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[Update: I'll write more about this when some work deadlines are over, but a quick note for now is in order. For weeks, the poll below reflected that about 70% of DailyKos members support repeal or amendment of 2A, tapering off with a vote around 245 in favor, out of 350 total votes cast. Suddenly, around Jan 6, this diary caught the attention of dozens of right-wing gun-nut websites, tweeters, and email lists (some of which I subscribe to). They encouraged their members to 'freep' the poll. ("Freep, verb, 1) To cheat an online poll by repeatedly voting [clearing cookies, using proxies]. 2) To subject to a mass internet or email assault aimed at pushing a particular point of view.") Google this diary's URL, and you'll see the kinds of sites that did this, and their flagrant appeal to their members to vote multiple times. The sites are places like -- "I just voted 20 times," "LMAO!!! You can vote as many times as you want!". Or -- named after the AR-15 assault rifle, like the Bushmaster XM-15 used at Sandy Hook. On find calls for a "firemission" against this diary and its poll. "Anyone can vote, you don't have to sign up for communist DailyKos." '' -- get it? Time for a second '1776' US revolution, because Obama. -- a 'prepper'/survivalist forum. @SacBlackRifle, "Sacramento's home for all of your black rifle needs. You can order from our secure web site..." Etc. It seems we've struck a nerve. ;-) Perhaps they recognize how paper-thin is the veneer that for the past 3 decades has prevented meaningful gun-violence measures from being implemented.]

For too many decades the NRA, GOA, SAF and other groups which house right-wing gun-nuts have increasingly used the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as an inviolable cloak, that protects their crazy agenda from any meaningful reform.

That time is over. We invite you to join and contribute to our DailyKos group, "Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment" (RASA): . Please share your own ideas for achieving the goal of reducing gun-violence, in diaries and comments.

It is time for Progressives to seize the bull by the horns, stand up to the NRA bullies, and state outright: "The Second Amendment needs to be reinterpreted, repealed or amended."

Do so, raise this prospect in a calm, rational and reasoned way, and the curtain gets pulled back on their 'wizardry'. They're scared to death of this, they know that open support for reinterpeting/repealing/amending the Second Amendment (2A) is their kryptonite -- if too many people start doing it, their whole house of cards comes crumbling down. It shifts the Constitutional burden onto them.

Do you own or like guns? No worries! Private American citizens will still own guns. Always. Even if the Second Amendment were repealed/amended. Private gun ownership will not end. US citizens will always have the 'right to keep and bear arms', even when it's no longer in the US Constitution. (It still is, in 32 states' constitutions.) Really, truly, honestly, and forever. Look at every other Western nation. Their citizens go hunting with private arms, shoot targets with private arms, join gun clubs, have shooting competitions, etc. -- all without a constitutional amendment guaranteeing this right. (They also drive cars, without a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to keep and drive cars. Remarkable!) Furthermore, the US will always have more of a gun-tolerance than other countries -- that's how history works.

What debating reinterpeting, repealing or amending 2A will do is open the doors for rational policies, to help limit gun-violence in America.

How long will it take, to achieve this goal? Decades. That's the bad news. Maybe 20-30 years, a long, slow process of organizing, discussing, rejecting red-herrings and distractions, overcoming infighting (much of it deliberately planted by opponents), forming coalitions and alliances, building institutions, working with each other, encouraging the spread of small, local groups, helping them coalesce, lobbying, letter-writing, social-media networking, campaigning, fighting back, countering attacks on our message-carriers, working towards consensus (repeal? amend? to what?), working on 'message', viral campaigns, fund-raising, mass-media strategies, free media, protests, creativity, doggedness, determination, real-life networking, conferences, referenda, conventions, deal-making, politics, campaigns, elections, myriad local initiatives (ammo tax? insurance requirements? licensing? training? registration?), legal strategies, legal challenges, legal defenses, etc. etc. etc.

None of us can see how this process will unfold, at this point. The challenge is to keep at it, to learn from other episodes in US history (and other countries -- like Australia), to learn from our own mistakes (and others') and to keep going, and to get other people to get other people to get other people to work towards the end goal. It will take a big tent.

Getting a progressive majority in the US Supreme Court who rejects Scalia's (mis-)interpretation of the Second Amendment is by far the easiest, nearest-term, least-disruptive, and most accessible policy measure. And even that will require incredibly hard work, and is far from a sure thing. It emphasizes the importance of winning the presidency and keeping a Democratic majority in the US Senate to ratify SCOTUS nominations.

Outright amending the Constitution would require a 2/3 vote in both House and Senate to formally propose it in a Joint Resolution (or 2/3 of the state legislatures must demand a national convention to propose it -- this has never happened); and then 3/4 of the States (38 states' legislatures) must ratify it. This is an ambitious --  an audacious goal. It will likely not happen within the lifetime of most of us. Maintaining a civil discourse will help.

Just to speculate, as an example, one could add four words to the end of 2A: "shall not be infringed by the Federal government." This opens the door to proper regulation by state and local governments. See? Note: this isn't necessarily the right way to go (many people prefer a Federal policy, that's an open debate), just an illustration, but if it went this direction then suddenly our coalition partners could include some "states' rights" conservatives. 38 states' votes are needed; Obama carried only 28 states in 2008 and 26 in 2012; Reagan carried 49. Among those people who advocate a states' rights approach to gun-violence? Our friend, the good Doctor, Gov. Howard Dean. "Carrying a deer-hunting rifle in Vermont is not the same thing as carrying a semi-automatic pistol in NYC" -- that's Howard Dean's line. Politics will always involve some compromise, as well as standing up for one's principles -- that's what makes it challenging.

Or, it could be a simple repeal: “The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.” -- as Walter Shapiro urged in Salon in 2007, after the Virginia Tech killings, and as Seattle's former Police Chief, Norm Stamper, urges now.  

What approach to reinterpreting/repealing/amending 2A do you think will work best? What goals <-- strategies <-- tactics, when, by whom, how? What role would you like this DailyKos working-group to play, and what will you do to "make it so"? How would you like the group structured/organized, and how will you help achieve this? What existing groups and individuals in them should we form ties with, and will you invite them to contribute here on RASA-DailyKos? What lessons can we learn from e.g., the failure to pass the ERA? How should we proceed?

Come, join us, take the lead for us -- we're depending on you. Our children and grandchildren depend on you.


Do you think the US Constitution's Second Amendment should be repealed and/or amended?

6%288 votes
93%4328 votes
0%11 votes

| 4632 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think we should start taking our cues from (29+ / 0-)

    anti-choice organizations.

    Just like abortion is still legal but increasingly hard to access, we should make guns perfectly legal, but squeeze access.

    Make gun sellers jump through increasingly small hoops, put onerous regulations on gun sales.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:23:14 AM PST

    •  That's a much more realistic goal ... (12+ / 0-)

      than repealing the 2nd Amendment which as it stands today would not be ratified by even half the states much less the requisite 3/4.

      What you say acknowledges the reality that this will be slow work that will be rewarded by the amassing of incremental efforts over time. It requires patience and commitment.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:28:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're not exclusive goals. (5+ / 0-)

        Try 1,000 policy reforms now, while also working in the long-run to undermine the inviolability of right-wing arguments. (The long-run pressure increases the odds of achieving shorter-run policy goals. If enough policy reforms are achieved, the long-run goals would no longer be needed -- but one cannot work with that in mind, one must aim for complete reform.)

        •  No, but there's a ticking clock ... (0+ / 0-)

          on the Constitutional Amendment process once it passes Congress. At this point it wouldn't even pass Congress. So, the time is not ripe.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:31:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ? That doesn't follow. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber

            No-one is suggesting that we should urge Congress to propose repeal now. Did you read my diary, that says this will be a 20-30 year battle? Sounds like we agree on this, and your suggestion is to not bring this to Congress just yet. We agree -- I'd suggest that 20 years from now at the earliest, would be the time to push for Congress to consider such a joint-resolution.

            But laying the groundwork for it begins today. 20 years goes by a lot quicker than you might think (depending on your age). Come, join us, get in early!

            At this point it wouldn't even pass Congress.
            there's a ticking clock on the Constitutional Amendment process once it passes Congress.
            Yes -- although the time is not specified in the Constitution, and I'd like to see it stretched to 100 years or so.
            So, the time is not ripe.
            Not ripe for what? For forming a discussion group on a blog? For raising the question behind closed doors with your friends and family? For raising it in public, in letters-to-the-editor, on TV interviews? For the early seeds of all the tactics and strategies I alluded to in the diary, and many more?

            Which long-term campaigns do you have in mind, to draw lessons from? How and when did they start, and how long did they take? Ending slavery? Women's suffrage? Ending foot-binding in China? Establishing environmental protections (Thoreau, Ansel Adams, John Muir)? Ending laws that legally specified what people could do and where they could go, based on the color of their skin? (That took nearly 100 years. When was the time ripe to start?)

    •  Definitely tax the bejesus out of them: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, Debby, Joieau, doraphasia, XenuLives

      One thing that we can do right now that would put a severe hinderance on the production - sale of guns would be a BIG federal tax on everything but traditional hunting shotguns and rifles.

      We don't need to go through the time demands of altering the constitution (which I would support, but then what else might get changed????) and the SCOTUS ruling on the DC case would not impact taxation.

      I would have no problem with a new amendment, but I worry that not only would it never pass, it would also fuel the "they are coming to get your guns" paranoia and cause more problems than worth.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

      by 4CasandChlo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:37:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)
        I would have no problem with a new amendment, but I worry that not only would it never pass, it would also fuel the "they are coming to get your guns" paranoia and cause more problems than worth.
        Get around all that by putting the squeeze on gun makers and sellers.  Then no one can scream that anyone is coming to get their guns.

        Beat them at their own game.

        I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

        by coquiero on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:39:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  States' rights allieviates paranoia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          If each state can deregulate guns as much as its voting citizenry wants, then "They" (Federal gummint?) aren't coming for your guns -- unless your fellow citizens want it. My guess is that most Red States would keep gun laws lax -- and would also see higher gun-violence. (Get Nate Silver on the stats.)

          Changing the Second Amendment would have no impact on other rights, that's a non sequitur.

          I don't trust the GOP-packed judiciary to rule in favor of meaningful limits on gun-violence. I think an act of Congress and/or a Constitutional Amendment is the only way that meaningful reforms will be achieved. Otherwise, the fervor will peter out after six months, until the next mass-murder, then the cycle repeats itself.

      •  And apart from federal taxes (4+ / 0-)

        Put pressure on blue states to enact similar taxes.

        In Maryland, we tax the fuck out of cigarettes. People still buy them but the smoking rate is down and funding for public health isnt constantly under threat. If you want to drive to WV to buy your cigarettes, that's your business, but we have made a statement that if you are going to negatively impact public health in this state, you're going to pay a price upfront for it.

        •  High taxes on guns and ammo, excellent! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          One of many policies to push, in local and state jurisdictions across the country.

          •  Taxes are going to be key in reducing (0+ / 0-)

            the number of guns being sold. Some people will pay whatever price, no matter how great, and its better for the government to be able to register and track gun sales instead of forcing people into an unregulated black market with blanket bans.

            Look at what Prohibition did, crime went up, alcohol related deaths went up, organized crime became a real force. Once federal Prohibition ended and states could regulate and tax alcohol as they saw fit, the numbers came back down to earth. And the tax structure can then be used to crack down on bad guys that continue to engage in illegal sales.

            •  This is a common misperception: repeal 2A not=ban! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber

              This will need to be repeated very often: repealing the Second Amendment does not mean banning guns. It has nothing to do with Prohibition. People will still be able to 'keep and bear arms', after the Second Amendment is repealed.

              They won't be allowed to have automatic machine-guns. (But they aren't allowed to, now! Ha!)

              There may again be limits on assault rifles, or extended clips, or etc. -- as there have been in the past, and as there are now (e.g. limits on sawed-off shotguns). There may be new licensing, or registration, or etc., but that's not Prohibition.

              Taxes on guns and ammo are fine, and are perfectly consistent with repealing 2A.

              I don't get the point about Prohibition, it is a misplaced fear or red-herring.

              •  The best reason to 'repeal' or amend (0+ / 0-)

                is that soon NRA etc will force acceptance of RPGs.
                Based on 'past performance' their escalation will never end.
                While there is profit in creating paranoia, nothing will stop the arms merchants.

                When a gun marketer says, "no, semi-auto is enough," he/she really means, "semi-auto is enough until the product attains market saturation. Then we'll escalate."

            •  drug addiction is different than emotional, (0+ / 0-)

              cultural 'addiction'.

          •  I really don't think this works with state (0+ / 0-)

            by state legislation.  The pro-gun states (way too many) would do nothing and people from other states would would just travel.

            I know his is days and days later, but I just joined and took your link.

            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

            by Smoh on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:27:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Guns are already quite expensive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        and will never become less costly. So I'm not sure a hefty sales tax would make any meaningful difference. And said tax wouldn't apply to private sales anyway, plus the criminal trade in guns is what it is and will always remain completely apart from laws, taxes, etc.

        I'm thinking that apart from the following new laws:

        1. Assault weapons ban
        2. Strict limitation on magazine capacity
        3. Serious limit on caliber (thus bullet) size
        4. Registration with mandated renewal (will help keep track of weapons sold or stolen, also development of incapacities by owners)

        ...we should also require insurance on all guns and owners. Separate from homeowner's or vehicle liability, a specialty liability insurance policy of at least 1 million dollars per firearm. This would help limit hoarding, at least.

        My family are performers, a couple of the characters we offer work with fire - juggling, fire-eating, and for some outdoor applications pyrotechnics. This requires us to have a 2 million dollar liability policy (or we can't work the good venues), and even then we have to meet with and convince the fire marshall of the venue area we'll be working. We don't juggle fire indoors and won't eat fire indoors if the ceilings aren't at least 12 feet high and there are no flammable decorations. We don't even offer fire-blowing, because it'll kill us long before it'll kill anybody else - gasoline is, after all, both poison and a carcinogen.

        If we have to have a 2 million dollar policy in order to offer entertainments at less than $500 an hour (that seldom last more than an hour), then gun owners can have a million dollar's worth for their guns. It's not THAT expensive, but it would definitely be a deterrent to stockpiling weapons and encourage safe storage.

        •  A limit on caliber size? (0+ / 0-)

          Such as?

          •  For "personal protection" (0+ / 0-)

            handguns I'd limit to .22. Which is plenty deadly to humans. No deed for .35+ apart from those special classes (LE and assorted such duties).

            I'd limit bullet capacity to 6, just like an old fashioned revolver. Sure, it could kill 6 people before reloading, but 6 is less than 7 or more. There have been times in my life where I needed 5 or 6 bullets to do a job that could have been done with one or two if I were a better shot or less scared (attacking dogs). So it's reasonable that such a capacity be allowed.

            Rifles are really not much good as concealed weapons, not that often used in horrible massacres like last Friday's. Too big, clumsy to handle in tight situations. Not sure much can be done about those other than limitations on load capacity/magazines. Perhaps a limit on ammo purchases would be workable as well.

            Until and unless the second amendment is nullified or amended, that is. I do not look for that to happen in my lifetime. Hell, I'm still waiting on the ERA...

            •  "special classes" (0+ / 0-)

              Yeah, that's what America is about... "classes".

              Oy vey....

              •  You don't consider (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharon Wraight

                law enforcement (all levels, and there's lots of them) to be a class of people that need more - and more specialized - armaments than the average person?

                I'll admit I kind of like the idea of un-armed LE for quite a few situations they now approach with vast amounts of overkill. But then I remember there's classes even across the levels of LE that need more for the jobs they do.

                •  Why do Law Enforcement need "weapons of war".... (0+ / 0-)

                  "designed to kill lots of people very quickly", but Citizens do not?

                  •  I never mentioned anything about (0+ / 0-)

                    "weapons of war." Given my wished-for limitations on caliber and clip capacity, it would seem obvious I'm talking about regulations that would not necessarily be applied to LE. Or some classes of LE - like, say, SWAT as opposed to your average beat cop. A cop proficient with his/her sidearm is proficient in clip changing as well. So even they don't need 15-30 rounds per clip.

                    I don't know exactly what needs doing to stop the carnage of innocents. The world was pretty crazy when I was growing up and raising kids, but not as crazy as it is today. There's some evil abroad in the land, and it's mostly NOT atheists, gays, women, or any other handy scapegoat minority. Look at your perps. They tell a story, and it's not necessarily got a happy ending.

                    The Constitutional right to own a gun cannot be abrogated across the board. That's what Heller ruled. That in no way means there cannot be restrictions on guns and/or ammo, and nobody's arguing that it does mean that. There will always be exceptions to the rules, I've merely identified where the most obvious exceptions will arise.

                •  P.S. AR-pattern rifles are not "specialized". (0+ / 0-)

                  They have a very broad range of perfectly legal and valid uses.

                  (This pretty well applies to any semi-automatic firearm.)

                  •  I never said they were. (0+ / 0-)

                    They're just bad-ass looking semi-automatic .22's, basically. Not all that great of a game gun if you're going after deer or bear or elk. I know a guy with an elephant gun with .76 caliber bullets! Not semi-auto, though. You've got to mean it when you load that sucker, it'll put a nice hole clean through a granite boulder, or drop a charging bull [elephant] in his tracks. In human terms you could maybe use it against a tank (or other armored vehicle).

                    The paranoid collectors (like the CT shooter's mom) really are 'out there' if measured against reality, and the shooter had issues. That "everybody knew" about. If we are serious about getting guns out of the hands of crazy people, this must be dealt with. Armed guards in all schools won't stop a determined person, as they can't just shoot everybody who walks in off the street. Better reporting from the states per background checks is a political hot potato, isn't going to get a nationwide fix any time soon. Even if we had a mental health care system in place, which we don't because Ronald Reagan thought intervention and long term care cost too much. That's not going to change fast enough to matter either. Besides the fact that the paranoid are unlikely to seek professional help for their paranoia. Especially if it means they can't exercise a right or rights of citizenship.

                    Being crazy is tricky. Foreseeing crimes is tricky. Apparently, protecting innocents from the psychotic rage of crazy people is tricky too. That's a shame.

    •  Good points! (3+ / 0-)

      "know the enemy and know yourself" - Lao Tzu.

      There's a lot to learn, as you suggest -- from the anti-choice campaign, and also from the GOP's 30-year strategy for packing the courts with right-wing judges and their "law-and-economics" brain-washing camps (at George Mason U, etc.).

      Also agreed about pushing at every level and every jurisdiction -- sort of the "50-state strategy" for limiting gun-violence. Cities, counties, unincorporated areas, states, Federal, etc. And trying out "all of the above" policies (ammo tax, insurance, training, etc etc etc), all at once. Full-court press.

    •  might work for some other situation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Puha ekapi

      The intentions are good.  However, the perfectly upright teacher in this situation would have jumped through all those hoops years in advance, and would still have had this arsenal available to the shooter.   Connecticut already had an assault weapons ban.  That should demonstrate how well those work.

      I hate the gun issue, because it is a huge red herring, a cheap one, that helps to focus attention away from the paucity of mental health care in this country, and the inability of families who KNOW they have a mentally ill relative to get help for their family, and to get a dangerous family member committed.    

      If passing a law will fix this problem, let's just pass a law that it's against the law to shoot up a school.

      Oh yeah!   We already have that law, too.

      Maybe instead of passing another law, we should DO SOMETHING like provide a real infrastructure for delivering mental health care to our mentally ill.  

      Oh yeah!  That costs money.

      Never mind.

      •  Will work here too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus, poco, Glen The Plumber

        Yeah, yeah, we have all heard that there are too many guns out there and a new restriction won't stop the next tragedy.

        It's true. There will be other tragedies. We can't stop them all.

        But we can stop some of them, and we can stop a lot of the daily gun violence that goes on under the tragedy radar.

        It took 30 years after people started trying to restrict tobacco products to have an effect and now use and take up are down to a fraction of what they once were and it's still improving.

        That's the perspective we have to take. The idea that we can't stop another Newtown tragedy next week because guns are still out there is no reason not to start the process we need to start now. Yes, it will take another 30 years. Start now.

        One solution for the sloppy transfer through gun shows and private sales is to take the burden for background checks off the seller and put it on the buyer.

        If you want to buy a gun, you get training, take a test, get a background check (which criteria for passing are federally mandated) and get a license to own/use a gun. When you go to a gun seller, you show a valid license. The seller records the license number and reports the transfer.

        We can, and must, drastically reduce the number of weapons that are out there on the streets. It's going to take time and effort and resolution, the reward being that we will reduce needless death and suffering throughout the country. Oh, yeah, and incidentally, no freedom will be harmed in the making of this progress.

      •  The guns culture *is* part of the mental illness. (0+ / 0-)

        If Nancy Lanza had CT prohibited weapons, they were before CT's ban, or from lax state. (or through  CT loophole)

  •  Thank you (11+ / 0-)

    For taking the initiative to found this group. I gladly joined and look forward to participating. I have much to learn and have been reading up on the issues. I hope the group attracts a broad membership with expertise in the law as well as activism.

    It is time for change, let's be part of it.

    “Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.”  ― Naomi Klein

    by cosmic debris on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:26:58 AM PST

  •  Heck!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidW, Sharon Wraight

    If it doesn't really mean anything, let's just repeal the whole darned thing!!!


  •  While I have no problem with total repeal (8+ / 0-)

    It will never be political viable.

    Amending it would probably take a full blown insurrection, or would at least result in one.

    More important is to get a judiciary that doesn't find a right to personally own bazookas in language that was intended to allow states to set up their own militias for defense at a time when attacks by natives and invasions were likely.

    •  A repeal leaves it up to the states... (3+ / 0-)

      Certainly a "states' rights" argument would be okay.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:52:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To be fair, SCOTUS has never come close (3+ / 0-)

      to holding what you're suggesting.  The assault weapons ban existed for years without interference with the judiciary.  And Heller and McDonald actually had quite limited holdings...they protected the right to keep a handgun in the home for self defense.  Heller (and maybe McDonald, I don't remember off the top of my head) even explicitly left room for reasonable regulation of gun ownership.  

      You should really take a look at the holdings of those two cases...I think you're going to be shocked to see how limited and measured those holdings were.  Nothing at all about personally owning bazookas or a totally unlimited right to have whatever weapons you can think of.

      •  Believe you are basically correct IIRC (4+ / 0-)

        but in fairness John Paul Stevens was much closer. And it was judicial Activism.

        The initial reactions of the Court's ruling were favorable from both the National Rifle Association[25] and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[26] Both issued statements to the public that they feel they were vindicated by the Court's holding. However, the court did not include a "clarification of the standard for review" as requested by the Brady group in their amicus brief.[27] In a discussion on the day of the ruling Wayne LaPierre of the NRA and Paul Helmke of the Brady Center both agreed that the Court's ruling protected specifically against bans on handguns for self-protection in the home. But as to the general question of gun laws not covered in McDonald; a large number of lawsuits are needed in order to determine whether any other existing gun regulations might also be unconstitutional. Wayne LaPierre expressed caution that the NRA has "a lot of work ahead" attempting to overturn other gun control regulations not covered by McDonald, and Paul Helmke said that he expected that the NRA is "going to lose most of those lawsuits"
      •  No you're right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        What I said above was exaggeration to the absurd to underline the point that to those on the political right, the second amendment is becoming an absolute. They see any sort of restriction on gun as an effort that is going to lead to confiscation. It wasn't always like that, there was a time a long time ago in a galaxy far far away when organization like the NRA actually supported legislation that would have made guns safer and protected the rights of sportsmen. Then the NRA became the militant wing of the Republican Party, and it has reached a fever pitch in the past 4 years.

  •  This is a great idea. (18+ / 0-)

    But, to make sure that people aren't stockpiling the now-illegal guns, we'll need to repeal the Fourth Amendment.
    And if you want to stop the inevitable groundswell of opposition to this, you'll want to repeal the First Amendment.
    And since you can't deprive people of property without due process, the Fifth Amendment needs to go, too.
    And of course, that pesky Ninth Amendment would get in the way of all kinds of unforeseeable exigencies. Out the window with that one.
    Better get started. Like you said, it'll take a long time.

    •  How about the Charlton Heston 'cold dead fingers' (3+ / 0-)

      You must KEEP your weapon with a security level of Charlton Heston's cold dead hands.

      It would be a felony to fail to secure your deadly weapons.

      It would be an accessory charge if your weapon was used in a crime.

      And if your weapon was used in a crime and you died trying to KEEP it, your estate would be liable for all damages your weapon caused while not in your possession.

      Gun control responsibility back to the gun owners, where it belongs.

      Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

      by 88kathy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:41:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  not really. (0+ / 0-)

      The point wouldn't be to make gun ownership illegal--but to un-enshrine it as a constitutional right.  So a lot of people may continue to own weapons, but the protections would be limited, new weapons purchases/sales would be limited, and buybacks and other programs would greatly reduce the reliance of this country on the 2nd A.  Your vision of the government storming in, house by house, violating all of the amendments is not at all what I would envision as a consequence of amending the second.

  •  Enforce the KEEP part. (6+ / 0-)

    Make it a
    Felony- failure to secure a deadly weapon.
    Automatic Accessory charge if your gun is use in a crime.
    Possession of a gun without a serial number is automatic charge of intent to commit murder.

    Make them responsible for owing a gun.  Force them to control their guns.

    I especially like.  Not KEEPING your gun is a crime.

    Felony - failure to secure a deadly weapon.

    Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

    by 88kathy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:36:37 AM PST

    •  The problem is that they want the rights and (6+ / 0-)

      want the rest of us who are held in terror by their rights to just take them at their indignant word that they are responsible.

      “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

      by jeff in nyc on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:38:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well all we have to do is enforce the 2nd (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OnlyWords, DefendOurConstitution

        amendment.  Make them KEEP their arms.

        Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

        by 88kathy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:43:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They want us to pay for the consequences of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevej, Sharon Wraight, Nova Land

        their "rights."

        Most gun owners are responsible and espouse personal responsibility, but the minority that is always out the shilling for the NRA and insisting that any meaningful regulation on firearms is an all out attack on the Constitution will never have accept any reasonable regulation, especially at the federal/national level (which is the only way that any regulation can have any positive outcome).

        As TeacherKen said yesterday in his diary:

        Your rights end at the point of my nose no rights are absolute.  At some points the Constitution makes that clear - in the 5th (and 14th) Amendment you can be denied the most basic rights of life and liberty via due process of law.

        Rights are often in conflict.  And because an assertion of an unlimited and unrestricted right on behalf of one party inevitably means the diminishment of the rights and liberty of another, all rights are restricted in some circumstances.

        The right to keep and bear arms as an individual, even if I do not believe should be based on the 2nd Amendment, which speaks not of individuals but of the people collectively, nevertheless would be guaranteed as an unenumerated right on the 9th Amendment (although Right-wingers do not like the 9th because of Roe v Wade).  

        You may have the right to freely swing your arms, but I have the right to keep the shape of my nose, so the limits of that freedom for you are at the point of my nose.

        Those who insist upon their rights being absolute and unfettered even at the expense of the liberty and safety of others are to my mind sociopathic.  That applies to those who assert unfettered personhood for corporate entities while not subjecting them to the same penalties of human persons who can be imprisoned and executed as well as fined.  

        Go read the whole thing, it is well written and makes the point (that our rights end where others' begin) better than I have ever been to express.

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:05:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, FrankRose, Nova Land
      Possession of a gun without a serial number is automatic charge of intent to commit murder.
      That won't work, you have to prove intent, you can't infer it, and possession of  a firearm with an altered SN is already illegal.
  •  If we want to repeal our civil rights... (6+ / 0-)

    Let's start with making it easier for families who KNOW that their family member is mentally ill to get that family member committed to a state run mental health institution.  

    So many times, the family KNOWS what's coming, and the law has tied their hands, so there is nothing they can do about it.

    •  This. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DFWmom, FrankRose

      Colorado is already looking at just that.  As proposed by a Republican governor, no less.  

      Added bonus:  Even people who aren't potentially dangerous - the vast majority of mentally ill people, I'd wager - will see the benefit.  Just walk through any city park and you can see how that would help.  Too, too many of the homeless folks there are in desparate need of mental health treatment they just can't get.

    •  This is actually a great idea. Helping people. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, DFWmom


      I think the goal is to reduce number of gamers while increasing the number of people helped.

      **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

      by glorificus on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ok. Tried it. Don't like it. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm not a gun owner, I've never fired a gun (except a BB gun when I was a kid), and I won't ever own a gun.  But it seems to me actual repeal of one of the Bill of Rights would lead to circumstances we saw during prohibition.

    The "well regulated" part of the 2nd amendment is key, and that's where our focus should be.

    Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

    by wmtriallawyer on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:40:17 AM PST

    •  I have been thinking the KEEP part would be a good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land

      place to go.

      No lost no stolen.  You keep your arms.

      Felony - failure to secure a deadly weapon.

      Bear anything you want to. But KEEP it in your hand.  I call it the Charlton Heston law.  Your gun shall be lost only when it is pried from your cold dead hands.

      Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

      by 88kathy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:13:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But this confuses repeal w/prohibition. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Repeal would suggest that we don't have a constitutional right--therefore gun ownership is a privilege.  Like driving.

      •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In which case, it makes more sense to me...although the inevitable slippery slope argument would come at that point (just a step closer to actual prohibition).

        Then again, I see no reason why we can't regulate the right without amendment or repeal, just like we doing with driving and cars.  

        Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

        by wmtriallawyer on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:35:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see how the second amendment (4+ / 0-)

    until those "non" judicial activists says anything about an INDIVIDUAL's Right to own a gun.

    •  "Right of the people" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, FrankRose, PavePusher

      means the same thing in the Second as it does in the Fourth.

      •  Kestrel (6+ / 0-)

        There are three different ways (pre Chicago) of interpreting.

            The first, known as the "states' rights" or "collective rights" model, was that the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals; rather, it recognized the right of a state to arm its militia.

            The second, known as the "sophisticated collective rights model", held that the Second Amendment recognized some limited individual right. However, this individual right could only be exercised by members of a functioning, organized state militia while actively participating in the organized militia’s activities.

            The third, known as the "standard model", was that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

        Under both of the collective rights models, the opening phrase was considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause.[108] These interpretations held that this was a grammar structure that was common during that era[109] and that this grammar dictated that the Second Amendment protected a collective right to firearms to the extent necessary for militia duty.[110]

        I agree with John Paul Stevens Not Scalia:

        When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated. But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a “subset” significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendments; when it finally drills down on the substantive meaning of the Second Amendment, the Court limits the protected class to “law-abiding, responsible citizens
        If you look at the history they clearly did not intend it to apply to Individuals non Militia:
        On May 8, 1792, Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring:

            [E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia...[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.[91]

        •  Most of the States have Consitutional protections (7+ / 0-)

          for RKBA, many of which are unambiguously in favor of an individual right.  PA, my home state:

          The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.
          Rhode Island and Maine (hardly bastions of right-wingism) are plain as day:


          The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
          Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.
          So, even if we accept your analysis of the 2nd Amendment, which many would dispute, it's a moot point because the vast majority of the States (45 of 50) have similar protections in place, many of which are stronger than the Federal guarantee.

          Could the Feds overrule these protections?  I'm not certain what section of the US Constitution grants the Feds that authority, unless you're going to lean on the oft-abused commence clause, which is always a handy go-to for those who seek to expand Federal power at the expense of individual liberty.

          There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap box, ballot box, jury box and ammo box. Use in that order.

          by Crookshanks on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:58:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm at a loss for how, like a mushroom (8+ / 0-)

          a firearm would miraculously appear, unless borne as the fruiting body of spores, planted some 6 months prior:

          shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder;

          Would it not stand to reason that "provide himself" is vastly different than:
          "take from stores"
          "be so equipped by his company quartermaster" or
          "issued from armory upon reporting for duty"?

          Thus the presupposition was the militia member, shall provide from his private stores, a suitable firearm when called for service.  This was the crux of the unchallenged suppositions made to the SCOTUS in US v. Miller.
          The same premise put forth in regulating "Saturday Night Specials" out of importation, and manufacture.
          Small caliber, small handguns are of no militia purpose, and thus not protected as a suitable arm for Second Amendment purposes.

          As to Stevens, the political expediency of ensuring certain members of the public remain at disadvantage was the foundation of a great deal of stare decisis, and frankly I'm surprised where Stevens held.
          I'm not certain Harry Blackmun nor Thurgood Marshall would have shared in his dissent.

        •  If history were only as you present. It is not. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Seaview, ER Doc, PavePusher

          The English Bill Of Rights of 1689 enumerates this right.  This right was common knowledge to them.

          The Ratification Documents submitted by the majority of
          States enumerates this right as an individual right.

          In fact, The First Debates In Congress on this specific amendment repeats this historical fact and point of view.  

          Then we have the Common Law cases that have reiterated this actual historical fact.  

          You see, our Constitution does not grant any American anything, it grants limited authorities to our Central government.  We have a Common Law system not a Napoleonic Code.

          With this understanding in focus, we then can actually understand the wording of the 2nd A, as it was meant to be understood.  It grants one time when the right to keep and bear arms can be abrogated by our created government, DURING MILITIA SERVICE, not before or after. And not for any other person not so defined as in the Militia Act you reference.

          And sadly, your misdirection ignores how said government and the American people acted after the Bill Of Rights were added to the Constitution or why they demanded said additions.

          If I'm to believe you, then show me your history, please.

          I'll show you my historical references for your timely review.


          Now, you are more than willing to make your arguments today and present them as a valid topic for discussion to confine and frame this issue, sobeit but to attribute these positions to our Founders is intentionally misleading and inaccurate.

          -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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:57:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  But I Think If You Go Down That Road, Don't the (4+ / 0-)

      police and the national guard satisfy the militia clause of the Amendment as written, without any civilian private ownership at all?

      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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:52:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think another way is needed (2+ / 0-)

    I understand what you say. Most people here do. But plenty of non-nutty people would take pride in the "idea" that it was so important to the "founders" (even though as I say above the Founders created no Individual Right, it doesn't say that).

    I think Repealing/Amending THE SECOND AMDENDMENT is polarizing.

    Repealing/Amending assault Weapon ____'s is not.

    Nor is incrementally looking at how these weapons were once allowed and how others are not (no grenade launchers I'd hope).

    I guess my point is I would not use "Second Amendment" it is an excuse to play the patriotic game. It also is more than what's necessary.

    It is like following 9/11. I am sure most here wanted to see some change. But there'd be a difference between let's go to war with Muslim Countries v. we will seek out ways to stop terrorism cells.

    One is just a non-starter. Just like discussing the second Amendment.

    Now discussing how guns get to ppl. What guns. Etc. Why the guy didn't have a tank. Are a conversation gun-owners will get into. But saying Second Amendment Repeal- people do not understand and will bring up Hitler (that he was the first to institute registering guns, etc.) and all kinds of notions of plots to take all guns assuming that entire right is embodied there, and there is simply too much money.

    Now there is not in a more limited means (going after the groups mentioned and their use, exposing them), or having REAL ACTION about guns. But Second Amendment is now thanks to Scalia as American as Apple Pie to many.

  •  No need for repeal, all we need is sensible (5+ / 0-)

    regulations that do not "infringe" on that "sacred" right that the NRA terrorists (and their apologists) consider the be all and end all of our Constitution.

    1. Regulations must be uniform across the Country (i.e. federal), even if ultimately enforced at the state level.
    2. Assault weapons, high capacity firearms/magazines/clips must be outlawed.
    3. Licensing, training, and re-licensing periodically must happen for all that want to own a firearm.
    4. All firearms must be registered so that those responsible for injuries/damage with their firearms are held accountable.
    5. Liability insurance for those choosing to own a firearm where risk factors (past history, number of firearms, location, etc.) are considered and damages (or at least compensation) can be obtained by victims/survivors.

    I don't see how those 5 simple points in any way violate the 2A, but I am sure some apologists will flame me and even mock my user name when I am trying to "take away their rights."  For all the flame wars we always have on this issue, no one has explained to me why any of the 5 points are in violation of the 2A.

    Enacting federal law/standards like I propose will probably be even harder than modifying the 2A, so sadly it will probably be decades (and hundreds of thousands of firearm deaths) before either is done, but I am hopeful that there is a window where something can be done about the state of terror that the NRA and their apologists have us living in.

    We are living under a regime of domestic terrorism, where we can't go to the supermarket, the movies, a mall, a temple/church, or even send our young kids to school without the constant threat of easily accessible guns killing our loved ones.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:58:26 AM PST

    •  If NRA/GOA were sensible, but they aren't. (2+ / 0-)

      Take the Second Amendment away from them, and common sense will return.

      I agree with your 5 points, and in my own interpretation they are consistent with 2A. But the GOP and their judges see things differently.

      Democrats for too long have been afraid to touch 2A. That needs to end. (Not by every Democrat, certainly! But by those in safe districts -- Cong. Jim McDermott, maybe Sen. Chuck Schumer, etc.)

      The repeal discussion should be gradual, not rushed, not a threatening tone of discourse, certainly not something Obama should weigh in on -- this will last way beyond his Administration.

      Repealing 2A will not deprive Americans of their right to property, including guns. Even after 2A is repealed, Americans will still have the right to own guns. This is worth repeating, ad naseum.

  •  Honestly, I think that we have (6+ / 0-)

    zero chance of either repealing or amending the Second Amendment.  But, just having this out there moves the Overton Window on guns to the left, making it more likely that we can compromise on more effective controls and regulation (can you say "Nationwide licensing and Registration"?) which DO fit into the ambit of the Second as so far enumerated by SCOTUS since Heller.  So, keep on pushing this, as long as we realize that it is not a realistic goal in the short to medium term, at a minimum.

  •  commercials (3+ / 0-)

    should be removed from the public air waves, just like the cigarettes were.

    I don't want to hear or see commercials for gun shows again.

  •  Why shouldn't states have militias? (2+ / 0-)

    The 2nd amendment guarantees individual states the rights to have their own militia not subject to federal control. This was an important compromise for states wary of a federal 'monarchy'.

    Sure the supremes have held that it is OK to ignore the text and context of the constitution and call the right to keep and bear arms an individual right. They also believed persons could be property and think corporations can be persons.

    Anyway a constitutional amendment is unnecessary.

  •  I have discussed with others (3+ / 0-)

    but I will Start a Non-Profit (and if needed pay to file) for anyone who can actually run.

    I'd estimate it 2-3 months. Polecat has some good well puns and ideas (its too early to make that statement a pun).

  •  social stigma (4+ / 0-)

    I agree that repeal or amending the constitution is a long term project--though I favor it. I think things start with promoting the meme that guns are not cool.

    They are inherently dangerous and lead to too many accidental as well as premeditated deaths. That they are a cancer on civil society. That few people actually hunt for subsistence and need guns. That we increasingly live in an urbanized environment where guns have no place.

    Cigarette use only declined when it became uncool to be seen smoking. When the dangers were universally understood. They remain legal, but highly regulated. The same needs to happen with guns.

    Start saying to those around you: Guns are dangerous, I don't need or want one personally, I think they're a throw back to the frontier and have no place in contemporary society.

    Keep repeating.

  •  We must not touch the 2nd (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle, Puha ekapi, DFWmom, wishbone, PavePusher

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the second amendment.  Before I begin this and am riddled with negative feedback on this comment I would like to explain a couple of things.  First of all, I was raised a hard line conservative.  I have seen and learned that there is no black or white, but everything is a shade of gray.  Through reading these interesting posts many of my views have changed.  Healthy debate and discussion should encourage us to drag our beliefs through the fire.  If our beliefs do not come out intact on the other end, we must be adult enough to change our beliefs.  In alot of casses, I have had to change my beliefs and perhaps in time and through discusison I may some day change my belief in our 2nd amendment.  I hope what I am about to post here provides those who disagree with me at least a unique perspective as through these healthy discussions we can learn to see the world through each others eyes and if not agree, at least respect each others view without being consumed by hate or viewing those with different beliefs as some kind of inhuman monster.

    The 2nd amendment is viewed by many to be the most important of them all.  This amendment gives the people it's teeth should the government overstep it's authority and it's leaders become tyrants.  Please, hear me out..

    There are many ways people choose to interpret the 2nd amendment.  I think it is important to understand why our founding fathers felt it was important to add insure these rights not be infringed.  To begin, we must cover the fact that the constitution does not grant us these rights in the eyes of our founding fathers.  The founding fathers stated that these rights are bestowed upon us by our creator.  In other words, these were considered to be basic human rights.  The right does not come from the constitution, it comes from our creator, the constitution is the barrier that the government can not cross through when making laws.  The right to speak freely, the right to stand up to tyranny if you were living under oppression, the right to be the master of your home and not allow the authorities to come in without a proper warrant.  Take these basic human rights out of the context of America and lets picture life under a tyrant from another country.  Perhaps a harsh king whos men take you to the dungeon if they don't like what you have to say, they come into your home and go through your things regularly without any just cause, and just to make sure you couldn't do anything about it they take away your right to have weapons to stop them or at least resist.  Not saying we are there, but I am saying that history shows over and over that un-challenged power can lead to some very horrible things.  I can go back to as lately as the civil rights movement where corrupt law enforcement were part of the band of hooded men coming into the homes of innocent men, dragging them from their families, and hanging them on the side of a road.

    This is not too far off from what our founding fathers came to America to get away from.  They just finsihed fighting a war with an oppresive tyrant to earn their liberties, and they knew that day may come again, so they gave us the 2nd amendment so there would never need to be another revolution.  Perhaps you believe that is not what the founding fathers intended.  I would argue with their own words to show their intent beyond the shadow of a doubt.

    "A free people ought to be armed."
     - George Washington

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
     - George Washington

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
     - Benjamin Franklin

    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
     - Thomas Jefferson

    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
     - Thomas Jefferson

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
     - Thomas Jefferson

    "To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them."
     - George Mason

    "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
     - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

    "The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."
     - Noah Webster

    "A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace."
     - James Madison

    "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
     - Richard Henry Lee

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."
     - Patrick Henry

    "This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
     - St. George Tucker

    "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
     - Samuel Adams

    I would be able to go on like this for a very very long time, but I think this paints a clear picture of the importance of our 2nd amendment and what that amendment covers.  Right now we are all hurting from last weekend, but the loss of liberty would be far worse.  Right now the prevailing winds blow one way and we may be tempted to let our guard down, but remember, we hold these liberties for a future threat.  Perhaps our current leaders are not tyrants, but if you give away your liberties you open the door for future leaders.  Sorry this is so long, but I hope it adds to the discussion and if you disagree, it at least opens eyes to another point of view.  God bless all, and have a merry Christmas =)

    •  I think I agree with you overall (3+ / 0-)

      but I think as to public perception and practicality.

      I don't think Liberty has anything to do with gun ownership. The second Amendment has nothing to do with Individual gun ownership rights.

      And your quotes when mentioning guns were made at a time for a purpose.

      Those people certainly did not intend muskets you don't need to reload and can gun down an army be in the hands of individuals as Liberty.

      Further, they were fighting for freedom. Today? Are the gun nuts going to liberate themselves against tanks and drones with their AR's? I doubt it.

      Gun Ownership was never a fundamental right until McDonald and Heller. It shouldn't be. It was because Militias were needed.

      But I agree the taking of an Amendment looks like that. But in reality we all know the odds of a group of nuts with even assault weapons v. a 2 billion dollar plane.

      •  For Example (2+ / 0-)

        "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."

        I don't think we'd be splitting hairs saying that that was contemplating the America project not working and turning into England (as the Second Amendment went away allowing for Militias). (England gun ownership was basically based on $, ie having wealth to hunt for game).

        Overall though I completely get what you are saying. And agree. People don't know what it says (2nd Amend) and think it that fundamental. So not practical, and volatile to state as a purpose to repeal.

        And as I posted above: Early on there were times when the police, etc. were not armed, could not protect so acts like this were tried.

        On May 8, 1792, Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring:

            [E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia...[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.[91]

      •  A very good point (0+ / 0-)

        Thankyou for the though provoking feedback =)

        To be honest, I was afraid you would say that.  I am a bit of a black sheep amongst my friends as I believe there should be some regulations on weapons.  My friends however often bring up the point you just brought up but they bring it up in the opposite direction.  During the revolution the enemy had muskets and cannon and so did the militia.  The British had ships and the colonies had privateers... ships.  So if the intention of the second amendment was to allow the people to have the means to resist a tyranny and they were to have access to the same equipment, for example, cannons then shouldnt the people today have access to the same equipment.  My friends would argue that since the government has access to rocket launchers the people should have access to them as well and that the founding fathers would agree with them.  To that I would say perhaps that is the case, however, war is not won by weapons alone and while it is important to maintain the right to have weapons rocket launchers are probably not required to insure freedom.  At this point I often point to afghanistan where they are able to resist an invasion without high tech weapons.  Anyway, it just begs further debate.  Thankyou for sharing your thoughts with me, I am happy to participate in this type of heathy disscussion and I believe that through such disscussion both sides can come to see the world through the others eyes and reach an agreement both sides would be happy with.  For the record, I worked in an armed field for several years.  I am certified through the state to carry a carbine (AR-15), semi-automatic pistol, revolver, and shotgun in the course of duties.  I am no longer in that field but I have thousands of dollars invested in my equipment.  I may be what you would consider one of those nuts but I have personally met many of those folks with what you consider an assault weapon and I can honestly say that 99.999% of them are law abiding citizens with jobs and families who would give the shirt off their back to help their neighbor and they are just as heartbroken about the event last weekend as everyone else.  I think the first step in unity as a nation will require folks on both sides to sit down like we are here and realize that at the end of the day we want the same thing, security and safety for our people and that neither side is the monster that the other side makes them out to be.  Only when we are willing to lossen our grips on what we believe is truth and fact and see things from a neutral angle with a willingness to change and aknowledge that our own way may not be absolutley right, can we work together to achieve something meaningful.  Again, thankyou for your insights.

    •  Magical Thinking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, atana

      I would like to point you to Josh Marshall's comments on tpm. He believes that the notion that guns are what protects us from government to be a dangerous, and relatively new concept. That very few moments in American history have shown guns to have any effect on protecting American liberties.

      I tend to agree with him. I look to the Civil Rights movement and the woman's suffrage movement as moments when citizens made demands for change and did so peacefully and ultimately effectively. I don't think there was any role for guns in the equation.

      My 14 year old is studying John Brown in school. Was the use of armed violence against what he saw as tyranny justified? I don't think so--does the 2nd amendment give us the right to vigilante justice?

      If you really think it’s guns standing between you and tyranny that infuses the whole conversation with a pretty intense sense of self-righteousness and absolutism.

      Here are the links to the articles:


    •  The 2nd amendment no longer... (7+ / 0-)

      even does what its advocates say that it's meant to do - protect individual liberty from tyranny.  It's outdated, ineffective and should be abolished.  In an age where the "tyrants" possess predator drones, tanks, warplanes, battleships and aircraft carriers, no one's liberty is being protected by a useless home stockpile of firearms and ammo. It's no coincidence that all your quotes are from long dead guys who lived in an an age when the 2nd amendment was relevant to the needs of every day people.  All the 2nd amendment does NOWADAYS is inspire and feed a subculture of paranoid firearm fetishists - suckers to be separated from their money by gun producers and their lobbying arm. Suckers like Nancy Lanza whose assault rifle would have never been fired in the protection of anyone's liberty, but was instead used to execute kindergarteners.

      •  Yup (2+ / 0-)

        Or even the Blitzkrieg into Poland show that (against a Sovereign w Army). Ie Calvary against the first tanks (in major combat).

      •  myth and reality (4+ / 0-)

        We have to begin to move away from the myth that American liberty and guns are inherently bound together.

      •  In all fairness (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        None of those advanced weaponries were present on the Danziger bridge, or on the Crescent City Connection Bridge.  A good high powered assault rifle would have been sufficient for citizens to fight for their freedom.

        I'm not saying that's the answer, but it's hard to sue in court for your rights, after you are dead.

        Sometimes, the government you are fighting is two or three men in uniforms with guns, in the wrong place and the wrong time, not tanks, warplanes and battleships.

        •  ?? That's crazy-talk. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          If the Bartholomew family, or James Brissette, or Ronald (a mentally-disabled man) or Lance Madison had had semi-automatic rifles, then even more people would have been killed by NOPD near the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 -- probably the entire group, and maybe others. (If they were 'lucky' they might have killed a police officer or two, in the process.)

          Even if the entire population of New Orleans had been armed with semi-automatic weapons, we would have seen many more deaths, not fewer. (We might have seen less looting -- but this 'looting' included people taking food and water for survival, not just theft of TVs and whatnot.)

          Mixing fantasy with reality does not advance the discussion, nor does it work to prevent gun-violence.

          None of those advanced weaponries [sic] were present on the Danziger bridge, [n]or on the Crescent City Connection Bridge.  A good high powered assault rifle would have been sufficient for citizens to fight for their freedom.
          •  over the top (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You were engaging in hyperbole, suggesting that the amendment is useless because one person can't take on the entire army, and my point is that justice and liberty are often  won in small battles, like Rosa Parks.

            You can argue any specific situations, but the point remains that no one is going to face off the entire army, but it is possible to face a few corrupt cops, and there is ample evidence that such do exist.

            I am not saying we should not re-instate the assault weapon ban.  I just get aggravated by non-sensical hyperbole that skates over the serious issues.  Our constitution was wisely crafted, and suggestions to overthrow it require careful consideration --

            not hyperbole.

            •  LOL. Sorry, you've no credibility left with me. (0+ / 0-)

              No-one is suggesting "overthrowing" the US Constitution. Following the process laid out in the Constitution for amending it, as has been done successfully 22 times and attempted a half-dozen others, is not "overthrowing."

              Then, you accuse me of hyperbole?

              This conversation is over.

              Our constitution was wisely crafted, and suggestions to overthrow it require careful consideration -- not hyperbole.
              P.S. Nowhere do I even discuss one person taking on an army. Maybe you confused me with someone else?
    •  Bullseye... (0+ / 0-)

      ...thanks for saying what needs to be said here.

  •  I don't favor repeal of 2A. (4+ / 0-)

    Sensible federal legislation that will be difficult for a future Republican administration to overturn is the answer.

    To begin with, no one needs a gun with more than six rounds in a clip, including police.

    No civilian needs guns derived from current or recent military designs, say post-WWII.

  •  YAY, Elizabeth Warren just emailed that she's (6+ / 0-)

    on board with the Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban.  This is not unexpected at all, but it is nice to see this thing coalescing.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:27:11 AM PST

  •  repeal it..!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, cjo30080, atana, Sharon Wraight

    which does not mean banning guns...but allows states and cities to create rules appropriate for their needs...cities may have different needs than rural areas.

    and liability insurance...which would cause the creation of regulations and products to increase safety...or else guns would be too expensive to construction we have OSHA...but the real enforcers of worker safety is the insurance companies.

    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:33:37 AM PST

  •  another aspect of my KEEP theory of gun management (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFWmom, Nova Land

    The Charlton Heston level of gun possession.  The gun must be in your hand or you face felony-failure to secure a deadly weapon.

    You must physically prove continuity of possession every 5 years.  If you cannon physically present the actual gun for continuity of possession, you are charged with felony-failure to secure a deadly weapon.

    God I hope other people can see the beauty of this.

    Hey, GOP - Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, & Hang On!

    by 88kathy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:55:38 AM PST

  •  I've got a new sig line (0+ / 0-)

    and a new petition at the White House.

    Will research how to do a live link in the sig line.

    Sign my White House Petition [Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment]

    by 88kathy on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:55:36 AM PST

  •  Paging Naomi Klein (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Shock Doctrine

    Kenyan Socialism today Kenyan Socialism tomorrow Kenyan Socialism forever May his reign last 1,000 years

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:22:40 AM PST

  •  "Repeal the 2nd amendment" is the right message (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, Glen The Plumber

    Amending it, IMO, doesn't make a lot of sense. What would be the point? To emphasize that it is OK to have a National Guard? That is not in question. To emphasize that it is ok to own guns when it is lawful to do so? Repealing the 2nd -- but not adding any language banning guns -- has the same effect.

    Just repeal it. "The Second Amendment is repealed". That is all that is needed.

    Does a repeal have any chance of happening? Certainly not right away, but like the Equal Rights Amendment for women, it sets a goal that can help shift the center of the argument (the "Overton Window") even if it is never ratified. And we don't know yet how much the country may shift in our direction after a few more massacres and more media attention toward handgun killings.

  •  I love it. Saw E Warren this past weekend and (0+ / 0-)

    she talked about that support....
    BTW -Where are the NRA trolls?

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:45:07 PM PST

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