Saturday, January 12, 2013

Time for Restoring Individual Rights

'Proposed 28th Amendment' to the U.S. Constitution: 'Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives. . .'

The debate over gun control and the Second Amendment goes on and on with no solution
or compromise in sight. Each side has its arguments – those opposed to gun control hold up the glorious Founding Fathers who put this Amendment into the Constitution so that citizens could protect their families and  homes from threats not only from wild animals or criminals but also threats this new military might present. Therefore, any attempt to deny them that right is unconstitutional. Those in favor of gun control say that assault weapons in the hands of the wrong people need to be controlled for the safety of the general public. I think this is the gist of the two opposing arguments. I think both sides have lost the actual historical perspective that was the reason for the protection of the Second Amendment which was part of the original Bill of Rights that had to be added to the Constitution before the public would ratify the document.
            Each of the first ten amendments was considered important to protect the citizens of the country against a central government that would use the power given to it to usurp the rights of the citizens the way the kings of England had done. One of the powers that this new Constitution proposed for the central government was the right to establish a military. The Founding Fathers realized that giving that power to a central government without their equal power to protect themselves from the government’s abuse of that power was not something they were willing to risk. Therefore, before they ratified this new government and gave it the power to establish a “standing militia,” they wanted to know that they had the right to keep their own weapons to protect themselves against that militia should the need arise. This was the purpose for that amendment. In 1787 the guns that citizens had were just as powerful as those that the new standing army established by the Constitution had, so the citizens felt this right to “keep and bear arms” was enough protection. This is not 1787, however.
            In understanding the history behind this Amendment, then, if we fast forward to the 21st Century, Americans have the right to “keep and bear arms” in equal proportion to what the giant military industrial complex has attained. Therefore, Americans can devise nuclear weapons and have tanks, and heavy duty assault weapons of every kind should they feel the need to protect themselves from this power. This is well within the intent of the Second Amendment as written in 1787.  If this sounds preposterous, and indeed it should, perhaps Americans need to look at some revision of the second Amendment that fits with the 21st Century and our protection against a government that, in my opinion, has gone too far in the creation of bigger and better weapons.
What if the government decided to turn its drones used in the Middle East against populations in targeted areas of pockets of danger in this country? What good would shotguns and even assault weapons do? What is happening in Syria could very well happen in this country. I believe Americans do need the protection of the second Amendment because I think history has shown how far out of control the American government is in terms of a military and usurping power at every level,  but I think the Amendment  needs overhauling.
 I think people, in lieu of the second Amendment, should demand that the President and Congress begin immediately to demilitarize this country and establish a Department of Peace to review the intent of the second Amendment and how to alter it in the best interests of every citizen in this country – not the special interest groups and huge corporate cartels that control Congress. I also believe there is merit to the proposed 28th Amendment listed in the heading at the start of this article. It is time Congress stopped making laws that continue to erode our personal freedoms and only give them more power and control and start thinking about laws that apply to all citizens equally thereby beginning to break up this massive, powerful oligarchy that continues to keep citizens paralyzed under the guise of “protecting us and our freedoms.”