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There are no rules for this discussion. Nothing is out of bounds. Nothing is already setteled or off limits. Here, for now, it literally does not matter what the SCOTUS thinks, or what the Second Amendment says, or anything about the news of the day.

That, after all, is inherent in the very nature of a Constitutional Convention. Clean slates all around, and survival of nothing but the absolutely intellectually strongest ideas.

This should not be a gun control discussion, and it absolutely has nothing do with RKBA. In the world of the future, if we so decree it, there simply is no remnant of the old RKBA. And we would, it seems to me, be wasting our time if we merely focused on "gun control". The purpose of the Constitutional Convention we are so long over due for as a society, rather, is to say "this is the society we wish to live in, and the following are a comprehensive set of measures we deem necessary for the creation, and/or the continuation of said social conditions." Rather than trying to design and administer bandaids, we would be looking at society wide solutions to actual society wide, long term challenges.

One reason why I'm sure that our Convention would choose to, at a minimum, tweak the RKBA, is because I'm sure that in revisiting each and every one of what we now consider to be our fundamental rights, deep consideration would result in anything and everything from routine housekeeping to important fine tuning. I don't envision Speech or Press Rights remaining identical with the 1787 language, and it is almost certain (at least to me) that we would choose to make stronger both a "Freedom of Religion", and a corresponding "Freedom from Religion". Likewise for RKBA.

For one thing, it's not at all clear to me how society benefits from pandering to the proclivity of some persons to engage in a "gun hobby". And "Gun Shows"? What the hell legitimate purposes do Gun Shows even serve? Firearms, on the other hand, readily fall into the form and function of the term "tool". Not everyone needs the same tools because not everyone engages in the same activities, or lives the same lifestyle. Clearly some people have greater legitimate needs for self protection than others, some people will have jobs where firearm access, and even use are normal activities, and society clearly could choose to continue the recreational route to habitat and population management, as opposed to putting ever larger numbers of professional animal killers on the public payroll.

Clearly all legitimate subjects for broad, and even spirited public discussion. And, obviously, to no avail if our Convention is anything but thoroughly inclusive, with any and every possible point of view represented by it's demonstrably best and brightest adherents.

And then conspicuous by there absence, and purely voluntarily so, will be the entire universe of talk radio luminaries. Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly, Coulter, Savage, Malkin, Limbaugh, the lot of them. In the market of grand ideas, freely expressed, such small and reactionary "thinkers" would present no competition. Take away their control of discussion, and they have nothing left to offer. I mean, "we're all on our own, and I've got mine so fuck you" can only be said in so many ways before the only thing that comes across is a constant drum beat of "we're all on our own, and I've got mine so fuck you". Love to watch it, but that would help no ones paycheck, so that would be a pure non-starter.

And then, of course, there's always the prevalent negative attitude on Daily Kos towards any really far reaching improvement on the status quo, or at least when the opeartive mechanism is the "Constitutional Convention" route. "Oh, we're too weak, they're to powerful, we'll lose everything, blah, blah, blah." I noticed how well the grand plans of the 1% to buy the last election panned out, and pardon me if I'm willing to believe the claims that demographics are 100% in our favor. I mean, as long as the Koch Brothers are able to get their billions in the hands of one of their resident genuises like Rove, the left might as well just continue to cower in fear of anything that might actually be the ultimate game changer. YEAH, RIGHT!!!

Originally posted to oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and notRKBA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:23:02 PM PST

  •  When it comes to another Constitutional Convention (7+ / 0-)

    my biggest fear is that any suggested changes would be for the worse, not for the better. For example, I could see it being used to pass a "protection of marriage" amendment, to limit free speech rights, to diminish church-state separation, and generally be hijacked by those on the extreme right wing.

    If we want to amend the Constitution our best bet is to browbeat the members of Congress into doing the right thing and passing amendments by the standard process.

    •  Exactly what you fear is exactly what was just (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      attempted against Pres. Obama. We have the numbers. Fear not.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:59:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But the amendments would still have to be ratified (0+ / 0-)

      By thirty-eight of the states. There are enough reliably liberal, Democratic states (and reliably conservative, Republican states, for that matter) that any drastic revision would require a pretty broad consensus.

      Even the kind of trade offs that might be made--say, replacing the institution of civil marriage with civil unions for same- and opposite-sex couples, replacing first-trimester abortion-on-demand with abortion-if-a-psychiatrist-believes-pregnancy-will-be-harmful-to-the-mental-health-of-the-mother-or-social-worker-agrees-the-mother-won't-be-able-to-provide-a-nuturing-home-environment (basically the law in the United Kingdom), or allowing the death penalty only in the case multiple murders committed at different times or treason--might be better than the status quo because they'd be trading a minor (and in many cases largely theoretical) infringement of rights for a more legitimate and broad-based consensus on those rights in the vast majority of circumstances.

      •  Your fundamental error is in failing to recognize (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        that the Ratification constraints in the current Constitution are not now binding on us if we choose to go the Convention route.

        Sure, if we choose to do something like the "Morsi Steamroller" we risk untold societal damage, but, for example, if we select a "One Person, One Vote" procedure, and take great pains to ensure that the final turnout is constrained in no respect, the wing nuts simply are in the minority.

        Open up the Convention, and open up Ratification, and the final result will significantly improve the status quo. This country, by any measure, is simply not right wing.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:08:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The legitimate problem with a convention is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, wilderness voice, gerrilea

    That everything would be up for grabs. All of the limitations on Government, and all of our rights. You can't have a convention that just focuses on one weak spot. It must re-decided literally everything.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:46:00 PM PST

    •  "It must re-decided literally everything" (0+ / 0-)

      If by that you mean that we would be free to write on a clean slate (while no one, including me, actually wants to go that far), you are absolutely right.

      But think about this, at a minimum, "Citizens United" just got it's ass kicked in the last election, so good riddance.

      And, because of that result, I don't personally think that the 1% could buy nearly as much of the new Constitution as they obviously own of the old one.

      At the worst, we buy ourselves some breathing room.

      And in the best case, we win it all here and now.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:07:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd fix it with one letter... (6+ / 0-)

    change "keep and 'Bear' arms to keep and 'Bare' arms, thus giving militias and all citizens the constitutional right to wear short sleeved uniforms.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:55:03 PM PST

  •  The 1st Amendment is 100x More Dangerous Than 2nd (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, gerrilea, Pluto, ConfusedSkyes

    to a rational, just and sustainable society. In the case of speech it's the speech not the people that possesses the freedom, which leaves the door open for the ridiculous court findings like money=speech, and Citizens United.

    I have to wonder if this freedom were simply reworded "...the freedom of the people's speech...." maybe we might have the leverage to permit and control corporate and other artificial speech as much as we need.

    Press freedom flat-out doesn't work. Liberating a sector of corporations from obligation and regulation is madness; we see it in every kind of instance where we merely deregulate corporations. There's nothing about news that magically forces a corporation in that sector to act against the interests of its owners and sponsors to the benefit of humanity.

    We've run the experiment. That concept is a total bust.

    And there must be a dozen other features of our system design that are dangerous, weak or logically contradictory to other elements of the system, all of which are worse threats to the nation and to its masses of people than the 2nd amendment.

    Not that I have much support for the 2nd.

    But this is the worst time imaginable to hold an open Constitutional convention. Every power that most threatens us has the most power to stack the event with its minions, and color the public square to favor its consensus.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:25:46 PM PST

    •  Dude, if I were in control, here's what I'd do. (0+ / 0-)

      You'd be a convention delegate, and, if necessary, a "scholarship" would be made available to insure your ability to fully represent exactly the perspective that you display so eloquently here.

      And there would be enough flexibility for "Merit - At large" delegates like yourself to combine, trade, and otherwise leverage your hard earned accomplishments in the way that you see fit.

      We have the right to make our own convention. And it's now clear that we have the power to earn an outcome at least demonstrably better than we face daily in our current circumstances.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:55:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  agreed - overbroad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, ConfusedSkyes

      The press currently has the broad freedom to lie.  People object to any restriction of this "freedom" saying they don't want government enforcement.  But enforcement of any penalties for lying to the public would be via a conviction by jury in a court of law.

      •  The point you make, as valid as it is, is simply (0+ / 0-)

        worthless under the status quo.

        The Founders gave us a way to get to where you and I want to go, but it all counts for nothing if we continue to fearfully cling to the past.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:22:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They've already written one for us. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gilacliff

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    The project was commissioned by the Ford & Rockefeller Foundations at a $25 million cost.

    Their results were the titled:

    Constitution for the Newstates of America

    When you call for a new Constitutional Convention, you really don't know how bad it can become and what little control you or I would actually have.

    It is truly too dangerous to even contemplate.

    Read the highlights of the book and what these "philanthropic" foundations came up with, true tyranny.

     

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:25:27 PM PST

    •  A new constitutional convention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      is an ALEC wet dream. Do you really want to be taxed directly by Exxon or AIG or Goldman? Personally, I kind of prefer having my tax dollars pause briefly in the treasury before being sent along to these thieves. At least it gives me a semblance of hope that the Congress may wake up and start to use the money for a public good.

      If I was any more excited, I would almost be apathetic.

      by gilacliff on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:47:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ALEC is already being forcefully dismantled, and (0+ / 0-)

        the powers that be behind it just pissed billions of dollars away down the Rove and Company rathole. At this point, you're simply afraid of shadows.

        (Ask Pres. Obama of believes that "The Cabal" is unbeatable.)

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:18:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The publication date i saw was 1974. Surely (0+ / 0-)

      you jest!

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:57:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope, you're right, they have it already to go. (0+ / 0-)

        There are some even here on DK that state we've already gotten the required State Legislature's that have voted to hold a new CC and that 3/4's mark was hit in the early 80's.

        Read the highlights, tell me these people aren't still in power today and I'll sell you a bridge in Brooklyn, real cheap.

        ;)

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:03:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are in power. That's why I'm suggesting (0+ / 0-)

          that we remove them from power.

          Why you would want to retain the dysfunctional status quo is really confusing to me.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:15:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're not paying attention, ;) (0+ / 0-)

            The whole point is if and when a CC is called, we will not be at the damn conference table.

            We will not have control of it in any way shape or form, not without armed violence or armed citizens demanding to be let into the room.

            I've researched this for many years and I'm telling you, we will lose any and all vestiges of freedom we hold dear.  

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:08:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I've been doing this since 1983. If you (0+ / 0-)

              don't go back that far, please keep doing your research. If you go back farther than that, please send me your research, so that i can see what I've missed. Thanks.

              There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

              by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:38:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Recc'd for bold, daring - I hope you'll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    keep the idea alive for more than just this evening.

  •  It is Unnecessary. (0+ / 0-)

    A Constitutional Convention is not necessary. What is necessary is for the educational systems of the country to be allowed to teach, regardless of political and religious pressure. What is needed is to disallow anonymous contributions to campaigns in unlimited amounts. What is needed is the recovery of the idea that democracy actually matters. After we do those things, within the present Constitution, then we should see if a massive overhaul is needed.

    There is nothing wrong with the Constitution. There is plenty wrong with how we, as citizens, neglect politics and policymaking.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:03:56 PM PST

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