Guard the 2nd Amendment

You may have read the words of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens that ran recently in the Washington Post. He has a suggestion to ‘fix’ the 2nd Amendment. The troubling part is that this man was a Supreme Court Justice. The more troubling part is that he is certainly not alone in thinking much of the Constitution is broken.

In part, he said the following:

The Second Amendment expressly endorsed the substantive common-law rule that protected the citizen’s right (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia. … The notion that the states were concerned about possible infringement of that right by the federal government is really quite absurd.

[It can be fixed]… by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:

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

Well, I do not believe there is anything wrong with the 2nd Amendment. I believe it says exactly what was intended. It was written right after our country was saved because of citizens who had firearms and the memory of that awful struggle was fresh in the minds of the Patriots who penned the Bill of Rights. A militia would have weapons – why would they need to say that citizens had the right to have arms to belong to a militia?

We have the right to bear arms as part of our God given right to self-defense (life, liberty and pursuit of happiness). But maybe Georgia should adopt a Resolution that enhances and confirms the 2nd Amendment in a way that cannot be misunderstood by the courts. What if we took the original intent, added interpretations by various court cases throughout the years and threw in some language from various state constitutions. We might end up with something like this:

Whereas a primary function of the State is to protect the citizens of this country from threats both foreign and domestic,

and whereas, of necessity, this protection requires the creation and maintenance of a standing army under the control of the government,

and whereas history has proved that, from time to time, the usurpations and arbitrary power of rulers result in the misuse of that army and can jeopardize the existence of this free state and oppress its citizens,

and whereas that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens equal to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens,

and whereas a role of a State Militia made up of its citizens is to act as as a force to defend national sovereignty, quell insurrection, and protect against tyranny,

and whereas the right of the individual citizens to bear arms, whether as a part of that Militia or not, is an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, protection of individual liberty and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state,

Now Therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Is that clear enough for you?