Steven writes "Based on the actual wording in the 2nd Amendment of our Bill of Rights and the 'individual rights' interpretation of that amendment held by the current U.S. Supreme Court, each person in this country can legally possess any weapon that is available to the U.S. military."

But the "actual wording" doesn't say that, nor is it clear to me that this is a correct interpretation of the Second Amendment. No Supreme Court decision has ever found that to be a correct interpretation.

So if you're worried about your neighbor accidentally destroying civilization as we know it with his legally owned thermonuclear weapon, well, that's not going to happen. Even so, you still want to rewrite the 2nd.

But here your post disappears into the fog. Earlier you wrote in detail of bazookas, grenade launchers, surface-to-air missiles, and nuclear weapons. But when it comes to changing the wording of the Second Amendment, you have nothing to say about what the new wording would be, or what weapons would be permitted under the new wording.
Actually Aristoxenus and mishima, I’m not suggesting any new wording for the 2nd Amendment, but rather I’m recommending that the majority of public opinion regarding “sensible gun control” be taken into consideration in the process of writing a new amendment.

Personally, being a gun owner, I would like to see that “hunting rights” be well spelled out in this amendment, and that’s pretty much the limit of my “gun ownership” concerns. Beyond that, I would like to know that I have a “right to life” when I take a taxi down the Vegas strip and not become a collateral casualty in a wild-west shootout. I would like to know that my children have a “right to life” when they attend a Connecticut school, and I would like to know that my family has a “right to life” when we attend a midnight movie premier in Aurora, Colorado.

I want a new 2nd Amendment to be worded in such a way that another person’s “right to gun ownership” does not infringe upon my family’s “right to life.” A definitive, unambiguous “Sensible Gun Rights Amendment,” with well-defined limitations, would certainly meet this objective.

The important thing is that we recognize that, in its current wording, the 2nd Amendment does not definitively spell out a rational, sensible and safe gun environment that will work for the majority of peace-loving people in this country during the 21st Century.

It’s time to re-write the antiquated wording to reflect the “will of the people” in modern America.
Steven you speak as if it there's no other way to die, other than by a gun. So guns don't exist...now a crazed suicidal lunatic aims his car right at you head on. A man comes up behind you on the sidewalk and starts knifing you with an eight inch blade. A deranged lunatic uses a syringe to inject poison into supermarket food. There are hundreds of ways in which to become a victim to a crazed person who is determined to take you by surprise and murder you. A speeding vehicle in the vicinity of large amounts of pedestrians is much more certain to kill than a handgun would. The tools of the trade may change, but you will probably never eliminate homicidal maniacs in this world...although believe me, I'm rooting for you.

Those who commit willful violent acts against other humans, are the only ones who should have their rights to weapons abridged. The non violent "mentally ill" are entitled to protect themselves under the constitution, just as any other person should. However, the 8th amendment stipulates that Vagabonds and Paupers, aren't really true citizens...so in general, the Constitution needs re-working to bring it up to the 21st Century. I still agree with you on that.
Excuse me...my error...I intended to say the Articles of Confederation Article 4: Vagabonds and Paupers cannot Travel. I had the 8th Amendment on the mind from another pondering.
Steve writes: "Plus, their efforts [the efforts of gun advocacy groups] to 'control the courts' in regard to shutting down gun-control legislation has made it impossible for lawmakers to correct this situation (as evidenced by SCOTUS's recent ruling overturning a 32 year old ban on handguns in the District of Columbia.)"

You seem to assume here that gun advocacy groups somehow corrupted the Supreme Court's decision. Have you read the decision? Here is a small excerpt: "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

In a comment after your post you say that "Personally, being a gun owner, I would like to see that 'hunting rights' be well spelled out in this amendment, and that’s pretty much the limit of my 'gun ownership' concerns." Since hunting is "unconnected with service in a militia," apparently you agree with the first part of the Court's decision. In the same comment you say "Beyond that, I would like to know that I have a 'right to life' when I take a taxi down the Vegas strip and not become a collateral casualty in a wild-west shootout." Since the Court talks about "self-defense within the home," that seems to be consistent with your "shootout" concern and other similar concerns. The case was primarily about the right to have a handgun at home for self defense. The court concludes that "Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home."

So I'm confused again. You use District of Columbia v. Heller as an example of a decision you don't like. But I'm unable to find anything in Heller that you would actually disagree with. Stated simply, there's nothing about a gun in a home that would put you at risk on the street. Certainly a gun could be taken from the home and used in the street. But so could a firearm used for hunting. So your point is . . . . what?
[r] well said. best, libby
Mishima,

You’re right about DC v. Heller being “primarily about the right to have a handgun at home for self defense,” but that’s not why I brought up this 2008 decision. I used DC v. Heller as an example of SCOTUS’s trend to “make laws” by overturning legislation written by elected officials trying to protect people in the districts they represent. The most important point in D v. H, I feel, is that it clearly separated the rights of “militias” versus the rights of “individuals,” stating for the first time that SCOTUS interprets the wording in the 2nd Amendment to apply strictly to “persons,” which it doesn’t.

Again, what I’m saying in my post is that the wording in a Gun Rights Amendment needs to be definitively written so that SCOTUS and the lower courts are able to clearly defend the will of the people based on language that spells out specifically what “the people” really want in regard to sensible gun control.
A stupid thought that has been going through my head for quite a while now is the notion that while the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms...nowhere does it mention ammunition.
"I'm just sayin'"
Excellent piece that so many of us non-anarchists think. I've thought for a very longtime, that so many gun toting fanatical individuals who hoard weaponry and spend their hard earned dollars on military killing machinery are in fact - anarchists. And history teaches them nothing. Remember Ruby Ridge? Didn't go down too good with the non-paying, anti-IRS rebel and his family. And now with drones, no militia ever need show up at a locale. Just send a drone and blow 'em to kingdom come. Good piece!!!!
Walter,

You’ve brought up a good point. Actually it goes along with the ambiguous wording of the 2nd Amendment. The amendment only says “Arms.” It doesn’t identify what kind of weapons or accessories are included in this right.

I wouldn’t expect a re-written amendment to include a laundry list of prohibited weapons, but I would expect it to include broad limitations on types of arms and ammunition (military weapons and high-capacity magazines, for example). Wording to the effect that “Congress is responsible for identifying specific weapon and possession prohibitions” would allow this right to be expanded or reduced based on changes in armament and make this document more adaptable to future events.

Plus, this type of wording would limit the court’s ability to set its own standards.

Ice,

Yes, fortunately the “non-anarchists” make up a significant majority in this country, and they are the ones who should be called upon to help re-write the 2nd Amendment.
And yet, nobody addressed the fact that this would be a moot issue if you devolved national guard authority back to the states.
Unfortunately Rw, the 2nd Amendment has morphed into something more than a document identifying the armed-rights of the states versus the armed-rights of the central government. SCOTUS rulings like The District of Columbia v. Heller have made it clear that the courts now consider that the gun rights of an individual are just as clearly spelled out in the 2nd Amendment as the gun rights of an anti-tyrannical state militia.

In other words, even if we restored the rights of a “State Guard,” the anarchists will remain heavily armed under the “individual-rights” interpretation currently held by the Supreme Court.
Thanks for this post. I agree, the massive gun industry is behind the stranglehold of weapons everywhere, and we are supersaturated with weapons now. (I also agree with Catnlion, the drones, and lack of accountability, are also scary as hell.)

Our Constitution should be changed to anyone can kill anyone at any time, because that's what is happening.

Yesterday here in CT a grandmother shot and killed her two tiny grandchildren and herself. It is not even surprising anymore. Shooting relatives, strangers, whole bunches of people, children is commonplace. It was really bad during the early 90s with the gangs, but now it's gone mainstream.

I don't want to live in a paranoid way, but it's like all of us are deer in hunting season. Most of us won't get shot, but it's a bad feeling. Who is benefitting from this? Who wants this?
The easy way around this, of course, is to allow states to initiate a draft of all those who own certain types of firearms, for purposes of the "State Guard," and mandate that they train and be at the whim of state authority.

Once one owns a gun, they can be drafted for the "militia."

I think this makes sense, too, legally. I am a lawyer. I see this as within the original understanding of the law.
You can draft them, and tell them that their services are needed for purposes of building emergency roads in a very cold area of the state. Maybe in the winter, too
Clay,

As you indicated, gun violence has become a daily occurrence in every community in America. You asked: “Who is benefiting from this? Who wants this?”

Names like Smith & Wesson, Colt, Browning, Berretta and Ruger come to mind.

RW,

Even though I studied law, I’m not a lawyer. I have to take your word for the potential legal benefits of a state draft. It sounds as if it might work to bring the gun-nuts into a “gun-friendly” environment that would be controlled by the states.
Steven,

In all your words you have not addressed the real problem which is what to do with crazy people and gang bangers who commit most gun violence.

Your idea are kind of like you driving down the street and your car quits so you open the hood and start looking around and playing with all the parts trying to get better gas mileage. Maybe you should just put gas in it and fix the real problem that you face right them.
Well, if we can write a “sensible” right to bear arms amendment; then write “sensible” legislation that will limit the possession of “sensible” firearms to be owned by only “sane” people; then enforce those laws so that illegal guns are removed from the streets; then “maybe” we can find a way to get those guns away from “crazy people and gang bangers.”
Switzerland has something like this. Only 5% of their military is a professional military. 95 percent of it is a citizens militia. Here, all the citizens keep their equipment (except ammunition) in the home, in case they are invaded, or in case there is a national emergency/disaster, etc...

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

Here, this is sort of what the Second Amendment had in mind. That said, the original understanding of the 2nd Amendment was more encompassing than what the Swiss do, because the Swiss grant the weapons and can withold ammo. Plus, the folks have to give the weapons up after service.

Ideally, I think we should let folks own the weapons. But then we should draft them and keep them in the National Guard and as reservists, as long as they want to own certain types of weapons.

This wouldn't apply to shotguns, rifles, etc... but to other types of weapons. The best compromise. Then, we could send these guys to war, maybe, and not have to deal with them. lolol.
Steven,

In all your words you have not addressed the real problem which is what to do with crazy people and gang bangers who commit most gun violence.

Your idea are kind of like you driving down the street and your car quits so you open the hood and start looking around and playing with all the parts trying to get better gas mileage. Maybe you should just put gas in it and fix the real problem that you face right them.
Catnlion,

You wrote this same comment earlier today (see above). Please see my response that followed.
You are absolutely correct! Us non-anarchist clearer thinking citizen should be re-drafting a brand new second. But why are our voices drowned out by the louder more obnoxious squeeky cogs in the wheel?
Ice,

Unfortunately, “the louder more obnoxious squeaky cogs in the wheel” are being paid many millions of dollars (directly or indirectly) by the arms industry to “squeak” louder than everyone else.
Lawyers vie with theologians in their ability to twist words and obtain meaning from ambiguous prose. I am with the writer - let's not concern our selves with the past nor with meaning, just fashion a replacement in our own image.
Well spoken Terry.

In regards to a sensible Right to Bear Arms Amendment, let’s “fashion a replacement in our own image.”
Truth is the founders did want to see every household with military style weapons. Unfortunately at the time the technology was pretty much rifles, swords and a few cannons. The intent was first to form militias to protect from a possible invasion and second much less likely was the overthrow of the government and suspension of the constitution.

The reality is if the latter was to happen even if every household had fully auto M-16s it would be no match for predator drones, smart bombs, and a whole host of high tech weapons. Reality would be a bloody drawn out civil war. I find it interesting that the same people who cry the most about any gun control are the same major supporters of greater military and police power. They wave their flags and gave full support for the build of greater and greater military and CIA power during the Bush years while not even considering who would be taking away their guns and freedoms?

Instead of worrying who many clips they can have maybe if the same freedom loving people spent a little more time becoming educated on the issues and become involved in the political process the need for more guns would be a moot point.
Steven, between your post and comments you use the word "sensible" nine times. But the example you provide of what's wrong with the Second Amendment is Washington DC v. Heller. Apparently you found the Washington DC handgun ban to be one of these "sensible" laws that run afoul of the "antiquated" Second Amendment.

Heller wasn't about assault rifles. It wasn't about bazookas. It wasn't about high-capacity magazines. It wasn't about private gun sales. It wasn't about military weapons. It wasn't about concealed carry. At the very minimum, it was about the right to have a small caliber revolver in YOUR OWN HOME in order to defend yourself from death or serious bodily injury.

According to the Wikipedia article, plaintiffs in Heller included Shelly Parker, "a single woman whose life had been threatened on numerous occasions by drug dealers who have sometimes tried to break into her house." It also included Tom Parker, a gay man who in a different state used a handgun to defend himself against "a gang of about 20 young men who used profane language regarding his sexual orientation and threatened his life." It also included Dick Heller, whose neighborhood had been "transformed from a child-friendly welfare complex to a drug haven."

If in your opinion, it's sensible to prevent these people from defending their own lives in their own homes -- even with just a revolver based on nineteenth-century technology -- then what WOULDN'T be sensible?
Mishima,

Apparently you didn’t read my response to your previous comment regarding DC v. Heller. As I said in that response, I was using the D v. H case to show how SCOTUS is making its own laws by overturning laws put in place by legislative bodies. Your or my interpretation of the “sensibility” of that case is not the issue. Here are the exact words of my previous response:

“You’re right about DC v. Heller being “primarily about the right to have a handgun at home for self defense,” but that’s not why I brought up this 2008 decision. I used DC v. Heller as an example of SCOTUS’s trend to “make laws” by overturning legislation written by elected officials trying to protect people in the districts they represent. The most important point in D v. H, I feel, is that it clearly separated the rights of “militias” versus the rights of “individuals,” stating for the first time that SCOTUS interprets the wording in the 2nd Amendment to apply strictly to “persons,” which it doesn’t.

Again, what I’m saying in my post is that the wording in a Gun Rights Amendment needs to be definitively written so that SCOTUS and the lower courts are able to clearly defend the will of the people based on language that spells out specifically what “the people” really want in regard to sensible gun control.”