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View Diary: Eichenwald of Vanity Fair: "Repeal the Second Amendment" (63 comments)

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  •  This is a really bad idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, theatre goon, PavePusher

    for two reasons:

    First, the Second Amendment probably does not prevent Congress from enacting just about any kind of gun control legislation that could get passed in Congress. Even Scalia's opinion in the Heller case allows for all kinds of regulation of ownership of firearms. The challenge of enacting gun control legislation does not come from the Constitution; it comes from the political composition of Congress. If the Constitution does not prevent us from doing most of what we might want to do, why start by messing with the Constitution? Let's start by enacting sensible gun control legislation--that is a big enough challenge--and then see if any of that is going to be overturned by the courts. Only then might we have a Constitutional problem.

    Second, once you start tinkering with the Bill of Rights, where do you stop? You might want to restrict individual rights to own firearms, a right that a lot of people think is very precious (and in fact if it didn't have its own amendment, a lot of people would think is protected by the much broader constitutional guarantees of the 5th and 14th amendments, and possibly others). But once you amend the constitution for the first time in history to restrict individual rights (unless you count prohibition, but we corrected that mistake), some other group is going to want to restrict the right to an abortion (which by the way is not even mentioned in the Bill of Rights), or gay marriage, or free speech, or the protection from government sponsorship of religion, or search and seizure, or self-incrimination, etc., etc.

    I say, don't mess with the text of the Bill of Rights. Period.

    •  Your second arguementd reminds me of... (0+ / 0-)

      ...a commonly given arguement that I used to hear about why shouldn't pass the ERA.

      Can't mess with perfection.

      •  The difference is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton, PavePusher, KVoimakas

        that the ERA would have expanded constitutional rights. I have no problem with amending the constitution to do that. We have done it before with the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments.

        What you have to be careful of is amending the constitution to strip away people's rights.

        •  The 2nd, as interpreted by Scalia, doesn't... (0+ / 0-)

          ...give rights to people, it gives rights to guns.

          There's a difference.

          The 20 children and 6 women who were massacred in Sandy Hook Elementary are people. The 2nd Amendment didn't protect their rights.

          The AR-15 Bushmaster that killed them is a gun. And that gun's rights were indeed well protected by the 2nd Amendment.

          But guns are not people, my friend.

          •  What rights do guns have?nt (0+ / 0-)

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:35:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Guns have no rights. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              If I owned a gun, I could torture it, I could lock it up forever, and I can even destroy it if I wanted to.

              It is people who have the right to own a gun, and like it or not, a lot of people consider that one of their most fundamental rights.

              Still, the idea that victims of gun violence also have rights is a useful idea in this debate. So whenever someone talks about gun owners' rights, it can be an effective response to say, what about the rights of all those kindergarten kids?

              The point is, you can acknowledge that gun owners have rights, and still support regulation of those rights.

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