The Constitution of the United States is not a “dynamic” document, subject to the whims of a 21st century government, unless it is amended in accordance with the process described in Article V of the Constitution, which the Supreme Court has twice reaffirmed with respect to the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Presidents can’t simply sign an executive order, and voila’, the Constitution is magically amended. To amend the Constitution takes overwhelming majority support, because the Founding Fathers knew that governments would be tempted to bypass the amendment process, when the Constitution hindered them from assuming more power from the people.
Obama stated in his inaugural address, “But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” Then amend the Constitution, Mr. President.
It takes a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress or a Constitutional Convention of two-thirds of the states and ratification by 3/4th of the states (38 of 50). The Founding Fathers didn’t want 21st century governments or any future government to easily change their thoughtful and reasoned work.
George Washington stated,
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates.”
“But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” (farewell address) “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined…”
No one is arguing that there can’t be a civil debate on the Constitution’s Second Amendment, however, many of the Founding Fathers wrote the amendment to ensure the new republic wasn’t able to do what the British Parliament had done in England.
The Founding Fathers were called traitors and seditionists by England. In the 21st Century, Americans call them patriots. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Syria and Egypt are proof of what the Founding Fathers feared about governments, where the only weapons the Syrians and Egyptians have to defend themselves are rocks, sticks and stones!
Thomas Jefferson -
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
George Mason -
“Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised … to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…”
James Madison - (Federalist Papers #46),
“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.. (where) ..the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
“…To these (federal troops attempting to impose tyranny) would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands.”
Patrick Henry - During Virginia Ratification Convention 1788,
“The great object is, that every man be armed … Everyone who is able may have a gun. Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
Noah Webster (Served in Revolutionary Army, Printed dictionary; a federalist),
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed….”
“Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped.” (Federalist Papers #29)
Zacharia Johnson (delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention),
“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”
My point is these patriots knew about tyranny in Europe. The American government may never assume that role, but it isn’t sedition to want to defend oneself against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
The signers of the founding documents lived and died based on principals of liberty and fought against the tyranny of Britain. Many today do not trust government bureaucrats and they have a right to defend themselves against tyranny, regardless the tyrant.
Background checks may prevent some guns from getting into the wrong hands, but registration of gun purchases and existing gun registration might provide the means of government to bypass the Constitution in the case of martial law, for instance.
But the bottom line dictates that gun-control laws will not affect the criminals, only those who obey the laws of the land, including the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Americans should heed the wisdom, experience and the legacy passed down to the 21st Century by our Founding Fathers, who gave us the right to keep and bear arms and no one, including the government, should infringe on those rights under the guise of “gun violence”.