Our Voice

March for Our Lives – the 2nd Amendment

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.

So say the clear, the unequivocal, the straightforward words of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

No matter the Parkland, Florida killings, no matter the Columbine killings, or any other use of guns and arms to kill, the right to keep those ARMS, to hold and possess them, and the right to bear them, that is use them by the people of any one of the free states of America:

SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED

The Constitution implies that all such killings can not be blamed on guns, arms, but rather on the people who use them. The Second Amendment implies that society can not punish the good people who keep and bear arms even for the purpose of eliminating arms kept and owned by the bad. That, say the critics, was right-thinking THEN, but, not today.


The Parkland, Florida murders, all 17 of them, which occurred some six weeks ago, was the straw which broke the camel’s back.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH said students there and everywhere, and millions of adults with them. Guns, they said, must be controlled or eliminated once and for all from our society, the Second Amendment notwithstanding. In fact, there were millions of citizens who did call for the elimination of the Second Amendment and they still do. There occurred, as you know, MARCH FOR OUR LIVES the country over, and even all around the world. Killings by these guns, these arms, must stop and stop now. Protesters and marchers called upon Congress to create legislation which would control guns. Tens of thousands marched in Washington, D.C. to send that message. But, the marches are over and with so much emotionality in America, the protests seem to have died down. Millions of adults hope that the millions of teenagers, young students will not forget and return but stay the course, continue to protest, and more importantly the demand for ARMS CONTROL. I wonder if they will. Or perhaps, they may wait until November and replace:

BALLOTS FOR BULLETS

Time will tell.

But there seems that insurmountable obstacle, namely the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution which declares as a basic freedom, and an indispensable right, the very right to:

KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

Possess them, and use them without infringement says the Constitution. You can not, Congress, infringe upon either right without a direct, intentional and perhaps even malicious violation of the Second Amendment. No matter, especially in this day and age, that would never prevent the United States Congress, or even state legislatures from trying. In the wake of the virulent BAN GUNS MOVEMENT now happening, here are some of the legislative proposals. What do you, my fellow citizens, think of them.

No person shall purchase arms of any kind unless that person is 21 years of age. If that is enacted, is that an infringement on the Second Amendment? The age of 21 used to be the threshold to adulthood. It is now in so many ways 18, for voting purposes, and even 16 for driving. Should no one be allowed to keep and bear arms who is not 21 years of age? A large portion of our society says that we the people have the fundamental right to decide the age of adulthood, the maturity factor necessary to own a firearm and the age of 21 is reasonable, just and not inconsistent with the Second Amendment. Do you agree?

Reformers and marchers demand that every individual who purchases a gun REGISTER locally, statewide and even nationally. Perhaps, say some, anyone who purchases a firearm should be required to be fingerprinted which should become part of a national database. That registration would include complete information about the individual and some even say that the registration should be renewed every two years. Then comes the other side which sounds loudly and overtly that this requirement if enacted would be a major invasion of privacy, subject the purchaser to harassment, and even to the possibility of danger through potential theft of the weapon. What do you think?

Those who sell weapons, arms of any kind, should be required to and be held responsible for the registration process. If such sellers in their discretion decide to sell a weapon to a purchaser and profit from that transaction, that seller say critics could be held responsible for the actions of the new gun owner and the gun itself. Others, like the NRA, rise up and protest and declare such an idea extremely unconstitutional and vow to resist at all costs. So the question for we the people is whether or not registration, and approval of that registration should be a requirement, a control factor for the purchase of arms and would that invoke the INFRINGEMENT CLAUSE of the Second Amendment. Would it? What do you think?

Further, say the ENOUGH-IS-ENOUGH-ERS, no felon, no convicted felon should be allowed to purchase weapons of any kind. No matter the felony whether that entails the use of a gun or other weapon, if an individual is convicted of a felony, that individual should never be allowed to keep and bear arms. Sounds reasonable, does it not? But the critics remind us that the Second Amendment makes no mention of felons, no prohibition for keeping and bearing arms by felons. If a man or woman is convicted of a felony, should that, can that automatically disqualify and abrogate the right of the felon, still a citizen of some sort, from keeping and bearing arms. Should it?

Then the controllers say, anyone with certified psychological disorders, as seems to have been the case with mass killer Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Florida, anyone with severe mental illness so certified should lose the right to keep and bear arms granted by the Second Amendment. That seems perhaps a slippery slope because there are any number of definitions and certifications by so-called experts regarding mental illness. If qualified doctors so certify, should that disqualify that individual from keeping and bearing arms? And if that is enacted into law, is that an infringement of the Second Amendment rights which do not disqualify those with psychological problems or mental illness. Should it?


Then, say some, there should be a limit to how many weapons, arms any one individual can purchase. That is especially so with regard to truly dangerous weapons in this day and age of advanced technology. Those purchasing limits if enacted could be controlled by states sharing information and multiple purchases of arms disallowed. Critics protest that such a condition is
de facto infringement and on its face unconstitutional. What do you think? Should the right to keep and bear arms have limits to the number of guns one can keep and bear?

And then, say the critics, the controllers, the marcher’s assault rifles and all automatic arms should be banned or seriously controlled. They, say the critics are the weapon of choice in so many mass killings. They were made for the military and not for civilian use. There should be a distinction, they say, between weapons-arms which are strictly military in purpose and use, and those which can be reasonably used by private citizens for their own purposes. But those who disagree refer to the language of the Second Amendment which very directly refers to a well-regulated Militia. That indicates clearly, they say, that the founding fathers felt strongly that there was the necessity for self-defense, even to the point of the banding together, the Militia-effect of citizens in self-defense and for the protection of life and property. No infringement of any kind, no disqualification, no preconditions for the purchase of arms, and the keeping and bearing of those arms no matter the type and kind of the weapon. What do you think? Should assault rifles, AR-15, AK-47 weapons and all like them or even more dangerous be banned from sale and should WE THE PEOPLE be prevented from purchasing such weapons no matter our Constitutional rights. Should that happen?

And there are more, many more proposed control factors, whether unconstitutional or not. Critics, like the NRA, then counterattack. They remind us again that the problem is not the weapon, the ARMS, but the user. Guns are not evil, they say. Only people are. If not a gun, the evil will use knives, blunt force objects, bombs, poisons, moving vehicles or any other instrument capable of mass destruction. It is not the weapon, they strongly say, but the user. Deal with that user, especially the evil one, they say and not the gun.

And increase security, especially on soft targets like schools. Provide security with brave men and women at work, not like those at Parkland who refuse to engage. Provide x-rays, checking machines for entrances to critical places, even as courthouses do.

Some say even arm teachers. Certain teachers. Do you agree?

All say that students everywhere should be on the alert, watching for danger and dangerous signs and even potential killers. Many warned the authorities and even the Parkland school district itself that Nikolas Cruz was a “ticking time bomb.” No one did anything about that. Become more proactive and responsible. And follow the motto:

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING-SAY SOMETHING

And parents. Be more aggressive and demanding.

And law enforcement. Many think Broward County Florida law enforcement officers were negligent. They knew about Nikolas Cruz but did nothing about him. Cruz was evil, and that says the NRA and others, was the problem. Not the assault rifle he used. Do you agree? We live in a day and age of law enforcement intimidation. Many well-intentioned and qualified men and women protecting us seem handcuffed, afraid in many ways to be proactive, preventive, and truly protective for fear of being sued, fired or even killed. Should law enforcement have greater rights with less consequences. Should they become more proactive in protecting us and our children. Should they?

The fear of many, this commentator included, is that there will yet be another assault upon the Constitution. That the Second Amendment will in fact be infringed upon, as will the right of the people, that Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. That is NOT the solution to the problem. Virtually anything proposed can be looked upon as INFRINGEMENT, and in many cases it is just that. UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The answer, the Constitutional answer is to either CHANGE OR ELIMINATE the Second Amendment as the people wish. The real and right answer is to call a convention of the states, of the legislatures or delegates of that state to a:

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

For the purpose of considering and changing the Second Amendment. 34 states can do that. Two-thirds of BOTH houses of Congress Senate and House can do that. If in fact fundamental change or elimination of the Second Amendment is what the people want, that can happen. And if the Amendment is in fact changed in such a way, and not by congressional fiat or unconstitutional control legislation, and not by judicial fiat, Supreme Court decisions, the change can be fundamental, truly national and applicable to all states and all citizens, and of course the Congress and our judicial system.

So I say, my fellow Americans, that we ought to call such a Convention to deal with the Second Amendment IF AND ONLY IF two-thirds of the American people through their state legislatures, some 34 states believe that change should be made. What a marvelous political, social, legislative and even spiritual experience that would be. The debate would be fascinating and the will of the people would eventually prevail, one way or another.

The Second Amendment will be dealt with one way or another, whether constitutionally, legally and rightly or in other unconstitutional ways. I would have it done right by the states and the people.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?