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Constitutional Problems with the Second Amendment

| Opinion | August 22, 2019

by Rob Werner

Our educational institutions indoctrinate us to believe that the United States was founded as a Democracy. In fact, the founding fathers were adamantly against both democracies and authoritarian governments. They neither wanted a new king or voters redistributing rights or wealth. The constitution and the bill of rights were designed to create a representative government with limited authority, one that could not render decisions that violated certain rights retained by the people. The founders recognized that times change and provided provisions to amend the constitution. But they were convinced that changing our constitution should not be an easy task.

The Second Amendment states: “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.”

The advocates of the Second Amendment preferred an armed populace over a standing army. At the time arms included defensive and offensive weapons, anything an army may need. The founders were revolutionaries and concerned that either a monarch or what might currently be called a progressive would ultimately take control of the government and constitutional safeguards would be ignored.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

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What constitutes arms has advanced over generations not only to include multiple shot assault weapons but missiles and bombs. Advocates of rifle and gun ownership claim that they are supporting the constitution’s provisions providing the right to keep arms. But even they acknowledge the need for restrictions. Those restrictions violate the Second Amendment.

In recent years restrictions are constantly added. Preventing alleged mentally ill people with violent tendencies from acquiring firearms is now almost universally accepted. Odds are that such people who threatened violence in the eighteenth century would have had a short life expectancy. The problem with this approach is that not only is it contrary to the constitution, it sets a basis for denying weapon ownerships to classes of people. A significant number of people believe that supporters of the current president suffer a mental disease. Imagine an executive order by a future progressive president declaring such a disease and immediately initiating the confiscation of guns.

It is difficult to amend the constitution, but it can be done. It was done in the last century to both establish prohibition and repeal it. It was done to give women the right to vote. It was done to limit the term of those serving as President. However, on the failure of The Equal Rights Amendment to win approval, amendments have been abandoned in favor of redefining the constitution to comply with progressive views.

The progressive’s problem with amending the constitution is that amendments require the approval of two-thirds of congress and three-fourths of the states. Their desire to eliminate gun ownership would not pass. However, if they were willing to work with their opponents a compromise could be reached that protected the basic gun/rifle ownership rights of the Second Amendment and added limitations and securities that the public desire.

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