The Amendment

In my last two posts (three if you include the book review) I have done my best to indicate that while I disagree with you, I do hear what you’re saying. I’m now asking, do you hear me?

In a surprising turn of events for me, whereas I initially wanted to effectively smear your claim, I have instead concluded that at the root of your claim, you are calling for the law. This is a very reasonable claim, a very humane claim. But there is a problem with it.

You think these shootings, the school ones especially, evidence that we are living in a state of chaos–in some situation similar to that which is before the law–and you desire to do something about it.

However, the law is already here. We are not in a state of chaos in the United States of America. Several hundred, perhaps even one thousand people have broken the law in the last twenty years in ways that previously seemed unimaginable. This is new, yes, but it is not chaos.

Hear me now. These events do not indicate that we have returned to the state of nature. They do not even indicate that we are in a trajectory towards the return to the state of nature.

Do you hear me? I’m asking you to listen. I listened to you. It’s the least you can do.

The law is not determined by elections. You (meaning literally you, the person reading this, and not meaning the generic “anyone”), you cannot vote the law out or in.

What to do?

The only option you have is to amend the Constitution of the United States of America, and that is a very real option which I do believe we (you and I–folks who disagree) should examine through civil discourse. But I wonder if you even know how it is done? If you do not, then you definitely are in no position to accomplish this possibly desirable task.

I know you don’t want to hear this, but I say this is the only option you have because I believe that every other option is anarchy–a subversive dismantling of the law. And this dismantling is a step in the opposite direction of what you want if you really want to keep certain firearms out of the hands of civilians while in the hands of the warriors.

In pictures from the marches, I saw a sign which said, “America, the world is watching.”

Do you hear them?

If you amend the Constitution, then we follow the footsteps and stand on the shoulders of our founders and teach the watching world the law. If you pass any other legislation–any whatsoever–then we demonstrate that we do not value the law. This, again, is the opposite of what you have said you desire.

And this is the precise point of disagreement.

Do you hear me?

The amendment is the precise point because I am confused by why you think there is any other option. I will listen and read anything you have which you think will help me see your point more clearly. I want the shootings to stop as much as you do.

Do you hear me?

Your turn.

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3 comments

  1. Daedalus

    Having read your latest post, specifically your assertion regarding the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, and having understood your demand to be heard, I now respond; not just as a Columbine Dad, but as a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and licensed practicing attorney in the State of Colorado for over twenty years. Let’s start with the words, themselves:

    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. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

    In my reading of this 2nd Amendment, it does not directly address AR-15’s or similar weapons. Therefore, it is my legal opinion that repeal or amendment is not a necessary prerequisite to addressing the gun violence issue.

    In my reading of the 2nd Amendment, it omits any mention of individual ownership of guns. It instead specifies the plural form. This directs my conclusion that any right of the people regarding Arms is a collective or community right, rather than an individual one.

    It is also my legal opinion that the Constitution of the United States must be read and considered in its entirety in order to fully address the questions you raise. I refer you to the Preamble of the document where the framers stated that unified purpose in adopting the document:

    “…in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish…” https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript

    It is also my legal opinion that when children and youth are massacred in our schools, churches, and public places that domestic tranquility, common defense, and the general welfare are being trampled by ineffective government.

    It is also my legal opinion that the 2nd Amendment does not, and never was intended to permit unbridled gun ownership. I am NOT against gun ownership. I AM a gun owner: one who believes in reasonable limitations on their use. I AM against assault style weapons, devices to convert semiautomatics to automatic weapons, machine guns, and other weapons of mass destruction that have no place in the hands of individuals. I AM also against the many loopholes that allow unregulated gun ownership.

    Please note that in researching and preparing this response I have relied upon transcriptions of the original documents as maintained by the US government archives. The quoted words include capitalization, spelling, and punctuation, as originally written by the framers. In conclusion, I point out that these framers choose to capitalize certain nouns in the Preamble. Careful reading directs that the words “Tranquility” “Posterity” “Blessings of Liberty” and “Justice” are all capitalized. The words “common defence” are not. I therefore conclude and it is my legal opinion that maintaining a well-regulated militia was the lowest priority of the framers in terms of understanding their intent.

    Pete, I spent hours on this response. Because it’s you, it’s a freebie. I won’t be billing you for my time or efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

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