Another Proposal to "Improve" the Second
Amendment, by Rendering it Toothless



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By Kurt Hofmann, May 7th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

A few weeks ago we talked about retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' wish to "fix" the Second Amendment, by amending it to guarantee the people's right to keep and bear arms only when serving in "the militia." Now, "progressive" writer Sanjay Sanghoee is proposing his own "update" to the Second Amendment.

Sanjay Sanghoee

He justifies this, of course, with pious hand-wringing about "gun violence," and for that, he knows that there is no better source of innocent blood to exploit than the murdered children of Sandy Hook Elementary. But the Second Amendment is also to be disparaged, he argues in his Huffington Post op-ed, because its purpose of protecting the people's means of effective resistance against a tyrannical government is no longer relevant, because no number of civilians with small arms can resist the mightiest military superpower on Earth:

So does the Second Amendment really serve a useful purpose in modern society and should it be modified to suit our times?

The answer to the former depends on whether you imagine that the Second Amendment somehow protects Americans from a tyrannical government. It does not. No matter how many weapons private citizens stockpile or even what type of guns they own, a private militia can never match the firepower of the U.S. government. Simply put, if our government ever decides to suppress the citizenry by force, privately held guns won't be the factor that makes a difference.

We've heard that many times before, of course, and now we're hearing it again, just weeks after determined militia men and women faced down that same government and sent them packing.

A major part of the "problem," according to Sanghoee, is Americans' "blind adherence to the Constitution." That, evidently, is a favorite theme of Sanghoee's, who once commented (in response to pushback against yet another of his "gun control" screeds) that, "People need to get off their literal following of the constitution [sic] for every single thing," apparently believing that we should treat the guarantees of our fundamental human rights, as enumerated in the Bill of Rights, as figures of speech.

JPFO contributor David Codrea notes that Sanghoee's disdain for Americans' reverence for the Constitution is a rather curious position for him, as a naturalized American citizen, to espouse, given his oath to "support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same . . . ."

So what, exactly, would this "update" to the Second Amendment entail? He doesn't say, although he provides a hint, when he implies tolerance for (emphasis added) "private citizens keeping a handgun at home for personal protection or hunters owning a rifle, but those exceptions can be covered without the overarching sweep of the Second Amendment." If allowing citizens to keep a single handgun, or a single hunting rifle, is to be characterized as "exceptions," then the general rule sounds very much like a comprehensive gun ban.

We also know that he evidently believes that Justice Stevens' proposed "fix" to the Second Amendment lets gun owners off too easily:

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently suggested adding the words "when serving in [the militia]" to update the Second Amendment but that won't necessarily work either since the definition of 'militia' itself is debatable.

It appears, then, that he is concerned that if Stevens' proposal were to become reality, we pesky gun owners might go ahead and actually form militias, and thereby regain the protections embodied in the Second Amendment that he wants to deny us. Sanghoee would probably refer to this as the "militia loophole."

No statist claptrap about the need to "update" the Constitutional guarantee of our fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms would be complete without an Orwellian "Opposite Day" utter inversion of reality, and Sanghoee does not disappoint:

Ironically, the problem with the Second Amendment is that by being so broad, it actually makes it vulnerable to interpretation and sets up the conflict between the right to bear arms (reasonable) and the ability to pose a serious threat to civilized society (unreasonable). Limiting its scope, therefore, could strengthen the spirit of the Amendment by removing its undesirable consequences.

Yep--he is kindly offering to "strengthen the spirit" of the Second Amendment, by limiting it to the point of irrelevance. Thanks, but no thanks, Sanjay.

I once wrote some commentary responding to Sanghoee's piteous inquiry, "Where is Gun Control?" As it happens, JPFO can provide him with a comprehensive history of precisely where it has been for most of the last century. That's probably far more truth than he wants to hear, though.

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A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column.

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