The 28th Amendment | a thought experiment


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CmdrSlander
October 14, 2012, 05:23 PM
The following is a proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is designed to complement the Second Amendment, to extend and affirm the individual right to bear arms and to prevent frivolous regulations with regard to firearm capabilities and features.


The people have the right to carry a weapon of their choosing, concealed or openly, for all lawful purposes. No legislation shall be passed by congress or in any state, district, or territory to abrogate this right. Property owners (individuals or organizations) may prohibit the carrying of a weapon on their property with a clearly posted notice, but in doing so become responsible for the security of those on their property with regard to violent crime.

No legislation shall be passed by congress or in any state, district, or territory restricting the manufacture sale, transport and ownership of any conventional weapon (a weapon that does not cause damage using chemical, atomic, or biological means) based on its features or capabilities. All arms, regardless of capability, features, or design are equally protected. Additionally, no legislation shall be passed by congress or in any state, district, or territory that restricts the manufacture, sale, transport and ownership of the following firearm components and accessories: Magazines (of any capacity), Suppressors (sometimes called "silencers"), Flash Hiders, Stocks, Grips, Handguards, and Bayonet Mounts.

All firearms held in the armories of the United States Military and National Guard which have not been used for a period of 35 years or more or that, by a review board within the Military, are declared obsolete or superfluous will be made available for purchase by the people at fair prices through the Civilian Marksmanship Program or a similar organization chartered by the government of the United States.

All existing legislation at any level of government that is contrary to this amendment will no longer be enforced. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Edit: Nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the ability of the states and the federal government to prevent felons, fugitives from justice, and the insane from possessing arms.


What are your thoughts on this? What effect do you think it would have?

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colorado_handgunner
October 14, 2012, 05:31 PM
With the exception of the National Armory clause, I like it. No chance it would ever pass though.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 14, 2012, 06:07 PM
I don't think including contemporary specifics like "Civilian Marksmanship Program" is a good idea with Constitutional amendments. What if there isn't a CMP 100 years from now? What if the National Guard gets renamed to something else? What if National Guard weapons are purchased by the state and not the Feds; do the Feds have control over them being sold?

There is also a degree of trampling on property owners here. Making a property owner responsible for your safety by not having a posted sign? Is that something we want written into the Constitution itself 100 years from now? What if you trespass onto my property without my knowledge and I don't have a sign, yet you suffer a violent crime? Am I still responsible? Will judges in the year 2212 be able to reach back and read your mind to see what your intent was?

What if we invent practical energy weapons and things like magazines and flash hiders become obsolete? Does the Constitution no longer protect those?



Any Constitutional amendment covering any issue needs to be phrase with a "what will this mean hundreds of years from now" mindset.

gpb
October 14, 2012, 06:33 PM
You can add all the amendments to the Constitution that you want, and as long as the elected officials choose to ignore their oaths of office to obey the Constitution it will mean nothing. We currently have a Constitution. However, it is routinely ignored and violated. Yet no one does anything to stop it. The only way to end the violations is for the electorate to elect people who will obey and defend the Constitution. Unfortunately since votes are openly bought with free cell phones and other gifts from the public treasury, I don’t see the election of honorable officials happening anytime soon. Sad but that is the reality.

The real solution is a voting electorate that values freedom and elects officials that also value freedom. The electorate should not sell their freedom for gifts from the public treasury. Sadly they do.

I don’t expect this thread to stay open long.

AWorthyOpponent
October 14, 2012, 06:53 PM
A) The amendment would make firearm ownership by convicted felons legal. While I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, the amendment also basically says that no one can prohibit a felon (or mentally ill individual) from carrying a weapon. That is bad

B) The amendment would also theoretically make the second amendment null and void. Although its not "contrary" in the full sense of the word, the second amendment allows for open regulation (as demonstrated by current and prior legislation)

C) I don't think the problem is with the wording of the current second amendment, rather the screwballed interpretation of it. They can screwball your amendment as well and say that you never intended for the public to have laser guns when those come about. That is exactly what has happened with silencers and automatic weapons, as well as hi-cap magazines and explosives.


Moral of the story, you gotta change the people before you can make a difference.

suemarkp
October 14, 2012, 08:08 PM
You forgot the tax loophole. Need to prevent them from taxing weapons, ammunition, etc except perhaps at the same type of taxes as sales taxes of general merchandise.

And what about paperwork infringement. No permits, applications, transfer paperwork, registrations, or other paperwork should be mandated by any government agency or law.

And background check infringement.

There will be more, once the crafty liberals find another way that you didn't document. The rules should be short and all encompassing.

Also think the 10 year surplus rule is a bit too soon. The military should stockpile for when needed. But at some point, things are a bit obsolete. Perhaps 40 years.

Ehtereon11B
October 14, 2012, 08:48 PM
I can also see an exploitative measure for business owners. Say you run a liquor store that is part of a state run franchise. Say the state policy is to forbid firearms in the store by hanging that sign but you as the chain owner want to allow firearms. There goes your state funding if you don't play by state rules.

Oh trust me the military stockpiles. I have done many an inventory on weapons and sensitive equipment where the question rises "What is this?" "No idea but we have to track the Serial number." Mostly it is on tech that you wouldn't think be important like mounts for radios. But occasionally we find some weapons. Just last year we found an M60 that no one had used in a long time. And thanks to budget cuts I don't think some .50 will make it out to the play range. The stockpile is never a "just in case" measure. Its always someone higher up told us to keep it. Because decommissioning/destroying/selling a piece of military tech is always more paperwork than making sure you have it.

I like the 2A as it is right now. The only change would be the first part about the regulated militia. While I have served plenty of time in the modern version of the militia (National Guard) the phrase about it confuses liberals. "Shall not be infringed" seems pretty clear to me. Even though I support the 4473 process.

danoam
October 14, 2012, 08:49 PM
Or perhaps an amendment explaining in very plain English the meaning of infringed.

Owen Sparks
October 14, 2012, 08:51 PM
You wrote that yourself?

CmdrSlander
October 14, 2012, 08:56 PM
You wrote that yourself?
yes

CmdrSlander
October 14, 2012, 08:59 PM
A) The amendment would make firearm ownership by convicted felons legal. While I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, the amendment also basically says that no one can prohibit a felon (or mentally ill individual) from carrying a weapon. That is bad

B) The amendment would also theoretically make the second amendment null and void. Although its not "contrary" in the full sense of the word, the second amendment allows for open regulation (as demonstrated by current and prior legislation)

C) I don't think the problem is with the wording of the current second amendment, rather the screwballed interpretation of it. They can screwball your amendment as well and say that you never intended for the public to have laser guns when those come about. That is exactly what has happened with silencers and automatic weapons, as well as hi-cap magazines and explosives.


Moral of the story, you gotta change the people before you can make a difference.
It says "the people" this is meant to interpreted as all people who have not suffered civil death from a conviction. "the people" has almost always been interpreted to mean law abiding persons over 18.

On the 3rd point, I would hope that the clause which states: "All arms, regardless of capability, features, or design are equally protected" would cover lasers, etc.

CmdrSlander
October 14, 2012, 09:10 PM
I tweaked the amendment, italics indicate things altered or added in response to feedback from this thread.

beatledog7
October 14, 2012, 09:18 PM
But seriously, why amend the Constitution when you can just govern by executive fiat?

Oops, that was political.

CmdrSlander
October 14, 2012, 09:23 PM
But seriously, why amend the Constitution when you can just govern by executive fiat?

Oops, that was political.
Even if one is governing by executive order they are still supposed to abide by the Constitution. They can ignore it all they want but amendments like this give Gun Rights groups legal 'ammunition' (pardon the pun) to fight such orders.

firesky101
October 14, 2012, 09:32 PM
Perhaps something like this would be more viable as a general protection of the entire Bill of rights vs. just the 2nd. It may be against some peoples interpretation of the tenth, but perhaps an ammendment that kept any state from making laws restricting any subject of the BOR.

Owen Sparks
October 14, 2012, 09:35 PM
The Constitution is not a self enforcing document. It only means what those in power say it means and they will generally get away with as much infringement as the people allow.

Tipro
October 14, 2012, 09:56 PM
The amendment says that "No legislation shall be passed by congress or in any state, district, or territory to abrogate this right [of carry]", but you contradict yourself by saying the right to carry extends only to "lawful" purposes. A "lawful" purpose necessarily implies that there could be, or is, an "unlawful purpose," all of which requires legislation to define. If you meant that we should be able to carry all the time, everywhere (except private property when required by the owner), then just erase the "lawful purpose" language, and the following sentence, as it's rendered redundant. If you instead meant that the right to carry can be abrogated slightly - for instance, in federal buildings, state courthouses, the White House, by drunken sailors - perhaps you should rethink this language all together.

A intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a conventional weapon under your framework, and legal to own, manufacture, transport, and possess. If this amendment were passed, I could most likely put that ICBM in outerspace too - totally illegal for any gov't (and for very good reason) in the status quo. I could probably buy a C-130 as well. That'd be good for keeping bad guys off my lawn.

Some here seem to think the constitution is constantly run roughshod over. Broad (edit: vague) phrases like "due process" or "commerce" do allow for quite a bit of interpretation, but not everything is gone to heck in a handbasket. Women can still vote, last time I checked (19th Amendment). No reason an amendment clarifying or expanding the 2A could not be as effective.

AlexanderA
October 14, 2012, 10:22 PM
Classic case of overreaching. Don't open this can of worms. The results from the political/ratification process may be the exact opposite of those desired. We should count ourselves lucky that we have the 2nd Amendment as written.

Jorg Nysgerrig
October 15, 2012, 11:33 AM
This is silly and pointless. It's little more than a starry-eyed wishlist written by someone who clearly doesn't understand basic legal concepts.

You might as well add, "Every citizen will get a pony and ice cream on his/her birthday.":rolleyes:

danez71
October 15, 2012, 08:26 PM
You might as well add, "Every citizen will get a pony and ice cream on his/her birthday.":rolleyes:

Well then..... I'm in!

r1derbike
October 15, 2012, 09:02 PM
We're the government! We're here to help you!

Anytime government is solicited on any matter, the outcome is usually (note I said usually) unacceptable.

Don't open this can of worms. We need to expend monetary and physical energy to protect what we already have (which is being chipped-away). Nothing wrong with having a cause, but politics and government are so convoluted and corrupt, it's a losing battle.

Owen Sparks
October 15, 2012, 09:13 PM
We don't need another amendment. We need the government to abide by the original intent of the BOR.

Captaingyro
October 16, 2012, 06:08 PM
This is silly and pointless.

I must say I think that's a little harsh, especially on a forum called...well, we all know what it's called.

CmdrSlander titled his post, "a thought experiment", and as such, I think it's pretty good. Practical or passable? Probably not. But as a thought experiment it addresses almost every ambiguity the Left has used to attack our gun rights.

As it stands, our Second Amendment is one Supreme Court vote away from oblivion. It may not be an entirely futile exercise to brainstorm ways in which we can forestall that threat.

akodo
October 16, 2012, 06:32 PM
It seems to me a 'thought experiment' should have a bit more thought put into it.

For starters, there is absolutely no reason to include "All existing legislation at any level of government that is contrary to this amendment will no longer be enforced. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Either the amendment is going to be followed or it is going to be ignored. Including a 'cannot be ignored' clause is just plain silly.

second, an amendment should have one focus, not two. Either dwell on federally mandated concealed carry or dwell on federally mandated weapons give-aways, but don't do both in one amendment.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 17, 2012, 10:59 AM
Don't do it. The more words and phrases you add, the more opportunities there Will be for misconstrue. The "militia" clause in the Second Amendment has caused enough trouble without adding more opportunities. If anything, get rid of the "militia" clause. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," is about as clear and concise as you can get. Even at that some people will argue the meaning of 'keep', 'bear' and 'arms' to the nth degree!

Woody

230RN
October 17, 2012, 11:35 AM
^
Don't do it. The more words and phrases you add, the more opportunities there Will be for misconstrue. The "militia" clause in the Second Amendment has caused enough trouble without adding more opportunities. If anything, get rid of the "militia" clause. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," is about as clear and concise as you can get. Even at that some people will argue the meaning of 'keep', 'bear' and 'arms' to the nth degree!

And even "the people," as we have seen, has been debated. Isn't it odd that some folks thought that "the people" only included the folks in the Federal Government?

ConstitutionCowboy is right. Seems like the number of interpretations possible varies exponentially with the number of words involved. They kept the most important Amendment as short as it is for good reason.

As others have noted, "You can add all the amendments to the Constitution that you want, and as long as the elected officials choose to ignore their oaths of office to obey the Constitution it will mean nothing. We currently have a Constitution. However, it is routinely ignored and violated. Yet no one does anything to stop it."

The main problem is that it may take decades for a Constitutional case on a particular law to come up for review, and the lawmakers know it. That's why they think they can run roughshod over the Constitution, in my opinion.

I sometimes wish there could be some neutral body which could bindingly declare a potential piece of legislation as Constitutional or not before its adoption. But even that would be subject to abuse.

Well, if things were perfect, this would be Heaven. And we all know it ain't Heaven.

Terry, 230RN

Hoppes Love Potion
October 17, 2012, 02:25 PM
Yeah, Congress would just pass a law saying that any citizen attempting to acquire or posses a weapon shall be declared legally insane and thus prohibited under the 28th Amendment from owning a weapon.

230RN
October 18, 2012, 12:30 PM
Hoppes Love Potion remarked,

Yeah, Congress would just pass a law saying that any citizen attempting to acquire or posses a weapon shall be declared legally insane and thus prohibited under the 28th Amendment from owning a weapon.

Well, see, they can do that without a "law." All they have to do is define gun ownership as "insanity" in that Diagnostic Manual the Doctors go by.

That's why I hate the term "common sense regulation" for firearms --or anything, for that matter. By whose "common sense?" Would it not be common sense to ban all firearms that are loud enough to produce hearing damage?

Like President Obama's remarks about "cheap handguns." How do you define cheap? In CPI dollars? By "safety' features? By materials used?

"Oh, you know, those cheap pot-metal guns... and those guns made out of plastic."

Words have meaning, but it depends on whose meaning you want to use, and the antis and socialistas are very adept at adapting meanings to their own ends, as we have seen with "assault weapons," which now seems to have morphed into "guns used by soldiers on the battlefield." Yeah, let's keep those off the streets.

I'm reminded of the famous Slick WIllie response: "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is."

It all depends on definitions.

Like "insanity." Drinking four beers might be defined as "insanity" by a third party group of Doctors not involved with actually making laws.

Let's face it, owing more than three guns must be insanity. If you've got a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun, what more do you need for "sporting purposes?" Any more than that is just plain crazy!*

And how did "sporting purposes" work its way into the firearms lexicon anyhow? Who framed that as part of the debate?

See how clever they are?

Feh.

Rant over.

Terry, 230RN

* Any anti-gun folks who take that paragraph out of context are just plain out-and-out bald-faced liars.

Just One Shot
October 18, 2012, 01:01 PM
I like the way you think but it doesn't go far enough. There should be something like:

It is the responsibility of the Federal and State Governments to ensure that every U.S. citizen age 10 and over is equiped with at least one firearm and provided the training in how to use it properly.

:cool: :D

230RN
October 18, 2012, 01:48 PM
THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS....

Just One Shot proposed:

It is the responsibility of the Federal and State Governments to ensure that every U.S. citizen age 10 and over is equiped with at least one firearm and provided the training in how to use it properly.

I'm sure a lot of antis would go along with that if they could amend it as follows:

It is the responsibility of the Federal and State Governments to ensure that every U.S. citizen age 10 and over is equiped with at least one matchlock firearm and provided the training in how to use it properly.

Just a common-sense addition, no? Gotta keep those "guns used by soldiers on the battlefield" off the streets.

If I recall correctly, that's what they did in Mexico many years ago. They limited private ownership of firearms and ammuniton to only that which is not used by the military. So there went .45ACP, 9mm ("for war") Parabellum, .30-06, .308 WInchester, .30-40 Krag, .30 M1 Carbine, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

So you gotta be vigilant about that common-sense phrase about "guns used by soldiers on the battlefield," which is a new one coming from behind us at 6 o'clock.

For, as I have said many times when I've been accused of either over-vigilance, or "paranoia:"

Eternal vigilance is not paranoia.
(Terry said that, and don't you forget it.)

So watch your "political" six, too.

Terry, 230RN

k_dawg
October 18, 2012, 07:04 PM
A fundemental problem is that the citizens can not enforce it directly. Relying upon the government to protect against government violations of one's right is fundementally flawed.

jim243
October 18, 2012, 07:33 PM
through the Civilian Marksmanship Program or a similar organization chartered by the government of the United States.

This is a direct violation of my 2nd Admendment rights, to sell or give property paid for with MY tax dollars to an organization who's requirements do not meet my needs or want's and set's rules for sale that exclude me from obtaining equipment that is not theirs or have any right to it, for their own gain, even if they are a 501 (c) 3. (Not for Profit)

Just sell it to the general public (at auction) as they do all other surplus equipment.

A very bad idea.
Jim

FMF Doc
October 18, 2012, 10:03 PM
I like the promotion of firearm rights as much as anyone else, but this will do nothing to help. Look at the 2A. It seems pretty clear to many of us, but look at how it has been "interpreted". The line about "any lawful purpose" can easily be interpreted to exclude self-defense. We don't need more laws, we need the courts and other officials to respect the ones we already have on the books.

rm23
October 18, 2012, 10:46 PM
I don't think a single state would ratify this amendment.

bearcreek
October 19, 2012, 06:36 AM
A fundemental problem is that the citizens can not enforce it directly. Relying upon the government to protect against government violations of one's right is fundementally flawed.

Can not or will not? Wasn't sure if you're talking about the propsed 28th amendment or the 2nd? Either way, the original intention for the 2nd amendment comes in to play. The whole idea was for the people to be able to enforce the their "God given" rights, as verbalized in the Constitution and BOR. It had nothing to do with hunting and very little or nothing to do with citizens protecting themselves against each other.

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