Congressman Bill Foster, a Democrat representing Illinois’ 11th district was participating in a community forum on gun violence demonstrated not only why the anti-gun agenda is wrong but also why the federal government has grown wildly out of control.
Flanked by two area high school students, a pediatrician and the mother of a gun violence victim, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster told a community forum audience Monday the Second Amendment should be up for reinterpretation as new generations come into power.
So no one who actually understands the Second Amendment was on hand to provide any sort of balance, but that should surprise no one.
“It always has been up for reinterpretation,” Foster, D-Naperville, said during an event focused on gun violence. “The technology changes, and the weapons thought to be too dangerous to be in private hands change. A civil war cannon is frankly much less dangerous than weapons we are allowed to carry on the streets in many of the states and cities in our country today. This is something where technology changes and public attitude changes and both are important in each of the generations.” (emphasis added)
Therein lies the flaw which has turned the Constitutional Republic of the United States into a country controlled by unelected bureaucrats and buried under a planet of debt (we surpassed a mountain of debt long ago). The flaw is the notion that the Constitution literally means different things at different times. The people ruining America are the people who believe that your rights change according to popular whim.
No, Congressman Foster, the Second Amendment isn’t open to reinterpretation by each generation because weapons have changed any more than the First Amendment is open to reinterpretation because communication technology has been radically changed by the internet. The Fourth Amendment isn’t open to reinterpretation because authorities have new technology through which they can commit unlawful searches and seizure of property.
Two area high school students, Rohan Chakrabarty and Jacob Baron, who helped lead walkouts at their schools in response to gun violence last month, helped answer audience questions, called for action and agreed with Foster on some possible solutions.
“It’s up to generations to interpret parts of the Constitution. We have changing technology, changing needs, changing groups of people living in the country,” said Rohan, a senior at Metea Valley High School. “We should continue to progress our views on something like the Second Amendment.”
Congressman Foster and the other children on his panel believe that a person’s rights are as fluid as they now presumably believe gender to be. Public attitudes determine what your rights are in any given generation. They are not inalienable rights endowed by your creator. They are handed out to you by the government who is there to wisely determine what they are in light of the current state of technology as well as whatever fads and trends may be relevant.
By violating any Amendment in the Bill of Rights we could probably prevent someone from committing a crime but we don’t experience bouts of national hysteria about the other nine amendments it contains like we do with the Second, though all of them are usually under varying degrees of assault from the state.
When President Trump floated the idea of “reinterpreting” the First Amendment to make journalists subject to lawsuits when they report false or damaging information, people rightfully reacted negatively. A reporter abusing First Amendment rights to falsely promote a political agenda could have disastrous results. That’s not a justification for infringing on the rights to free speech or a free press.
Likewise, the disastrous results that sometimes occur when the people’s right to keep and bear is are not infringed are not a justification for infringing upon them. It allows witless demagogues to make appeals to emotion and stampede the herd in their desired direction but the reasoning does not hold water.
We cannot remain a Constitutional Republic built on the idea that certain rights are inalienable if we continually reinterpret which rights are inalienable and which are not. Those who would deny that someone today is entitled to the same rights as people someone 100 or 1000 years ago (or 100 or 1000 years from now does not understand the concept of rights.
Yes, our society and government has wrongfully denied and does deny rights to certain classes of people, most notably African Americans and the unborn. That does not change the absolute fact that those whose rights have been infringed possessed those rights in the first place. The rights enshrined in the Constitution exist whether you acknowledge them or not. Truth remains true whether or not you choose to agree with it. Our Constitution requires the government to recognize and protect those rights, not define them away when they become inconvenient or invent new ones as fashions change.
Rights that change with public opinion are not rights at all. A government that will reinterpret your right to bear arms according to changing public attitudes, emotional responses to tragedy will also reinterpret you’re right to free speech, assembly, private property and more if it becomes advantageous for them to do so.
Government is not Constitutionally limited if the Constitution has no absolute meaning.