Reforming the US Constitution, Part 2: Repeal the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution must be repealed. Three reasons:

Reason #1: The amendment begins with a load of useless verbiage about “well regulated militias”. State militias became obsolete when the US Congress passed the Dick Act of 1903. This act consolidated the several state militias under the aegis of the National Guard. Since that time state militias have been nothing more than an irrelevant anachronism.

The rest of the amendment is a dependent clause, clearly implying that it is intended to provide support for state militias. Since such militias are no longer necessary to either state or national defense, the amendment itself is obsolete.

Reason #2: The amendment has no exclusions of any kind. There are no exclusions for the types of persons who may own weapons. Criminals, terrorists, the mentally ill, spouse abusers– all are guaranteed the same right to own weapons. That is not just immoral, it would be profoundly disruptive to society if the amendment were actually enforced as written.

The amendment is not just about guns– it’s about “arms”. In the context of 1789 “arms” means weapons. And that means rocket launchers, tanks, canons, mortars, and yes– guns. There are no exclusions for any of these types of weapons.

The amendment guarantees any person, regardless of age or intent, free access to any and all classes of weapons. That is just wrong.

Reason #3: Since 1968 there has been another law that governs the regulation of weapons in America. That law is the 1968 Gun Control Act. It was enacted by Congress in response to the assassination of President Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald obtained the gun that he used via a mail order gun retailer. The sale was made across state lines, and Congress acted to prevent such interstate sales of guns.

The act defines classes of people, including criminals, the mentally ill, and spouse abusers, who cannot legally purchase or own guns. It requires weapons manufacturers and resellers to obtain a federal license. And it defines classes of weapons that cannot be owned by private citizens. In short it does precisely what the Second Amendment does not do.

The law that actually governs how weapons are manufactured, sold, and used in the United States is the US Gun Control Act, not the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment therefore adds nothing useful to jurisprudence and it provides no additional guarantees that are not provided in the US Gun Control Act. Since the passage of that act, and other related legislation, the Second Amendment has added nothing but confusion to the public discourse. Therefore it must be repealed.

Written 2019-09-15

Copyright (c) 2019 David S. Moore. All rights reserved.

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