|TaBoo's Second Amendment to the Constitution
By: TaBoo Tenente
Posted: Friday, February 04, 2005 on TaBoo Tenente's Ezine
Message Board: Politics
What kind of arms do you bear? When you are not bearing your arms, where do you store them? In general, how often, would you say, do you bear your arms for the purpose intended by the Second Amendment to the Constituion of the United States of America?
There is a right, as provided by the Second Amendment, to bear arms. Debates continue in and out of courtrooms as to how such a right should be protected, limited, and monitored. While discussions tend to polarize our citizens along political lines, the reasons for the polarization have a habit of taking tea when rational debate attempts to get some work done.
"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." There it is. That is the Amendment. Often timid around this debate, I lurk in corners, eavesdropping from the shadows of pretending no opinion. I will then hear a bearer of arms declare that this clearly protects the right of an American citizen to own and self-equip. Then, invariably, a non-bearer will declare that the only right clearly protected by the Second Amendment is the right of the militia, be it official or civilian, to arm itself.
Thank you for the clarity, holy protectors of our inalienable rights.
Why should our founders have established such a vaguely constructed Amendment, and then rank it second only to the Freedom of Speech and Expression? Obviously a common spirit and understanding existed here, some purpose intended to guide our young nation away from the antiquated structures of European government.
We all know that purpose: the power must reside with the people, rather than the system. That was the idea. When the system no longer protects the inalienable rights of its citizens, then the citizens must end the system. Thus, the founders declared that a citizen must have the right to declare the failure of the government to provide for everyone (First Amendment); then they must have the capacity to defend a healthy government or tear down a broken government.
Hear, ye liberals and ye conservatives. We are still united in purpose and intent. No ACLU comrade yet will burn a star-spangled banner, and Mr. Heston continues to smile brightly over his brood of shining, arms-bearing masses.
The problem begins, however, when changes take place in our society. Technology has evolved beyond our founders' imaginings. Our military forces are relatively well-equipped and the resources for training soldiers are adequate. No citizen-based militia will defend the eastern sea-board for many, many years.
But, perhaps, we will need to protect ourselves from a failing government. If our duty is to ensure a healthy system, and then the system fails, we will be hard-pressed to overthrow a patriot-missile firing, stealth-bomber flying government without our bayonets.
Will we ever need to take up arms against our own government? History says that we will, though I doubt we will come to any such pass in the near future. What seems to be the more pressing issue, is the fact that many Americans would like to protect their homes, families, and own persons against the illegal activities of misfits in our own society.
Perhaps a handgun makes sense. What if more than one misfit attempts to destroy what you love? What if, instead of flashing a pistol in your direction, someone threatens you with a semi-automatic weapon? Perhaps you should saw off your shotgun, and stock an AK-47, just to be on the correct side of caution.
I personally believe that such weapons cause more damage than they prevent. I cannot imagine owning such a weapon if I had children, or if I had any doubts about the security of my home in preventing someone else from accessing my gun. But I know that technology will push on, and criminals will arm themselves with advanced weapons, and I do not want to curtail a right that, at its roots, at least, I agree with.
So. To the point. I will re-write the Amendment, and I imagine that any lingering debate will subsequently cease; and prosperity and joy will once again reign o'er the apparently purple mountains of a great, if slightly pompous, nation.
TaBoo's Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America: "As it is our duty, as citizens of a people's government, to ensure that the system will provide and protect each and every one of its children, citizens shall have the right to protect themselves by purchasing, registering, learning to responsibly use, and ensuring the security from unauthorized arms-bearers certain acceptable firearms.
"The list of acceptable firearms will change as technology changes. Regardless, a citizen must register and demonstrate competency on a regular basis for each firearm before it may be borne; and a legal storage facility for said firearm must exist in the citizen's place of residence.
"Moreover, a citizen who inappropriately sells, purchases, stores, or utilizes a firearm will lose this right indefinitely and be held accountable within the fullest power of the Law."