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A Small Request from Hawaii: Repeal or Reword the Second Amendment

The left declared war on the Second Amendment a long time ago – there can be no doubt about that. Though their attacks often wear the guise of “common sense” and are accompanied by promises that “no one is coming for your guns,” don’t be fooled; they still want to disarm you. As Liberty Nation’s Graham J. Noble once wrote, “Democrats have never come across a gun restriction they didn’t like.”

That lawmakers in the great state of Hawaii – boyhood home of anti-Second Amendment President Barack Obama – want to end the right of the people to keep and bear arms, therefore, comes as no surprise. What is shocking, however, is the openness of the attack.

Introduced by Democratic state Senators Stanley Chang of District 9, Karl Rhoads of District 13, Rosalyn Baker of District 6, Dru Kanuha of District 3, and Laura H. Thielen of District 25, SRC 42 urges the U.S. Congress to repeal the Second Amendment – or at the very least, to clarify it so that it no longer enshrines an individual right.

The Argument

The concurrent resolution begins by quoting the Second Amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

So far, so good. The text goes on to point out the years of debate over the meaning of the prefatory clause regarding the well regulated militia, and briefly explains the differences between the two primary theories behind the debate – whether the right is one of the individual or the collective state.

Under their chosen interpretation – the collective right theory – the Second Amendment guarantees each state the right to maintain a militia in defense against federal tyranny. Under the individual right theory, it’s each person who has the right to keep and bear arms in defense against government tyranny.

Since the Supreme Court has, over the course of the years, backed both arguments, these legislators propose that Congress should further amend the Constitution, in accordance with Article V, to either repeal the Second Amendment or clarify that it only guarantees the collective right of the state.

The Problem

For those who follow to the individual right theory, the prefatory clause merely defines the reason that the people should have the right to bear arms – that is, that without an armed populace, there’s no way to protect against government tyranny.

For those on the collective right side of the argument, this clearly refers to the state militia. There’s one little problem with this argument: It completely ignores the writings and speeches of the very men who drafted and voted to adopt the Bill of Rights. Let us, once again, look back to their own words and see just what they most likely intended the Second Amendment to mean:

  • “I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” – George Mason, at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in June of 1778.
  • “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, in the first draft of the Constitution.
  • “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison.
  • “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” – James Madison, the first draft of the Second Amendment, as preserved by Annals of Congress 434.
  • “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” – Patrick Henry, at the Virginia Ratifying Convention.
  • “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, at the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention.

The Chances

So what chance does this stand of passing? In the state of Hawaii, pretty good. There are 24 Democratic senators to a mere one Republican. In the House, it’s 46-5. The resolution will almost certainly sail through.

But what then? Even if some progressive Democrat in the House or Senate were to take up this cause and propose either the repeal or clarification – that is, redefinition – there are simply too many Republicans and pro-gun Democrats (yes, they do exist) in both chambers. Such an amendment would never gain the needed two-thirds support from both houses – never mind be accepted by three-fourths of the States.

The Danger

While it’s far more likely any amendment along these lines would end up amongst the thousands of proposals that never get a vote – if not the six that have actually been shot down – the mere fact that such a resolution would be drafted and have a chance at passing state legislature demonstrates a dangerous trend.

Until recently, few Democratic politicians would have admitted a desire to see the populace disarmed. As the party’s voter base trended father left over the years, however, more seem perfectly comfortable revealing their true motives. Just look at how close both Georgia and Florida came to electing anti-gun progressives as governor.

Read More From James Fite

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