About two weeks after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I appeared on AtlanticLive’s “Schools Across America: a Miami Town Hall,” produced by Atlantic Magazine. It was planned well before a troubled teen with a legally purchased weapon of war killed a football coach, athletic director, a geography teacher and 14 students at his former high school.
Repealing the second amendment isn’t the crazy idea here—what’s crazy is thinking that the process will begin and end there. Calls for a balanced budget amendment are also part of the same long-term strategy: putting the entire constitution up for grabs, with hereditary wealth firmly in charge.
Well-meaning people of all political stripes will be stunned by the speed with which their collective needs will be ignored. The coming christofascist theocracy has no room for an engaged citizenry. It wants only foot soldiers (and those who will pay for their arming and feeding).
I think this idea is a distraction from practical action. In our 242 year history, only one amendment to the Constitution has been repealed, the one prohibiting the sale of alcohol. Obviously, an extremely popular effort.
We don’t want a constitutional convention as a way to try and repeal the Second Amendment. The far-right loonies will control the convention and we will probably lose the First, Fourth, Fifth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Seventeenth Amendments for sure, and maybe they’ll repeal the Thirteenth so they can bring back slavery, and let us not forget their hated Sixteenth Amendment that allows for an income tax and the IRS’ existence. Hell, they might change the Second Amendment to require every able-bodied white male to keep a gun, and prohibit people of color from owning one. No, we do not want to open this Pandora’s box. What we need are courts that will allow sensible and modern-day laws governing fire arms possession and use, starting with the general banning of the ownership of military-grade weapons and ammo.
The 2nd Amendment is not the problem. A Supreme Court that consists totally of former corporate lawyers and prosecutors who falsely claim that the ‘right’ to gun ownership is virtually unlimited IS the problem. The bigger problem is the imperialist capitalist political economy, owned and controlled by oligarchs and plutocrats and their Duopoly lackeys who came up with the current crop of Supreme Court pissants. We’d be better off the Diana Ross and the REAL Supremes. Seriously.
"Why not a Constitutional Convention to discuss gun control among other proposed changes?"
Because, as GuildF312S wrote, the corruption and greed of the 1% and vast wealth that have our nation and people by the frelling throat, would never stop at “gun control” (even if such a convention could happen), their stranglehold on politicians, both corrupt parties (including the DINO sellouts, Chris), and (nearly) all politicians and the mechanisms of “elections” and such a “convention” would make every rotten corruption, greed-driven atrocity, and corporate fascist threat, the “new” law…
“I think individual states in today’s world should decide this issues (sic).” How the love did you come-up with this utter BS?..
What’s sad is the widespread misunderstanding of the so called Bill of Rights.
Those who desire a totalitarian State believe in permissions granted or withheld by the State.
“Lets revoke the permission to be armed. That’ll make everyone safe!”
All the first 10 amendments could be repealed and it wouldn’t make any difference at all, or at least it shouldn’t.
Do you really believe that government should have the power to prevent peaceful assembly or free speech?
“Oh noze!! We should keep the ones I like and get rid of the GUNZ!!!”
The Bill of Rights isn’t a short list of what we are allowed to do. They are specific limitations on what the government is allowed to do.
That’s why there are phrases like “shall make no law”, “shall not be infringed”, “shall not be violated” are sprinkled throughout.
And to make sure the powers that be understand this Amendment IX states:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Rights people, not permissions.
The Second Amendment contains a word that the current regime of right-wing krapitalists hate:
“REGULATED.” They hate regulations.
The wondrous Supreme Court has seen fit to ignore completely this part of the Second Amendment.
For example, under existing law, the regulation could be; “Each citizen who is in the militia may keep one single-shot muzzle-loading smoothbore musket and one bayonet in the home
and may bear these on his/her person only when attending mandatory monthly musterings of the
militia. Five musket balls and five bags of powder may be kept in the home, but not more.”
Under existing law, this would be a legitimate and reasonable regulation of the militia, upholding the Second Amendment. You know who hates regulations, right?
An incredible naivete and misplaced trust in government must underlie such ideas as repealing the Second Amendment. It is as if, if we just trust in the authorities, and not in the people, everything will be great. But the bill of rights wasn’t added as a kind and pleasant afterthought to the U.S. Constitution; there would be no United States had these 10 amendments not been included. Meanwhile, they have been steadily eroded while the people sleep. No, we don’t need to repeal the Second Amendment, we need to reform society from top to bottom, starting with a captive, dishonest press that cherry picks the news. Corruption is rampant and propaganda is the rule of the day, and it isn’t the fault of the Constitution.
Well it absolutely will be officially-cum-popularly portrayed as a crazy idea. And the next step of the NRA, et al agitprop will be to hang this crazy idea around the necks of those that started and sustain the current movement, those who never started in that direction and would just like to see some god-damned sensible restrictions and enforcements. And thereby delegitimize them.
The idea of regular constitutional review and revision is great in theory, but in the current political environment I believe it would be impossible and probably disastrous. The congress is mandated to regularly construct an honest budget and we see how well that’s working of late.
Pushing for a Constitutional Convention at this point in US History is folly, utter folly.
Imagine what a lovely Constitution would emerge after all is said and done.
Now onward with much restricted gun regulations, including a nationwide ban on concealed carry and get them out of the National Parks.
So it’s your right to own a machine gun? A bazooka? A nuclear weapon?
All are “arms”, correct?
Nukes are pretty heavily regulated and expensive to get but functioning machine guns and bazookas are perfectly legal to own.
While machine guns, bazookas, mortars and artillery, for example, are historically considered “arms” and have never been banned at a federal level, I’m not sure about bombs in general.
“But big ideas win elections.”
Bring back the draft.
That could be what it will take to make sure people learn how to handle weapons safely, keep our kids from becoming cannon fodder by voting out war profiteering oligarchy politicians and giving kids a good example to prevent the PTSD, suicides and violence in society instead of becoming gangsters for capitalism.
There are two sensible explanations I am aware of for why the second Amendment was passed. The one I was taught in grade school was that several of the founders admired the Swiss system of defense which relied not on professionals but on a militia peopled with armed and well trained and regulated citizens who could be called up on a moment’s notice to defend against an invasion. In this view, the purpose of the second Amendment was to avoid establishing military organizations like the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force. Clearly the country has abandoned any such utopian illusions by now; so if that is the reason for the second Amendment then there is no longer any reason for it.
The second (and more plausible) explanation for how the second Amendment came to be is that southern slave states insisted on having a guarantee that they could continue to maintain militia units for the purpose of rounding up fugitive slaves. Even more than the first example, this justification for the second Amendment now seems particularly anachronistic.
Repeal the 2nd Amendment?
What a terribly naive, misguided notion. Does the author have ANY clue about what an American majority might say about this? Or the consequences of such an effort?
Just suggesting this is doing nothing other than adding fuel to the gun lobby’s efforts - confirming what they’ve been saying all along; playing to the worst fears of their audience: that the government , i.e. liberals, “have just one real agenda: to take away all your guns”.
This isn’t the first time I’ve read such a suggestion but I really can’t believe ANYONE is so clueless as to propose in public print the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
And this is to say nothing of the other consequences: i.e. the enhanced risk of repealing a number of amendments protecting civil rights and democracy.
No. When the people are ready to push for a constitutional solution to the problem of concentrated capital in electoral and policy politics - then, and not until then, should we be talking about amending the constitution.
Ironically, it is in fact that power, i.e. that of concentrated capital (as wielded through lobbies like NRA), that keeps us from passing reasonable restrictions on citizens’ possession and use of weapons of mass destruction.
Is the Constitution “a living document”
Or dead letters from dead men?
The problem is this country is founded on genocide of Native American people and African American poeple. The U.S., especially white men, LOVE guns and wars and killing. Of course the 2nd amendment should be repealed. That’s obvious to any sane person, including much of the rest of the world. That doesn’t go far enough. End our military and it’s ongoing invasions and genocides. Start there.
Sorry, but I believe I’m quite sane, and I don’t believe the 2nd amendment should be repealed…even if it were at all feasible to do so. And I believe from various polling done over the years on related questions, a majority of Americans would probably concur.
While it’s entirely possible that a majority of Americans are insane, I don’t think that’s a tenable position.
Wow! You want a country, the majority of whose citizens are insane, to have a right to have guns? Trying to let that sink in…it’s not sinking very far or very fast, I’m afraid. Cognitive dissonance abounds.
Wow. I suggest reading again. Or perhaps if that fails to clarify what I said, try a course in reading comprehension.
I certainly didn’t suggest that the majority of US citizens are insane; in fact, quite the opposite.
But apparently you believe they are; given that you stated that all sane people would support a repeal of 2nd amendment ; while Americans by and large DO generally support the right to bear arms (within limits).
So, setting aside for a moment our apparent disagreement about the sanity of the majority of Americans, do I believe in or support the right to have guns? Certainly…within limits. While I don’t hunt, I have many family & friends who do; all of them to stock their freezers. Rifles are all but a necessity. I also used to enjoy competitive target shootng, using pistols of various calibers. Every one of my 8 remaining siblings, all registered D’s, have used firearms for similar purposes. I think it safe to say that not ONE would support a repeal of 2nd amendment, confiscation of guns, etc.
And that is a pretty mainstream view.
What MOST (if not all) of us would agree to, however, is that the 2nd amendment does not and should not stand in the way of rational restrictions on the kinds of guns in civilian hands. There are a number of such restrictions that make sense, again, to an apparent majority; none of which are inherently in conflict with the 2nd amendment.