The wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting has once again resulted in the bashing of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. The noise is becoming much louder and the voices more strident and directed at the right to bear arms.
The increase in volume is due in large part to the recruitment of high school students by the Left for the cause of disarming Americans. There is a “March for Our Lives” upon Washington D.C. planned for next month and it is being promoted vigorously on all the appropriate social media and TV networks.
The Goal Is Repealing the 2nd Amendment
There is no mistaking the Left’s goal in the non-debate about guns. It is the literal abolishment of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution through repeal. In fact, leftists are no longer even pretending this is not the case.
Of course, those precise words will not be used. However, the result advocated for will mean the 2nd goes away. It cannot be otherwise. The constitutional guarantee of the right to bear arms cannot be infringed away by any fiat decree or series of decrees. It is inconceivable that the Supreme Court would allow any executive action or law passed by Congress disarming the public.
There is but one legal way to accomplish making guns illegal. The Constitution has to be further amended to repeal the 2nd Amendment. That is a very difficult task to accomplish, thanks to the foresight of our Founding Fathers.
The Danger to the 2nd Amendment Is Real
Though it is difficult to amend the Constitution, it is certainly not impossible. At present, the document has been amended 27 times. The most recent amendment is perhaps the strangest of all. It was passed in 1992, but it was first proposed as part of the Bill of Rights in 1789! It is a ban on mid-term salary raises for Congress that James Madison originally proposed.
There are two methods by which an amendment can be proposed. One is through Congressional action. The Senate and House must approve the proposal by a two-thirds majority.
The other method to propose an amendment is through a Constitutional Convention called by two-thirds of the state legislatures. No amendment has ever been proposed via convention. That is only half of the process.
The proposed amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Each state legislature must ratify it and then the amendment becomes part of the constitution. Incidentally, the president has no part in the process.
Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication.
There have been six amendments which were proposed and failed to be ratified. The most recent of these was the attempt at an “Equal Rights Amendment” which ultimately fell three states short in 1982.
There has only been one amendment out of 33 proposed which repealed a previous amendment. In fact, no other amendment has even proposed the repeal of a previous one. The 18th Amendment established federal prohibition of intoxicating beverages in 1920. It proved enormously unpopular and was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933.
Should this push for “gun control” succeed in reaching the leftist ends, for only the second time in history would the repeal of another Amendment be proposed.
Repeal Is Possible but Extremely Unlikely
The danger is real as a possibility and is certainly the goal of the Left. However, it is extremely unlikely to even get a “repeal the 2nd” proposal to the state level. Getting two-thirds of both houses of Congress on almost anything today is near miraculous. Should a miracle of that sort occur, it is inconceivable 38 of 50 states would also agree to ratify a proposal to disarm their citizens.
This also means that President Trump would do well to consider the political ramifications of embracing infringement of the 2nd Amendment. I hope he is sincere in the bit of walking back his recent rash comments about seizing guns.
The Constitution provides the Executive the power to enforce the law. As noted above, the President has no part in the Amendment process per Article V. Since that is so, he should also realize his opinion is constitutionally irrelevant and simply “support and defend the Constitution” as he vowed to do.
No Part of the Constitution Is Negotiable
President Trump has been by any measure a remarkably accomplished Chief Executive in his first year and change in office. Most of these accomplishments have delighted conservatives from the massive de-regulation to tax cuts and even the increase in defense spending among some.
The president is also renowned as a master deal-maker. It is a reputation well-earned throughout his adult life and culminated in his book “The Art of the Deal.” He has run into those occasional attempts where there is a non-negotiable item.
For the conservative base of the president’s supporters, all of the Constitution is non-negotiable. Thus the 2nd Amendment is non-negotiable just as much as the 1st Amendment and the 4th and the 10th and all the rest of the document.
The same is true concerning the Congress presently in place as the mid-term elections approach. The 2nd Amendment is non-negotiable for Senators and Representatives as well. Republicans, in particular, would do well to remember that fact.
Unless the leftists in Congress think that the 2nd can be successfully repealed. It is hard to imagine even the Congress being that foolish. The overwhelming odds are that such an attempt would fail miserably.
A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2 [ESV]
Of course, this passage does not specifically represent the political right or left of today. However, the closest ideology in the political realm to the principles of the biblical “right” is the conservative ideology.
The ideology that holds the Constitution as the non-negotiable Law of the Land. Wisdom suggests this is the best course for America.
Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
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Inset Image 3 Courtesy of Jason Pier in DC’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
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