Firearms Rights and a Constitutional Convention

Smart money says that the current SCOTUS will uphold the D.C. Circuit at least to the extent of holding that the Second Amendment creates an individual right. I’m thinking another 5 to 4, with Kennedy doing the writing and maybe trying to “legislate” some sort of a balancing process. They’re too conservative not to strike the D.C. law, but probably will end up too afraid to actually send us as far down the road as the Circuit Court got things started.

My personal belief is that this is just one more subject on which it makes little sense for those of us living now to simply accept without question the original pronouncements of the Founding Fathers. I understand and appreciate the value of having an armed citizenry that could theoretically thwart the efforts of a theoretical despot to create an American dictatorship. However, I also understand the value of bringing our best modern minds to bear in the area of solving our modern problems. Sadly, that’s something that we’ve done all too little of.

It’s like this. To the extent that a Constitutional right exists, the authority to legislate firearms regulation needs to be placed under some real limitations. The line drawing here gets hairy, but the safest bet is that there are any number of laws currently on the books that simply will no longer pass muster. For example, if ex-felons and users of psychiatric medications don’t lose their First Amendment rights, why would the result be an different with respect to the Second Amendment? These things can and should be discussed, and answers created by our current citizens for our current circumstances.

Folks on both sides of this issue actually need to give serious thought to supporting the creation of The Second American Constitutional Convention. The exact level of firearms rights that our country now wants is not clear to anyone yet, but what is clear is that the language of our current Constitution is likely not to provide the best means for us reaching that point.

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3 Responses to Firearms Rights and a Constitutional Convention

  1. While I am a 2nd admendment holder in general, I couldn’t disagree more with a second constitutional convention. With the power of the Christian Nationalists to unite and form very effective voting blocks, it is precisely a 2nd constitutional Convention (2CC?) that would open the door to being stacked to the loose of:
    Separation of Church and State
    Right to Choose
    One man, One Vote
    a Biblical rewriting of the constitution as advocated by Gov. Huckabee
    and dozens more.

    We can fight out the firearms issue in the courts and state legislatures.

    The 2CC is most dangerous provision in the Constituion. That’s why they made it so bloody difficult to call.

    Look at the purely emotional, (in my opinion unreasoning), tide for Obama and you’ll see the danger of a 2CC.

  2. Virginia Cotts says:

    Thomas Jefferson thought the CC should be held every 100 years. He couldn’t get it into the original constitution but I think it is something the 2CC should consider.

    Buzz, I would have been worried about the dangers you mention if the winds and tides were not so clearly changing. I’ve actually read some stuff by a guy more determined to do this than Huckabee to rewrite the Constitution as Biblical extension. In addition to the loss of separation of church and state, women would lose most of their rights.

    I am not supporting Obama for purely emotional or unreasoning choices. It srikes me as absurd that Dems have criticized very good presidential candidates of ’88, 2000, and 2004 for not being able to ‘connect’ with voters. Now we have one who is and he gets accused of having no substance, his followers are ‘cult like’ and all manor of unsupported trashing.

    Drew Westin in “The Political Brain” did a superb job of explaining that (especially for about 85% of the population) the mind does not work the way we think it does. The reason business, and the GOP, have been so successfull selling us goods, services and candidates that are against our better interests, is because they figured this out.

    They expanded demographics into psychographics and get to those decision processes without the rational information we should be using.

    I was leery of the Obama movement for this reason. The conclusion I came to is that Obama is one of the rare individuals who has style and substance. His campaign speeches are heavier on style – because it helps with the connection. If you go check his policies and read the various analysis, there is not that much difference between Obbama and Hillary. And some of that is simply because, like the war, there are only so many reasonable ways to do something. Which one is better at this point is moot. The plans, whatever they are now, will get changed once they are in office.

    What Obama is building, that this country desperately needs, is a movement by We, the people, to take back our responsibility to actively participate in the governing process. Hillary’s point about LBJ was quite accurate. But LBJ could never have done it without MLK and the movement. He originally told MLK the Fair Housing Law would not get through, that the blacks would have to settle for what had already been accomplished.

    I think it was less than a year later that fair housing act made it through Congress.

    There is a story about a woman who asked Ben Franklin what kind of government the new, about to be released, constitution would establish. His answer:

    “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

    I am very concerned that if Americans don’t realise very soon that in order to keep our country, we have to do more than vote and pay taxes, we will lose it.

  3. I’m in favor of a Convention that would be composed of at least 5,000 participants, and preferably 10,000. Most would be selected popularly, and, to insure that everyone can have a chance to participate, compensation would be available for those delegates needing it. I believe that there is no way that such a gathering could be “stacked”.

    On an issue by issue basis, there is no social conservative position that enjoys majority support in this country. In fact, most poll in as being favored by roughly the same 30% of the population that still consider GWB to be a real President. Given that nothing changes without ratification, I see only upside in this situation.