‘Has Technology Rendered the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution Obsolete?’

Who asks this question? The Huffington Post? The New York Times?

Let us read a little further.

The question is posed somewhat differently: “That is, has the application of modern military design to civilian firearms produced a class of weapons too dangerous to be in general circulation?”

The answer by what must be a very liberal publication is, “We say: Yes.”

After describing the horrific crime committed by Adam Lanza “in the blink of an eye,” and “armed with a ‘sporting’ version of the US military’s principal assault weapon, plus two equally deadly handguns,” this left-wing publication asks, “Did he have to pull a trigger to discharge each round?” and answers, “Yes,” but adds:

…the fact is that the volume of fire produced by Lanza’s semi-automatic arsenal was substantively the same as the fully automatic “gangster guns” effectively outlawed by Congress in 1934 and again in 1968.

After some additional discussion on the 2nd Amendment, the 2008 and 2010 Supreme Court decisions and on the “politics of guns” we read:

There are enough privately owned firearms in America almost literally to arm every adult citizen.

And Adam Lanza’s rifle of choice — the M-16 knock-off Bushmaster — is insanely popular, just for starters.

Which underscores the fact that historically there is scant political will for weapons control. And it’s unlikely that there will be, once the Sandy Hook slaughter fades from the nation’s consciousness.

But that won’t negate the need for reform. Weapons designed expressly to kill human beings, and then modified (wink wink) to meet the federal machine-gun ban, have no legitimate place in American society.

Time to get rid of them.

Time to get rid of them?

All this in an editorial in the conservative New York Post?

Rub your eyes and read it all here.

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

38 Comments

  1. Joe Scarborough? The New York Post?

    What’s next? The NRA endorsing an end to the gun show loophole? I’ll check in again later. Right now I need to go pinch myself.

  2. it may have but if conservatives don’t want to compromise of sensible gun regulations then we should go after the ammunition. after all, the constitution gives us (as part of a “well-regulated militia” which conservatives conveniently ignore), the right to bear arms. it makes no mention of the right to having ammunition.

  3. The answer is yes.

  4. the only answer is an amendment… anything else gets buried by SCOTUS.

  5. would it be possible to actually enforce the first part of the second amendment? you know the part about “maintaining a well-regulated militia”? have the federal government start laying out strict guidelines for gun owners to be part of some type of actual state militia–similar to the state national guards but with minor changes. then, to make sure states enforced these new rules, tie the rules to law enforcement funding. hunting riles and shotguns could be exempt and semi-automatic guns would be under tight regulation.

    this is similar to the way the federal government tied minimum drinking age laws to highway funding to the states.

    it’s not like the states could sue since all this is expressly laid in the constitution for these so called “originalists.” (i’m looking at you scalia!) so, let’s see how quickly states comply to this.

  6. brcarthey, good ideas, however only the honest gun owners would really sign up for such a thing. The criminals wouldn’t.

    As the question posed in the article: Yes.

    The article clearly shows that the “sport” versions of these weapons are too easy to misuse. In a perfect world these types of weapons would be available to the public but restricted to shooting ranges and other locations for SPORT shooting. Clip-sizes would also be very limited.

  7. …however only the honest gun owners would really sign up for such a thing. The criminals wouldn’t.

    Well of course the criminals won’t. Drug dealers won’t sign on to stiffer sentences for their kind, bank robbers will never vote for better security at banks, etc. Whether they are on board with something that may curtail criminal activity shouldn’t prevent us from doing that thing. If they were on board, then it should give us pause.

    As to whether the “honest gun owners” would sign up, I’m not so sure. If you went to the NRA and said “look, you guys can have as many guns as you want, so long as they are registered, tagged, and the assault rifles can only be used when you get called up for service in the national or state militia,” they’d accuse you of being an America-hating communist or some such thing.

    The idea of an armed citizenry as a means of defending the country is lost on these guys. They think (or are at least headed in the direction of thinking) that the only purpose of an armed citizenry is for the eventual, apocalyptic showdown with “the government.”

    I don’t know about you, but it is not lost on me that the target of this latest massacre – perpetrated with legally stockpiled guns apparently intended for some sort of looming apocalypse – was a government institution.

  8. the only answer is an amendment

    This.

    I like the concept of a second amendment. However, the rulings supporting it have been too broad.

    Conceptually, the right to self-defense has to be one of the fundamental Big Rights of mankind. The issue is defining that line between self-defense (and hunting/sporting) and aggression. That’s where an amendment would be helpful.

    The Amendment, as written, absolutely blows (can I say “blows” here on TMV? We’ll see, I guess). “Militia” no long applies, and the phrasing … unlike any other in the entirety of the Bill of Rights … is awful and cause for endless debate.

    I would prefer to see it re-written to remove the outdated term “militia”, make the phrasing absolutely clear, and state as the goal that the “bearing of arms” is geared towards self defense and the right to protect oneself, one’s family, and one’s property from harm or theft.

  9. “The last refuge of the scoundrel is semantics.” -Unknown
    (1) “Militia”, we don’t need no militia, we got the National Guard and the other Federal Armed Forces.
    (2) “well regulated”. Well putting regulations in place would certainly regulate them and so would a high fiber diet.
    (3) The “right to bear arms”. Great, we have the right to “regulate” the amount of ammo you get and how you can consume it. Enjoy your musket and you can have all the powder and balls that you want.
    (4) You don’t have the right to impinge on my “right to pursue happiness” by enjoying what personal pleasure you get by not being “regulated”. (Traffic lights, speeding laws and seat belts.)

  10. what dduck said, and said it so well

    added: And I wish the “scoundrels” would leave their last refuge of semantics, i.e. what is and isn’t an assault weapon, etc., based on some cute parsing of words, based on some merciless definition of what damage it can cause to a deer, a rabbit or a “pd.”

    If the weapon and its ammo can tear little children to shreds, BAN IT, no ifs and certainly no “buts” about it.

  11. DDW, that covers all firearms, a musket or a shotgun included.

  12. No, dduck. I am not talking about banning all firearms, and you know it. Now you are parsing.

  13. so then let’s just tax and regulate the heck out of ammunition. the constitution gives no right to ammunition. since, ammunition (and arms) manufacturers are federally regulated, it stands to reason that the fed can institute any pricing structure it wants. i bet if a box of ammo cost >$500 (or some enormous cost), people might think twice about being so trigger happy or be prevented from stockpiling ammo for some nefarious purpose.

  14. Get real. I own NO automatic wapons or assault rifles. I do have a .357 Magnum revolver and a pump action Winchester 12 GA. shotgun with alternate rounds of double ought buck and deer slugs. If I cannot protect my person/family/property until help arrives with these guns?, an assault rifle, or a glock with twelve rounds would’nt help? It’s time to ban these weapons.They have one purpose. Killing your fellow man.

  15. DDW, “If the weapon and its ammo can tear little children to shreds, BAN IT, no ifs and certainly no “buts” about it.”

    I apologize, I missed the “the” in the sentence.
    BTW: shotguns can be terribly destructive.

  16. Proud,

    I had a conversation with an expecting mother one day. She has a large collection of firearms including (what I would call) assault weapons. Very proud of them all. Said she got them to protect her child. When I challenged her by saying “from what, the zombie apocalypse?” she was quite incredulous. I tried to ask her to come up with any realistic scenario where such an arsenal would actually protect her or her family from anything, and she just retreated back into “well it’s my right to own them & I like them so I have them.”

    I didn’t even get into “would you really engage in a full firefight with hostile invaders with your newborn baby in the next room?”. I knew that would just go nowhere. This is an issue I have with those who say “arm schoolteachers” or “just have everyone carry”. The average citizen is not going to be able to engage in a firefight with a hostile intruder. That requires extensive police or military training. Pfft, most people can’t even drive the cars they are properly licensed for, never mind shoot their guns!

    I’ve had conversations with sane gun owners, too. They concur: some weapons are good for protection, some are good for hunting, and some are just toys or satisfy some fetishistic desire. Guess which ones are which …

  17. Yup.

  18. Wow!… there is a momentum..
    Just a simple question here… why is the National Guard not considered to be the well armed militia? Let the ones that are in the National Guard have the necessary guns…. have them to post security in the schools until this can be taken care of to a deeper degree…

    Dorian i fully agree…

    If the weapon and its ammo can tear little children to shreds, BAN IT, no ifs and certainly no “buts” about it.

  19. OS asks:

    “why is the National Guard not considered to be the well armed militia?”

    From every little bit that I know of the Constitution and the military, the National Guards of each State ARE exactly, in my humble opinion, the well regulated militias that the writers of the 2nd Amendment must have had in mind…

  20. Thanks, dduck. No apology necessary.

    I believe we are talking past each other. From reading all your previous comments on this issue, I believe we are in broad agreement, and, yes, shotguns can also be terribly destructive and so can “regular handguns.” However, in the context of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, I ask you to compare the carnage that a man armed with a shotgun could do before he is stopped, with the carnage that the killer armed with a Bushmaster semi-automatic, 30 -”exploding bullets” clips, etc, etc. actually did.

    Thanks

  21. Elijah says:

    Joe Scarborough? The New York Post?

    What’s next? The NRA endorsing an end to the gun show loophole? I’ll check in again later. Right now I need to go pinch myself.

    Don’t pinch too hard yet, Elijah.

    West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who suggested earlier in the week on Morning Joe that the time had come for some gun control restrictions, is now walking it all back.

    The NRA probably got to him.

    Read more here http://www.politico.com/story/.....2FYVIzftag

  22. Get real. I own NO automatic wapons or assault rifles. I do have a .357 Magnum revolver and a pump action Winchester 12 GA. shotgun with alternate rounds of double ought buck and deer slugs. If I cannot protect my person/family/property until help arrives with these guns?, an assault rifle, or a glock with twelve rounds would’nt help? It’s time to ban these weapons.They have one purpose. Killing your fellow man.

    You know it’s funny because there has been talk of adding shotguns to some “assault weapon” bans if they have a mag capacity of greater than 3 shots. You .357 may be a bit less effective with only .38′s because .357 is designed to kill not stop and .38 is more than good enough.

  23. why is the National Guard not considered to be the well armed militia?

    It’s a bit more complicated than that. Militia were the citizens and that phrase was meant to say that the Govt needed to be able to pull from the citizens armed and able men and protecting the right to be armed guaranteed that pool of men was available. In theory there were both full and part time solders under arms so the intent would be clear that even tho there were employed solders the constitution was intended to ensure that the citizens had the ability to be armed to respond as a “Militia” if necessary. The fact that the groups of solders are larger and possibly there is less theoretical need for that “Militia” would not effect the constitutional argument.

    From every little bit that I know of the Constitution and the military, the National Guards of each State ARE exactly, in my humble opinion, the well regulated militias that the writers of the 2nd Amendment must have had in mind…

    I’m not a constitutional scholar here but the only people who really push that belief are gun control activists. There is no evidence from the writings of the Founding Fathers, early American legal commentators, or Supreme Court decisions, indicating that the Second Amendment was intended to apply solely to active militia members. In fact there is quite a bit of evidence otherwise. At the very least the Militia was Every able man and not limited to those enrolled in some military or police force.

    The colonial framers had a deep distrust of standing armies because they could so easily become the tool of a tyrannical govt. The idea that their intention would be to limit the availability of firearms to extensions of govt only, which is what the NG’s are, would be extremely hard to justify considering what is known.

  24. Try doing some reading on 3-D printers though

  25. EE, times have changed, the constitution is outdated on the second, IMHO.
    I guess if one feels that the National Guard and the Federal Forces are not enough to protect us from ___________, then you may be correct. I don’t feel that way.

  26. I think EE’s comment is accurate. The 1700′s were a perilous time for anyone who wasn’t armed and the concern about tyrannical governments was very real. Perhaps after the French Revolution, they wished they had had a better way to word it to make sure neither the government nor the citizens had a lock on intimidation. We’re still working on it.

  27. EE, times have changed, the constitution is outdated on the second, IMHO.
    I guess if one feels that the National Guard and the Federal Forces are not enough to protect us from ___________, then you may be correct. I don’t feel that way.

    Outdated? Not really the point when asking if something is constitutional. Necessary might be a better way of saying it and I do think that here and now some of the reasons for the 2nd appear unnecessary. We don’t need armed civilians for defense and police actions and I think we need arms to restrain the current govt but it’s believed by most and that includes SCOTUS that there is a right to bear arms to defend oneself and others and we never know what the future may bring.

  28. and I think we need arms to restrain the current govt

    Wow! Is that a typo, EEllis? (I hope)

  29. DDW, sad to say, a shotgun can do more damage in close quarters.

  30. Wow! Is that a typo, EEllis?

    Yes. I don’t think we need arms but there is nothing wrong with having them for that purpose.

  31. @eellis, promoting the use of firearms against our federal government can be construed as sedition–something our constitution frowns upon.

  32. Just for clarification having arms or the desire to have arms to prevent excesses fro the govt isn’t meant. or at least shouldn’t be meant, as some ok to revolt or rebel against lawful authority. What was thought of as important is that if the Govt became invalid, usurped powers that it was never intended to have, if that govt was no longer the peoples govt then they would have the power to resist. Also by having that power it would make the Govt have to consider it’s actions. Sure the military can beat any group of citizens resisting it but one would assume the decision to send in solders is more difficult when you know some people will resist than when you are sure that no one has the ability to do so.

  33. @eellis, promoting the use of firearms against our federal government can be construed as sedition–something our constitution frowns upon.

    Well I just commented on that but to continue what I was stating is something the founding fathers clearly agreed with. The Govt is accountable to the people and if it ever fails to be so then an armed citizenry would be vital to resisting such a govt. Lets be clear people who are clear and understand the issues are not talking about fighting the US govt. They are talking about resisting a govt that has illegally taken over the US and is no longer accountable to it’s citizens. Elections no longer being held, taxes given fait accompl, the citizens no longer able to effect changes in the govt then the citizens have the right and ability to resist and the fact that there is such a right and ability will hopefully insure that it will never happen.

  34. Sure the military can beat any group of citizens resisting it but one would assume the decision to send in solders is more difficult when you know some people will resist than when you are sure that no one has the ability to do so.

    Should it ever come to the point of government being “invalid” or usurping powers as you suggest, then I’d hazard a guess that the military would not stand by and let it happen, let alone allow themselves to be unleashed upon the citizenry.

    They are employed to defend the country as a whole, not a particular administration or individual. If the paranoid right wing fantasies came true, and Obama declared himself President-for-Life four years from now, I’m fairly certain the military would be standing by should he need to be forcibly removed from the White House, rather than shooting at the armed Americans who showed up at the gates to express their displeasure.

    The thing that strikes me about the “we need guns to protect ourselves from the government” argument is how little faith those advancing it seem to have in our country and system of government, despite the fact they probably self-identify as “patriots.” They’re girded with automatic weapons, itching and twitching for a fight with “the feds,” when all they really have to do is wait a couple years and vote.

    The idea that a government would suspend the vote, or usurp power otherwise is absurd. Even during the Civil War, when the country was literally breaking in two, elections were still held. We are nowhere near that level of a breakdown, yet to hear some people on the right tell it, a showdown with the evil federal government is just around the corner.

    This is paranoia, plain and simple, and we shouldn’t let paranoia guide our policies with regards to a public safety issue like assault weapons.

  35. Having gotten tired — and irritated — of responding to this kind of nonsense, I appreciate your sane and sound response, cjjjack.

  36. This is paranoia, plain and simple, and we shouldn’t let paranoia guide our policies with regards to a public safety issue like assault weapons.

    It’s paranoia that out founding fathers based out govt on.

  37. It’s paranoia that our founding fathers based out govt on.
    True, time to move on.

  38. If Obama declared himself President-for-Life four years from now, I’m fairly certain the military would be standing by should he need to be forcibly removed from the White House, rather than shooting at the armed Americans who showed up at the gates to express their displeasure.

    I agree, I don’t see any scenario where any govt could usurp control of the US any time soon. That doesn’t mean in 20 40 or 150 years that may very well change.

    The thing that strikes me about the “we need guns to protect ourselves from the government” argument is how little faith those advancing it seem to have in our country and system of government, despite the fact they probably self-identify as “patriots.” They’re girded with automatic weapons, itching and twitching for a fight with “the feds,” when all they really have to do is wait a couple years and vote.

    When you set up a straw man it’s pretty easy to knock him down. I would also say your “patriots” are part of the system that the Founding Fathers set up. So to bash them for not believing in the “system” when they are part of that system and are playing there part makes you the one who doesn’t trust in the “system”. In truth there are more criminal gang members than “militia” members which peaked in the 90′s with around 60,000 max members. The groups, according to the FBI, were basically reactive not proactive and posed little to no threat. Sure they were nut’s thinking the govt was going to take over everything but as long as that didn’t occur they wouldn’t do anything but talk.

    Even during the Civil War, when the country was literally breaking in two, elections were still held. We are nowhere near that level of a breakdown, yet to hear some people on the right tell it, a showdown with the evil federal government is just around the corner.

    Get over yourself. Like I haven’t heard crap just as stupid from others when Bush was in office. As if there wasn’t even nuttier talk coming out of the occupy movement. t’s easy to shut your ears and just act like those you disagree with are caricatures but it does little to further the conversation.

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