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Old June 10, 2010, 07:34 PM   #1
johnwilliamson062
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28th amendment

I have long thought that "anti-"s really needed to pursue a constitutional amendment to legally change gun rights.
What do you think about pro-gunners pushing a constitutional amendment to improve/solidify gun rights?

I know the second amendment SHOULD be impossible to improve on, but there is obviously some misunderstanding of it.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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I think that gun rights have been trending the right direction for the past few decades, even without a Constitutional amendment.

Also, the risk to the RKBA cause is great if you set your sights that high and then fail. Look what's happened to the anti-flag burning movement after their failed ten-year push for an amendment - the issue's been essentially dead since 2006.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:50 PM   #3
johnwilliamson062
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Well, I think their anti-flag burning movement was dead from the onset, so it isn't a good comparison.
My main concern would be it causing an anti-s push for an amendment and possibly being successful.
How many states have tenth amendment legislation up? How many of those have some sort of firearms provision?
Maybe not a repeal of the Hughes amendment, but guaranteeing semi-auto guns, maybe eliminating restrictions on bore size, removing magazine restrictions etc. All those seem like they would be reasonably attainable.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:59 PM   #4
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How can it ever have gotten this way......

George Washington must be rolling in his grave....
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Old June 10, 2010, 08:00 PM   #5
ScottRiqui
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Well, I think their anti-flag burning movement was dead from the onset, so it isn't a good comparison.
I believe it was far from "dead from the onset". It passed the House every time it was introduced from 1995 to 2005, and twice during that period, it only failed in the Senate by 4 votes. Of course, who's to say if it would have been ratified by the states?

But I think you and I both agree that trying and failing would invite a huge backlash from the antis. Like the saying goes, "if you're going to try to kill the king, you'd better kill the king".
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Old June 10, 2010, 08:10 PM   #6
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I thought that the first ten amendments, being part of the bill of rights, are unchangeable and unchallengeable by later amendments. That being part of the beauty of our bill of rights and constitutions. Am I incorrect in thinking that? The only things that can happen regarding the first 10 amendments is that the Supreme Court (or as some refer to it: SCOTUS) can interpret whether or not laws and cases are constitutional or not.

I wouldn't worry about a new amendment regarding gun control or gun ownership laws, myself. But I'd still suggest writing political bodies to exert out concerns and feelings regarding such.
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Old June 10, 2010, 08:34 PM   #7
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What do you think about pro-gunners pushing a constitutional amendment to improve/solidify gun rights?
I think it would end up being redundant. If we have the clout to pass the 28th Amendment, we should have the clout to preserve the 2nd.

I'm always wary of amending the Constitution when all that's needed is to focus on what's already there.
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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I really think your idea of a 28th amendment would never make it. the country at this time is too closely divided. You could never get 3/4 of the states to agree to it.
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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I don't think any of it is set in stone

Which is why we have an amendment process in the first place. I think, if following all the rules for ratification, an amendment to dissolve the Fed Govt and replace it with a king would be legal under the Constitution.

OF course it would have to pass, and be ratified.

It does bring up a question, does the Supreme Court have the ability to rule on the Constitution? I think not. Their function is to rule on laws, made underneath the Constitution, not on the supreme document (and its amendments), isn't it?

Our Founders counted on the enlightened self interest of the people to keep government from doing something monumentally stupid, and the ability of an armed populace to be the final check, should the government refuse to listen to the people. For the most part, so far, it has worked. But I'm beginning to have my doubts for the future.

And mostly, its about the ability of the people to act in their own best interest. For that, they have to know what that is, and then do it. Controlling the information the people use to base their decisions on goes a long way to ensuring what those decisions will be.

There are two recognised processes for changing the Constitution. The Amendment process, and a Constitutional Convention.

The Amendment process has, to date, always focused on a single basic issue, per amendment. Any change could be wrought through the amendment process, and any section could be repealed via the same process. Prohibition is a prime example.

A Constitutional Convention is the other constitutionally recognised process, and while it is claimed that such a convention could be called only for a single issue, the language of the constitution allows the delegates to said convention to determine what items will be up for change. And, it is the sitting Congress which determines who, and in what proportions the delegates will be. SO, quite literally, everything is up for consideration at a Constitutional Convention.

If enough delegates voted for a King, and enough of the states ratified it, a king we would have.

We are making decent, if slow progress in recent years, undoing the decades of work by liberal anti-gun legislators and administrations. Note that when things were going pretty well in the nation, one of our big concerns was domestic crime, and by extension gun control laws. Since 2001, and the general recognition that ownership of personal firearms is not the huge overwhelming problem it was made out to be in the decades before, anti gunners haven't had much luck advancing their agenda.

We have other, much more important and time critical things we, as a nation ought to be focused on. Pushing for an amendment to strengthen gun rights will ONLY serve to bring the issue to public attention again, and it is the other side that has the loudest public voice. I don't see it as being advantageous to our cause.

We chould continue to work quietly, through the legal system and grass roots activism. When it gets in the public eye, in the "mainstream" media, it becomes an emotional issue, and the other side's emotional arguments gain strength from it.

The nation's general mood is shifting. Many are fed up with what has been going on, and what is planned for us. And the politicians are seeing it. Some are even beginning to realize that there is a limit to what we, the people, will put up with. The rats are scurrying, but they have not yet begun jumping off the sinking ship.

The time to push hard is not yet.
Soon, perhaps, but not just yet.
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:27 PM   #10
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I thought that the first ten amendments, being part of the bill of rights, are unchangeable and unchallengeable by later amendments.
The Constitution (as amended) can be changed by amendment. For example, the 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment. There is nothing about the first ten amendments that make them immune to later amendment, any more than any other part of the Constitution.
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Old June 10, 2010, 10:32 PM   #11
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What do you think about pro-gunners pushing a constitutional amendment to improve/solidify gun rights?
I would much rather see an effort to revise the commerce clause than to rewrite the second amendment.
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Old June 11, 2010, 08:27 AM   #12
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The only thing I would do is to strike the militia clause. It wouldn't bother me if Congress repealed every reference to the militia in the Constitution, as IMHO the entire original concept of the militia has been obsolete for at least 120 years.

OTOH I'll admit that Congress has bigger fish to fry.
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Old June 11, 2010, 09:16 AM   #13
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I know the second amendment SHOULD be impossible to improve on, but there is obviously some misunderstanding of it.
No language is so clear that a determined and unscrupulous opponent cannot misconstrue or ignore it.
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Old June 11, 2010, 01:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Thomme
I thought that the first ten amendments, being part of the bill of rights, are unchangeable and unchallengeable by later amendments. That being part of the beauty of our bill of rights and constitutions. Am I incorrect in thinking that? ....
Yes, you are incorrect in thinking that.

Article V provides for the amendment of the Constitution, not just part of the Constitution. The only limitation on amendment is, as set out in Article V, "...no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

Since we're well past 1808, everything in the Constitution, except perhaps a State's equal suffrage in the Senate, is potentially on the table.
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:15 PM   #15
Hugh Damright
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everything in the Constitution, except perhaps a State's equal suffrage in the Senate, is potentially on the table.
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an amendment to dissolve the Fed Govt and replace it with a king would be legal under the Constitution
It seems to me that the basic constituted frame of government must be beyond the scope of an amendment power ... if a new frame of government is desired, then a convention and new constitution are necessary ... I believe that what Virginia consented to was an amendment power whereby 3/4 of the States can make amendments to the federal compact, not an amendment power where 3/4 of the States can replace the federal compact with anything they fancy and bind Virginia.
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hugh Damright
It seems to me that the basic constituted frame of government must be beyond the scope of an amendment power ... if a new frame of government is desired, then a convention and new constitution are necessary ...
On what basis? Certainly as a practical and political matter a complete overall by amendment would be unlikely, but there is nothing in the language of the Constitution to prevent it.
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:37 PM   #17
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Agreed - I think the wording of what can be changed by amendment is left pretty vague because the framers knew that anything too "crazy" (i.e. a wholesale restructuring of the entire framework of government) wouldn't make it through all the required "wickets" to pass (2/3 majority in both the House and Senate, followed by a ratification by 3/4 of the states, or a Constitutional Convention called for by 2/3 of the State legislatures.)
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:55 PM   #18
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How about we try logical, literal, consistent, grammatical, original-intent type interpretations of the existing document before we go about changing it further?



mm'kay?
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:57 PM   #19
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That's a good point - what did "well-regulated" mean in the late 18th century, anyway?
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Old June 11, 2010, 06:05 PM   #20
johnwilliamson062
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How about we try logical, literal, consistent, grammatical, original-intent type interpretations of the existing document before we go about changing it further?
Yeah, we are making progress on that front. We might, someday, get to where we once were with the courts using this strategy. We also might end up with very little. Mix in politics, agendas, etc. Best case scenario it could very likely take a few decades. I would like to have the issue settled before the debt bubble burst.
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Old June 11, 2010, 06:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
what did "well-regulated" mean in the late 18th century, anyway?
Given the meanings of the word "regulate" at the time, I would suggest that "well-regulated" was intended to mean "in good order". In other words, the men available for the militia would be well-documented, the standards for who is or is not "available" would be clear and concise and the militia itself would have a controlling governmental body to insure it's proper training and function, were it to be called.

Since no one could know the time, place or necessity of having the militia called, the right of the people to keep and bear arms can not be infringed. We must have arms available should the militia be needed.

Also, considering that the two clauses are separated, I think it's clear that the "militia clause" is a single descriptor and not the over-riding singular reasoning for the second clause.
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Old June 11, 2010, 08:45 PM   #22
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I just can’t warm up to the idea of trying to fix something that isn’t broken … to compensate for ignorance of the people and judicial abuses.

A Constitutional Amendment to require Constitutional rulings according to original intent and a check placed on the power of the Supreme Court sounds tempting, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out a way to word it where it couldn’t be twisted, or a way to place a check on the power of the Supreme Court that would provide the "consistency over time" supposedly present (and needed, imo).

To "fix" this problem, all I can think of would be a cultural repair rather than Constitutional Amendment. Bring back the concepts of honor, duty, and honesty as superior to any personal desire. Alas, our founding fathers were optimists and children of the beginnings of the Age of Enlightenment before it went awry. I doubt they could imagine a society without personal honor, without duty to principle, and with moral relativism.

Thankfully through their providence, based on their view of Providence and a touch of realism, we have some of our unalienable rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
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Old June 11, 2010, 09:32 PM   #23
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That's a good point - what did "well-regulated" mean in the late 18th century, anyway?
As previously mentioned, "well regulated" meant in good working order. A "well regulated" machine was one that worked well. Double rifles are "well regulated" when both barrels shoot to the same point of aim.

A "well regulated" militiaman meant one who showed up at muster with his weapon, shot, powder, supply of food, basic camping gear, and being familiar with basic military maneuvers and discipline.

It had nothing to do with "regulations" meaning laws and rules.
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Old June 11, 2010, 09:58 PM   #24
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well regulated, Providence, etc.

It seems fairly easy to affect language sometimes, and the older usage of words in the Constitution still makes sense with only minor explanation.

One idea is : why not try to start a "language movement" of sorts? If everyone interested in the restoration of rights enumerated in the Constitution began purposefully using these terms in the ways they were used then …

dunno if it would help, but I would be willing to sound like a "geek" if it had a chance of helping.
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Old June 11, 2010, 10:22 PM   #25
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hmm, if we're talking "original intent", are we talking Thomas Jefferson or Glenn Beck? Grab any original writing of that time, and tell me how you determine original intent without 20 years of intense linguistic studies, just to make sure you are actually using the words the same way they did at the time.
As for the SCotUS, for the past 200 years all the important decisions have been made by the supremes, from Dread Scott to separate but equal to Brown vs. Dept of Ed, and not by our elected representative; those are usually to busy to get reelected than to actually pass laws changing things.
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