Don't repeal the 2nd Amendment, rewrite it

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

No less an authority than Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has proposed repeal of the Second Amendment.

This is a fool's errand — partly because the Bill of Rights (including the Second Amendment) is regarded as sacred, but even more because the NRA has the Republican Party by the throat.

Instead I suggest adding a new amendment to the Constitution to clarify the meaning intended by the framers:

"The right of a well regulated militia to keep and bear arms, being necessary to the security of a free State, shall not be infringed."

Even this modest change is a long shot. A more fruitful path is not a new amendment but a new Supreme Court. Voters need to understand that a Republican president can be expected to appoint ideologues who pledge fealty to the NRA. Expecting a different outcome is nonsense.

Stephen Jordan

Oak Park

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Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 19th, 2018 3:51 PM

We don't need a re-written 2nd Amendment. We just need Supreme Court justices who understand the meaning of a comma.

Otto Maddox  

Posted: April 19th, 2018 1:04 PM

Oh please. The 2nd Amendment is fine as-is. The Supreme Court needs to do their job and define the scope of the right fully. The Heller decision said the right exists outside the home but left it at that. They focused on in the home. As unpopular as it would be the Supreme Court needs to take a 2nd Amendment case and provide further guidance as to the right outside the home. Repealing the 2nd amendment (you can call it "rewriting" if that makes you feel better) isn't going to happen in today's world. Luckily the middle of the country isn't willing to throw away their freedom in exchange for a false promise of safety.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: April 18th, 2018 1:09 PM

Before blaming the woes of the world on the NRA, perhaps you should read this short piece! To use the loony left talking points as factual data puts your argument in the wacko column, where you join a whole bunch of like minded ideologues!

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 17th, 2018 4:51 PM

As a retired police officer, gun owner and gun carrier, I would dearly like to see a call for the militia to meet some evening in a Chicago Park, armed or unarmed, a very large group, for the purpose of having the children play outside on a summers night in safety. I also find that the Second Amendment is discussed to be repelled, yet the Third and Fourteenth are not mentioned at all.

Michael Loos  

Posted: April 17th, 2018 4:37 PM

The simplicity of the Second Amendment is in its wording. There are no extraneous or superfluous words or reasoning. It is bare bones, austere and elegant in its simple message. "A well-regulated militia," as defined in parlance from 1789, meant a civilian military force, using arms in working order, functioning as expected, "being necessary to the security of a free State," States were expected to defend themselves against a tyrannical government militia, "the Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." To ensure the people's ability to form the civilian militia, the people's Right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon by the very government they may have to defend against. Those who suggest the Founders had no idea what kind of Weaponry would be available in the future, are quite correct. And due to this inability to see into the future, the Founders did not restrict the arms the People could keep and bear. They understood that warfare and its machinations change, morph and advance, and by leaving the Second Amendment without restrictions, the People would always have access to the arms of the military they may be forced to defend against, allowing the People to fight against the very tyranny the Founding Fathers had just faced... and defeated.

CJ Grisham  

Posted: April 17th, 2018 2:44 PM

Rewrite, repeal, whatever the second amendment and it doesn't take away my individual right to self defense. This idea that the 2A only applies to a militia is nonsense. By definition, militias are armed and the constitution itself already requires government to arm the militia, so that argument is nothing more than redundant ignorance. Article I, Section 8 already says that the it's the job of Congress to arm the militia, so that would make the 2A unnecessary under your flawed logic.

Kevin McCormick  

Posted: April 17th, 2018 2:08 PM

Clearly the author does not understand that the second amendment is about armed citizenry for the purpose of self and national defense. The meaning of "well regulated" means functional, and as the second amendment is about arming citizenry, functional means well armed, not trained. Free state means free country, not State as in Illinois. Keep and bear means to possess and carry. Arms means weapons and munitions. If rewritten the second amendment should read "A well armed modern militia being necessary for the preservation of a free nation, the right of the people to possess and carry modern weapons and munitions shall not be infringed. This idea the militia is anything other than average citizenry armed with modern weapons is a path to losing all your freedoms.

David Fagan  

Posted: April 17th, 2018 1:35 PM

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, having just used guns and other arms to ward off the English, to give the people the right to bear Arms and the opportunity to fight back against a tyrannical federal government.

Tim Mallon  

Posted: April 17th, 2018 1:34 PM

Too bad that is NOT what the 2nd Amendment was meant to mean or means. The Framers most definately did not mean that. This is overly evident in the Federalist papers WRITTEN by those framers. It is obvious that they clearly meant that it is a right of the people to defend themselves against governments and people that wish to limit their rights, and thus shall have the rights to bear arms to accomplish that. It is well-known that the framers also equated the people = the militia, a well-appointed and armed people (that is what well regulated meant back then). They knew that they just threw off the yokes of a tyrannical government because the people were able to wage war against it, and that that was necessary to maintain to have a free society. It is also obvious from those same papers the framers knew that there could be local governments and other entities that might try to take those other rights away and may have to be protected via force of arms. Your mis-interpretation is just an attempt to justify taking away a citizens right to bear arms. It isn't supported by case law, nor the Framers own words. The Second amendment is there expressly for the PEOPLE to defend their other rights framed in the Constitution from any that might take them INCLUDING the Federal Government.

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