Rewriting the Second Amendment

In the mass media recently, there have been repeated calls to rewrite the Second Amendment. I don’t really think that the Second Amendment will be rewritten, not any time soon.

But if it were rewritten, I fear that anti-firearms and anti-self-defense cultural influences would wreak havoc on it. And then the new Second Amendment would become a shadow of its former self. It would become a parody, enshrined in the Constitution, perpetually mocking the blood of those brave colonists who fought to free the people from tyranny — often using their own personal firearms — and who gave their lives to usher in the present age of democracy, freedom, and rights.

Should we keep the Second Amendment as is? Sure, why not. But if it were to be revised, we could quash all those false interpretations that try to restrict the ancient right solely to the members of a State militia. So, here’s my suggestion for a revised Second Amendment that would hopefully be more resistant to misinterpretation, infringement, and denial than the current one.

1. All human beings possess the inalienable right to self-defense, and therefore the right to keep and bear arms to defend themselves, their homes, their families, and innocent bystanders.

2. The right to keep and bear arms includes the right to own and use functional firearms, including the types of firearms used at any time by military forces, the right to carry firearms concealed or openly, the right to buy and sell firearms, and the right to assemble and manufacture firearms, as well as the right to own, use, carry, buy, sell, and make knives and similar edged weapons.

3. All human beings also possess the inalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and therefore the right to own and use firearms and knives for hunting, competition, recreational, and other reasonable purposes.

4. These rights shall not be denied or infringed.

5. Regulation of the rights to firearm and knife ownership, use, carry, commerce, and manufacture shall never be permitted to place any undue burden or restriction on any citizen who is mentally competent, has not been convicted of a violent felony, and is not reasonably suspected of terrorism.

6. Any regulation of any of these rights shall be subject to due process of law, with the burden of proof always on the side attempting to regulate these rights.

So, did I leave anything out? Any changes or subtractions you would like to suggest? I wasn’t sure if I should include knives (or air guns).

See also my previous post: Denying Firearms to Persons on the No-Fly List

– Thoreau

One Response to Rewriting the Second Amendment

  1. This looks pretty good except that I think section 5 should be:

    5. Regulation of the rights to firearm and knife ownership, use, carry, commerce, and manufacture shall never be permitted.

    Don’t allow qualifiers concerning regulation or our descendants will be fighting the same battle we are today regarding government regulation. We used to allow those convicted of violent felonies to carry and own firearms as the theory was that they paid their debt and cleaned the slate with the time they spent in prison. The same with “mental cases” so long as they were law-abiding and not adjudicated insane they were allowed 2nd amendment rights. The British defined the patriots of the Revolution as “terrorists.” Any time you put in place exceptions of any kind to a natural right the government will expand those until the right effectively disappears. Is lack of exceptions going to lead to the occasional incidents in which innocents lose their lives or are injured. Probably. However, this nation has forgotten the old saying that “freedom isn’t free.” Part of the cost of that freedom is the acceptance that bad things will sometimes happen in order that the law-abiding citizenry might exercise their rights without government interference. All one has to do is look at the number of deaths and injuries from auto accidents accepted as “normal” and driving is not a fundamental right.

    All in all, though a worthy effort. I especially like the portion allowing civilian access to any and all military firearms.