Reconstructing the 2nd Amendment

From RAL FB 03/27/2023:

I just came back from Washington, DC. Today we all again are mourning the loss of innocent lives. The US Supreme Court neutered the States’ ability to make our schools more safe because, without hyperbole, it decided that the words “a well-regulated militia (which is now our National Guard)” has no legal meaning or effect, and instead found the operative phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” to be the only real substance of the 2nd Amendment.

However, the majority opinion also holds that: The 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear firearms is not absolute and a wide range of gun control laws remain “presumptively lawful,” according to the Court. These include laws that (1) prohibit carrying concealed weapons, (2) prohibit gun possession by felons or the mentally ill, (3) prohibit carrying firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, (4) impose “conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms,” (5) prohibit “dangerous and unusual weapons,” and (6) regulate firearm storage to prevent accidents.

Americans, conservative and liberal, can agree that if one assumes a natural right of self-defense, that the right is limited by the need for ordered liberty (that is the term the Supreme Court uses to draw boundaries on every right – speech, religion, travel … that being we all have liberty maximized when a sane and rational world, with a certain basic level of order, rather than chaos, is built by a representative government).

An Amendment won’t solve the problem of gun violence. It will help. The proposal below is a start – at least allow a conversation to bring us forward from 1791 to 2023. In 1791, there were no mass school shootings. That ignominy began in NY 1949 with a psychotic who killed 13 persons in 20 minutes with a gun.

I took 15 minutes to write this amendment, and it is a conversation starter.

1. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is hereby repealed.

2. Every person has the right to reasonable self-defense.

3. A State may restrict the registration of firearms in a manner sufficient for self-defense and prohibit any weapon of mass harm. Congress may pass legislation restricting and defining weapons of mass harm, which definition shall be uniformly applied by all States, restricting the manufacture, sale or possession by any person other than as defined by Congress including by the US military forces, State law enforcement, federal law enforcement, and National Guard. A State may restrict the registration of firearms in a manner sufficient for personal self-defense, to include defense of home and family, and to prohibit any weapon of mass harm.

4. Both any State and Congress shall have the ability to restrict the right of persons deemed to be an immediate and potential threat from purchasing or possessing a firearm for such period of time as said person may constitute a threat to themself or others. Any law enforcement official may certify to any judge or magistrate of their Sate upon oath or affirmation of a reasonable belief that based upon safety concerns of any member of the public, that a weapon may be seized and confiscated for a period not to exceed 14-days, and that said person shall be prohibited from purchasing any weapon for such time. Within 14 days, said person may petition for and receive a hearing before a judicial officer within 3 days of said petition to establish whether said confiscation and prohibition shall be expunged and released.

5. A State may, on the grounds of public safety, restrict the right of any individual to own any firearm based upon the evidence presented to a judicial officer of the State in which public safety concerns are established upon a reasonable and justifiable concern established by all evidence, including psychological factors, drug or alcohol abuse, acts of domestic violence, credible threats or recent prior acts or threats of violence.

6. Congress and any State may establish gun-free zones around any space of public gathering, including schools, post offices, libraries, government buildings, or at state-sanctioned events such as parades and assemblies.

7. This Amendment shall not restrict the ability of any State to establish standards for members of the National Guard, which may include military-grade weapons approved by the Commander in Chief with the advice and consent of the Senate.