Why a repeal of the 2nd Amendment would not be enough to stop gun violence

A man walks past a memorial on Aug. 7, 2019, for those killed in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, four days earlier. Three U.S. bishops' committee chairmen issued a statement Aug. 8 to call on the nation's elected officials "to exert leadership in seeking to heal the wounds" of the country caused by the Aug. 3 and 4 mass shootings and urged an end to hateful rhetoric many see as a factor in the violence particularly in Texas. The Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas, was followed less than 24 hours later by thA man walks past a memorial on Aug. 7, 2019, for those killed in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, four days earlier. Three U.S. bishops' committee chairmen issued a statement Aug. 8 to call on the nation's elected officials "to exert leadership in seeking to heal the wounds" of the country caused by the Aug. 3 and 4 mass shootings and urged an end to hateful rhetoric many see as a factor in the violence particularly in Texas. The Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas, was followed less than 24 hours later by the mass shooting in Dayton Aug. 4. (CNS photo/Bryan Woolston, Reuters) 

Since America called for a repeal of the Second Amendment in 2013, accidental and intentional deaths from guns in the United States have increased from 80 to 100 per day. The only significant change in federal law since 2013 is the bump stock ban regulation promulgated by the administration of President Trump.

The regulation went into effect in March 2019, but it is under a legal challenge as an overreach of executive power. Many states have passed effective gun control laws, and states with the highest death rates from guns are those with the most lenient laws.

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Unlike other nations that prohibit or narrowly restrict ownership of high-body-count weaponry and ammunition, the United States is hindered in establishing effective gun control by federal and state constitutional roadblocks. Understanding these roadblocks is essential to devising a route around them.

The Second Amendment states: “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.” In 2008, a one-justice majority of the Supreme Court (District of Columbia v. Heller), which included Chief Justice Roberts, determined that the phrase “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” is “prefatory” language that does not restrict gun rights to members of government-sponsored militias.

In 2010, the high court (McDonald v. Chicago) held that the Second Amendment restricts both federal and state regulation of gun ownership and usage. The Heller decision acknowledged that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” but the question remains, “[u]nder what framework should Second Amendment challenges be evaluated?

Unlike other nations that prohibit or narrowly restrict ownership of high-body-count weaponry and ammunition, the United States is hindered in establishing effective gun control by federal and state constitutional roadblocks.

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Legal scholars are concerned that the five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court will liberally construe the Second Amendment to thwart legislative and regulatory efforts to prevent gun-related deaths. Nevertheless, as of this writing, there is no congressional proposal to repeal the Second Amendment, and the Hawaiian state legislature is alone in urging Congress to consider its repeal. But even the highly improbable repeal of the Second Amendment is not enough to guarantee laws designed to restrict gun deaths. Congress and/or state legislatures would need to pass those laws.

The balance of powers created by the U.S. Constitution gives supremacy to federal action undertaken in accordance with specifically enumerated powers and “all laws which shall be necessary and proper” to those powers but reserves all other authority to the states and the people. Federal laws must have the “requisite nexus” to their constitutional underpinnings or the courts will not enforce them.

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Current federal gun laws are based on either Congress’s power to tax or its power to regulate interstate commerce. The National Firearms Act, which regulates gun sales through taxation, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1937, but it has recently come under attack by those who argue that changes in the law have severed its required nexus to the collection of revenue. In June, the Supreme Court declined to hear one such challenge, but other cases may arise in the future.

In 1995 (United States v. Lopez), the Supreme Court struck down the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, which was enacted pursuant to the commerce clause, ruling that the law’s prohibition of gun possession in a school zone had no relationship to economic activity. Since that ruling, Congress has rewritten the law to prohibit only gun possession that “affects” or has a “concrete tie” to interstate commerce. The courts have interpreted those phrases broadly to cover any activity with economic impact.

Nevertheless, several states, such as Arizona and Kansas, have tried to limit the impact of commerce clause gun laws by passing Second Amendment Protection Acts that purportedly make federal laws inapplicable to guns manufactured and sold solely within these states. These efforts have not been upheld by the courts, but a future pro-states’ rights Supreme Court might determine the Constitution requires recognition of these state laws over Congress’s broad use of its commerce clause powers.

Currently, all but six state constitutions include some gun rights provision and one of those six, Iowa, is in the process of adding a constitutional amendment to protect the right to bear arms.

The authority of the states to enact gun laws is written into the 10th Amendment. This general police power is shared with local (county, city and town) governments by virtue of the authority granted to them by their state constitutions. Currently, all but six state constitutions include some gun rights provision and one of those six, Iowa, is in the process of adding a constitutional amendment to protect the right to bear arms. These provisions limit the ability of state legislatures and local authorities to enact gun controls and could provide a basis for judges to block enforcement of existing federal restrictions.

In sum, there are two judicial threats to effective gun control—an expansion of Second Amendment rights and a retraction of federal legislative powers. A simple repeal of the Second Amendment cures the first problem but not the second because the Supreme Court would still be free to reinterpret Congress’s taxation and commerce clause powers so as to strike down federal gun laws.

The clearest avenue toward sound legal protection for gun regulation is a new constitutional provision that specifically authorizes federal gun laws, but the best wording for such an authorization is not as clear. The late Justice John Paul Stevens’s 2014 proposal to add five words—“when serving in the Militia”—to the Second Amendment is not sufficient. His proposal cures the gun control problems created by the Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald decisions but does not guarantee supremacy of federal law over state constitutional gun rights.

Filmmaker and social activist Michael Moore has suggested a rewriting that recognizes limited gun rights and the right to be free from gun violence, but his wording is unnecessarily cumbersome: “A well regulated State National Guard, being helpful to the safety and security of a State in times of need, along with the strictly regulated right of the people to keep and bear a limited number of non-automatic Arms for sport and hunting, with respect to the primary right of all people to be free from gun violence, this shall not be infringed.”

A more workable revision was suggested in 2013 by Zachary Elkins, director of the Comparative Constitutions Project. In an opinion piece titled “Rewrite the Second Amendment,” Mr. Elkins suggested a restatement indicating that the Constitution guarantees the “right to bear arms, subject to reasonable regulations protecting public safety.” This rewriting, according to Mr. Elkins, articulates “a basic consensus that would let both sides claim victory. The alternative is more violent rhetoric—and more deadly violence.”

Laws alone do not stop violence, but voters and lawmakers must make common-sense legislative and constitutional changes that will save lives. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to Thomas Paine, the author of “Common Sense,” “Go on then in doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword.”

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J Cosgrove
1 month ago

Repeal the 2nd amendment and there would be a lot more dead people in the world. Now that is an opinion but based on other countries that got rid of guns. The most recent one is Venezuela.

In recent years guns ownership in the US has been growing quickly as homicides by guns have been going down. http://bit.ly/2PfzSnV

Most gun homicide deaths take place in poor areas. I believe the rate is 75% take place in 5% of the country.

J Cosgrove
1 month ago

An aside: Thomas Paine was a gifted writer. But Paine helped instigate the French Revolution with his writings and we know how well that turned out. At Paine's funeral in New York, 6 people attended.

Also Michael Moore with his buddies http://bit.ly/2Z91puB
That the author mentions Moore is interesting.

Ellen Boegel
1 month ago

References to Michael Moore and Thomas Paine were not written as endorsements. I did intend, however, to endorse Thomas Jefferson's appeal to reason over violence.

J Cosgrove
1 month ago

appeal to reason over violence.
Absolutely, but what stops violence? Not laws. You should consider all the reasons for having a weapon. There is plenty written on it. Here is one in the last few days. http://bit.ly/2HdFLLF

If there were ever a survey asking gun owners why they buy guns, I’d wager the majority of them would say that it basically is for protection...including protection from tyranny

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

What the Jesuits and their liberal authors don’t realize is the Montagnards always turn on the Girondists,

Michael Bindner
1 month ago

The counter-revolutionaries seeking to impose an irregular election have plenty of fire power.

The dead of the Civil War may argue with you on the militia clause, which was used to pursue Slave Power tyranny.

J Cosgrove
1 month ago

Amazing, the Civil War was due to the 2nd amendment.

Michael Bindner
1 month ago

It was the tool that let it happen. Without state militias, it would not have occurred. It was a necessary condition for both the bloodiest war in American history and the ability to maintain slavery at all. A disarmed South could not have help people in bondage.

Art Weaver
1 month ago

That last sentence is a complete departure from reality.
The civil war was only about slavery after the Union had committed war crimes and atrocities against American citizens that make the NAZI'S look like the Pennsylvania Dutch, and needed an excuse for what they did!

Christopher Lochner
1 month ago

Firearms have always been easily accessible and available for purchase. They were listed for sale in the Sears Catalogs of many decades ago. They were available for sale in pawn shops with absolutely no background check required. So to suggest the availability of firearms as the root of the problem is a disingenuous argument.
Enforcement, or the lack thereof, is a much larger problem. Laws were already in place to prevent the murders of the 26 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas but were not acted upon. I note that current laws in NYC for illegal possession of a firearm are rather severe; they are also enforced. The murder rate has thus dropped drastically. Laws in Baltimore, MD, while enforced by the police, are not upheld by prosecutors and judges. The murder rate is thus one of the highest in the country. One law requires a sentencing guideline for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony- but this is only used when a plea deal is not reached. A wily attorney will offer to either tie the system up for his client or reach a deal negating the guideline and this with the actual return of diminished public safety, and the law then becomes a terrible joke.
The first and obvious step is to become informed as to the realities of the implementation of local firearm laws then lobby to demand their usage. Stop coddling or otherwise defending those who use violence, and this includes actions by ALL individuals across the political spectrum.
Not to insult the author(s) but to even consider the repeal of the 2nd amendment only exists as a salve applied, by those who are very lazy and simplistic, to a festering wound.
The problem at the core of the issue is neatly summed up in this CNS quotation: "Robert George, director of the James Madison program in American ideals and institutions at Princeton University, tweeted along similar lines:

'People have lots of motives for killing other people — greed, envy, ideology, hatred, racism, nihilism, and on and on. Sometimes people kill others simply because they are in the way. Only one thing can overcome all motives to kill: the conviction that every human life is sacred'"
In summation, perhaps we would better spend our times attempting to bring this Truth to the world and enforcing current law as I do not believe we can legislate ourselves out of this problem. Laws without the required enforecement are meaningless endeavors.

Michael Bindner
1 month ago

The Civil War essentially ended the right of State Militias to take up arms against the federal government. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment constitutionaluzed it. Militia is now only authorized to repel invasion or insurrection.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Of course, this does not apply if the insurrection wins.

Michael Diamond
1 month ago

Good article, and a helpful addition to this important national conversation. As a military veteran, I'm struck by how dysfunctional the civilian gun reality is, compared with the military approach to guns - an approach rooted in three pillars: training, safety, and accountability. Since more Americans have been killed by gun violence since 1968 than in all of America's wars combined, it is clear that we can do a better job. The author is not suggesting that any single solution will make all gun violence disappear, but this country sharply reduced deaths from vehicle accidents through a series of regulatory change (e.g. seat-belt use), technology requirements (airbags) and cultural change (e.g. driving drunk is bad). A similar series of changes will need to be created on this issue. One of the easiest changes to make is to ensure that all gun purchasers undergo a criminal background check. Clear evidence exists that these work to reduce deaths, which shouldn't surprise anyone since determining if the guy using the internet to buy a 9mm was recently arrested for domestic battery and false imprisonment would, after all, be a good thing (that exact thing happened in our town recently - he used the gun to kill his wife and then himself while the kids were nearby).

Also: while poll specifics fluctuate slightly, they routinely demonstrate that the majority of Americans - in the range of 80% - 95% - support criminal background checks for all gun purchases. This includes a majority of Republican voters and a majority of gun owners.

Ellen Boegel
1 month ago

Thank you for your insightful comments. I agree that our country needs the three-pronged approach you suggest to reduce gun deaths.

karen oconnell
1 month ago

no!-- I would not stop gun violence. but--- it would be a worthy acknowledge that the USA understands that violence is just a ''default.'' it would be a beginning. '''whiners'' would no longer able to use the second amendment as an '''excuse.''' amazingly and sadly, suicides are the root of the majority of death by guns. (and no one seems to care.)

karen oconnell
1 month ago

just to correct, if interested: 'it' instead of 'I'......acknowledgement not acknowledge .... (be) able...'root cause' not just 'root'(sorry)

Stanley Kopacz
1 month ago

You can edit your comments. An "edit" button should be available to you under your comment.

Stefan Svilich
1 month ago

Thank you for showing your cards. This will come in handy for opposing your plans.

Michael S
1 month ago

Gun ownership is emblematic of of psychological impairment. If you need a gun, you are clearly very insecure. The language of the 2nd amendment clearly refers to an earlier time when militias were responsible for law and order, a time that has long passed.
As a Christian nation we have lost sight of the 6th commandment, as well as Jesus" command to forgive and turn the other cheek.
If you are insecure enough to need a gun, you are mentally ill and should not have one!

Jake Gallerano
1 month ago

Obviously, the great barrier to restricting gun ownership is the weight of money in our political system. Gun violence is as costly as it is profitable. In many respects the the fruits, the profits, are limited to a few, and as is the burden, excepting for the anxiety, fear and general disruption of peace. Perhaps, the greatest short term defense against the maze of hurdles and traps is taxation - but no small tax. Any tax would need to be so pernicious that that the ownership of assault weapons would become prohibitive. Of course, those who profit from gun manufacturing and all the ancillary industry that is part of the gun culture, which is immense, will scream bloody murder, but, we can not be terrorized as a society by a proliferating gun culture and the purchase of politicians that enable it. This really goes to the role money plays in politics and whether there is a right to profit. The issue is much larger than merely guns, it goes to the very nature of society and its purpose. Sort of a Natural Rights question, unfortunately, this may be a bit too broad for the shortsightedness of a profit based society. But, these questions, like so many in our political culture, are subject to the marketing strategies of the moment, and have very little to do with reason or discourse or the acknowledgment of the existence of a culture intent on the obliteration of reason as a human trait. Welcome to the reality of the human condition addicted to the allusion of a profit-centered existence which isn't mentioned in the Constitution, and therefore, should be subject to state regulations - of course, this brings us back to money in politics, perhaps we should think of the problem as the tyranny of money in politics. Short term, the answer is to overthrow the profit class through the ballot box - which we seem to be witnessing.

Ellen Boegel
1 month ago

Taxation of manufacturers and sellers and strict licensing and training requirements for gun owners are two common sense solutions.

Chuck Kotlarz
1 month ago

Jake, you note, "Any tax would need to be so pernicious that that the ownership of assault weapons would become prohibitive."

Would a second tax, so pernicious that money in politics would become prohibitive, perhaps have merit?

Michael Myers
1 month ago

M Myers

Michael Myers
1 month ago

The gun control argument always fails to make an important distinction - and that distinction is between evil and the instrumentalities of evil. In the absence of an available firearm, is it so hard to imagine the El Paso shooter still making his trip and planting a bomb or setting fire to the store and perhaps impeding the exits. Could not the Dayton shooter have crashed his car into the bar and set off an explosive, perhaps killing more than he actually did. There was a "mass" stabbing the other day, are we to start regulating knives? And an earlier commenter maintained there would have been no Civil War without firearms. Really, there were no battles or wars before the invention of gunpowder? The ancient Greeks and Romans would beg to differ. Place the focus where it belongs, on the perpetrator of these evil acts. Removing all guns, even if it were even remotely possible, only forces the evil-doer to be more creative.

Stanley Kopacz
1 month ago

There are fewer creative evildoers than evildoers. No fix has to be 100% effective to be warranted. Citizens do not need semi-automatic weapons that rapidly fire high velocity projectiles. We do not need to be awash in these weapons.

Michael Myers
1 month ago

Stanley, with respect, the argument that there are fewer "creative" evildoers is pretty weak, not to mention likely not even true. There are somewhere between 250 and 300 million firearms in the US. How do you propose getting them? Lastly, as a matter of accuracy, a semi-automatic firearm fires one projectile with one trigger pull.

Stanley Kopacz
4 weeks ago

The Aussies took their advanced weaponry away from their private citizens and there's no evidence the previous death toll was maintained with bombs and automobiles as substitutes. There are not 250M high powered semi-automatic rifles in the US. Perhaps single digit millions. I am aware that it is one trigger pull per firing. But the lethality and woundings by the Dayton shooter in a matter of 32 seconds speaks for itself.

Michael Myers
3 weeks 6 days ago

When I said 250-300 million firearms, I was referring to all types, including handguns. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates between 5 and 10 million AR-15s in the US, as you thought. The number is imprecise because the government doesn't keep track of firearms by type. You may only care about the AR-15, but the author of the article and many others at America wish to work around the 2nd Amendment for all firearms. Re Australia, their crime rate was declining before the ban and continued after the ban. An island country with a homogeneous population that is a small fraction of the US is a poor comparison. Lastly, don't forget the US did ban "assault rifles" in the 90s - not much effect observed on crime rates, which had and still are in decline.

Stanley Kopacz
3 weeks 5 days ago

I was merely clarifying. My concern is mainly AR-15 type weapons which are instrumental in the terroristic mass shootings which are becoming more common and egregious. I consider the status of other small arms to be a separate issue.

Frederick Merkle
1 month ago

It is obvious Ellen has done more extensive research than many that oppose the Second Amendment Rights of American Citizens, she deserves credit for that. I do take exception with her making up her own facts to back up her opinions.
Example - America called for the elimination of the Second Amendment , No , not America, a few people in America.
I wonder how she imagines that First Amendment Rights would be defended without a Second Amendment ?
How would she react to proposals to do away away with the First Amendment ?
She is abusing and misusing her First Amendment Right to free speech by using it in an effort to deny our Second Amendment Rights.
It should clear and understood that the founders did not intend that the Bill of Rights be turned against each other. That is wrong.
It would be equally wrong to advocate the right of free speech, religion, or right to assembly be denied through the exercising of Second Amendment Rights.
Understand ?
The First Amendment is often abused and misused. The same is true for the second Amendment.
To paraphrase a previous comment - Nobody needs free speech !
Is it not true that free speech can do great harm to many people ?
Should we deny , diminish, or eliminate First Amendment Rights of everyone because a few abuse them ?
We have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.
The right of a person to defend themselves is God given.
The framers of the Constitution listed it in the Bill of Rights to prevent infringement by the government.
Do you think God intended we should be defenseless against evil ?
Do we not have enough sense and understanding to realize that firearms are inanimate objects, tools that have no soul or will ?
Untouched they can lay for a century. They have no power to do anything A human is required for a firearm to do anything.
How a firearm is utilized is totally dependent on the intent of the human being holding it
In the hands of an evil person it can be used to do evil. In the hands of a good person, it can protect you from evil.
Should be easy to understand
If we are concerned with the evil some men do, does it not make sense to give our attention to the man and not the tool he uses ?
Should we outlaw all religion because we are offended that there are a few false religions ?

John Hanrahan
1 month ago

There is this amnesia or ignorance in this Nation that thinks Constitutional rights are Government given? No, they are inalienable which means bestowed by a Creator, not a Government. It is,all a contract which means we the People get all these freedoms and Government answers to us, not vice versa.

rose-ellen caminer
4 weeks 1 day ago

It's not amnesia or ignorance;it's a rejection of a religio/nationalist narrative; a dogma. Our rights are, for political purposes, what just enough people in positions of power say they are. Though an individual may hold a right to be inalienable, until just enough people in positions of power say it is, one can be arrested by the powers that be for exercising this inalienable right. A right may be inalienable in ones hearts only. So for example, there was a time when many people thought they had a God given right to be engaged in gay relationsi but it was not until there were "just enough people in positions of power"; state judges then SC and then the populace coming along, can it now be said that its an" inalienable right" to live a gay life style.There was a time one could be imprisoned for having gay sex. The same for other freedoms once prohibited by law on the grounds they were not constitutionally protected inalienable rights. The Constitution can be interpreted to mean whatever we want it to mean. Our inalienable rights are only "recognized'when just enough people in positions of power have declared them so. Recognition is hindsight.In our hearts one can believe that our rights are God given[ for a person of faith, for an atheist they conform with human needs and wants]but in the world; of governments, of laws, of powers to punish,these rights are political rights arrived at though political frameworks.The second amendment is inalienable only because it's a religious dogma [part of our narrative of freedom;like the freedom to be without health insurance; every man/woman is an island].For a country that professes to be by and for the people, with a Constitution that girds this contract,we are quite paranoid about our government,[ our military too?] which we claim is part of us!

Deplorable Me
4 weeks 1 day ago

In fairness Frederick, when she mentions "America" she is speaking about the far left liberal publication that you are reading, not this nation.

John Hanrahan
1 month ago

Everyone dances around the real issue of gun violence, it's not the Second Amendment or legal gun ownership of all types of firearms, it's innerciry violence via criminal and drug activity which accounts for about 80% of all non suicide gun deaths. Where is the outcry or debate about that? Or is pointing a figure at that demigraphic taboo, but NRA members are okay to denounce? Why is that? Is it that they're a certain makeup that is fair game for any and all bigotry and prejudice? That's my guess. So gun laws don't work, repealing the 2nd Amendment will start a violent revolt, and non suicide gun deaths will be undetered.

John Tyson
1 month ago

Ellen, thank you for a rational, non-inflammatory discussion on the 2nd amendment. I believe it will be the hot button issue in 2020. That a number of senators have threatened to packet he court if they do not get a ruling on a New York case raises "disgusting to a new level. Your arguments are reasonable. BUT there is no solution to the problem. We are fortunate to have this amendment. Self-defense is instinctual and basic. I do not accept the government decidi g for me the weapon I wish to use. I am72. I have owned at least one pistol for 50 years. I have brandished it twice, never discharged it but de-fused two possibly violent situations just by presenting it. The argument for the presence of guns may be circular. The more gu s, the more violence (maybe), but again, we do have the 2nd amendment. If you don't believe in guns you have several choices. First, try to change or eliminate the amendment. You will be unsuccessful. Life is tough. At least you had a constitutional process unlike many countries.. 2nd, move. Many countries allow no guns at all. If the lack of guns makes you more comfortable, philosophically or physically...bye bye. The third choice is to live with it. Cars and heart attacks kill more people than guns. I live in Suffolk County, NY. I have some police friends and respect them but as the saying goes, "when seconds count the police will be there in minutes." Lastly, who defines "reasonable"? A libertarian (I am) will define "reasonable"much differently than will Clinton. How do we add to the 2nd a definition of "reasonable" with which most of us agree? I do not believe that is possible and continue to accept that the defense of my family is up to me...with the weapon of my choice. An aside to the background check a d red flag warnings, check out the requirements to have a gun in my own home in Suffolk County New York. There is nothing about them that is reasonable and the laws are identical to NYC's laws that are before Scott's this Fall. Again than you for your reasoned, non-inflammatory op- ed.

John Tyson
1 month ago

I hate word correct. The word in the next to last line is S C O T U S, not Scott's. Please pardon the typos I could not find how to review my comments before I posted them. -:)

Art Weaver
1 month ago

Ms Boegel is dishonest.
The question is in which way.
She has either lied about her qualifications to write editorial articles on legal matters. Or, she's lying about the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment.
She knows, or should know, that the Amendments are not laws that can be altered or removed by acts of political whim. If so, why have them?
They are specifically stated to be "inalienable" rights, given by God.
And not subject to human determination.
Take the Second Amendment out of the written Constitution, and NOTHING has changed. The right remains unchanged.
There other area is on crime stats.
The claim that CA, NY, or IL have lower gun death rates due to strict gun laws is patently ridiculous.
Every study ever done proves EXACTLY the opposite. States with more guns and less gun laws constantly have lower gun crime and lower crime rates in general.
Using a study or data from a group or organisation you know, or should know, to be biased or dishonest, is just as dishonest as making the data up yourself.
Even using data on gun rights from either side of this issue without through vetting it's veracity is dishonest!

Deplorable Me
4 weeks 1 day ago

Art, the word is "unalienable" and it is only used in the Declaration of Independence, nowhere is it in the Constitution.

FRAN ABBOTT
4 weeks 1 day ago

The rules for this site require that posts be charitable. To state flatly that someone is dishonest is the antithesis of charity. And it may even be actionable.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 weeks 5 days ago

Amazing...Prof Boegel introduces her discussion with the following predicate:

“Legal scholars are concerned that the five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court will liberally construe the Second Amendment to thwart legislative and regulatory efforts to prevent gun-related deaths.”

Well perhaps SOME legal scholars are so concerned , but it is certainly not the whole universe of legal scholars. Besides ...exactly what constitutes and who qualifies as”a legal scholar”?. It’s a thoroughly loaded reference which effectively reads “all intelligent lawyers like myself are concerned about Republican -appointed justices”.

And how about Ms Boegel’s great choice of an operative verb...”THWART “ ....think that verb might be intended to signal that only “bad judges “ or “miscreants” are opposed to her position?

I also find interesting a liberal law professor’s interest in emphasizing the 10th Amendment as posing “a problem” that needs to be overcome.
And yet if nothing else is clear, the 10th Amendment was the most direct and unambivalent statement of the Founders’ basic concern with setting up a centralized government .......Colloquially put: “ If we did not expressly grant a right/authority to The Central Government ,then such right/authority is reserved to each of the several states” Yes it impedes a lot of proposed Federal action because that is precisely what this Amendment was intended to do......that is not “a problem “ as Prof Boegel implies. One does not have to be “an originalist” to get the meaning of the 10th Amendment.
It is a matter of passing interest that the The Catholic Church's renewed emphasis on “subsidiarity “ is fully reflected in the Founders original emphasis on the primacy of state and local decision making.

Tim Donovan
2 weeks 2 days ago

As a pro-life advovate, I oppose the violence of legal abortion, capital punishment unjust wars, and support stringent gun control laws. A constitutional amendment regarding any matter is difficult to pass. Also, the huge influence of the National Rifle Association adds to the difficulty. However, I believe that most polls indicate that large majorities of Americans favor stricter gun control laws. Another mass shooting on August 31 in Odessa and Midland, Texas in which a gunman killed 5 people and injured 21 others hopefully will persuade more elected officials to reconsider opposition to reasonable gun laws. In my view, increased availability of mental health services would also be helpful. After all, nearly ,two-thirds of the 39, 773 gun deaths in 2017 were suicides (Source: New York Times, December 18, 2018). Perhaps two efforts to reduce gun violence would be beneficial. First, pass a rewritten Second Amendment in the words of Zachary Elkins: guarantee the "right to bear arms, subject to reasonable regulations protecting public safety." Second, increase availability of mental health services. Even a combination of these two measures won't be a panacea to the viris of gun violence. But I believe sincere efforts to save human life are worhwhile.

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New immigration rules may have serious ramifications for those coming to the U.S. to work as teachers, chaplains or health care workers, writes Sister Sally Duffy of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.
Sally Duffy, S.C.September 16, 2019
An altar is adorned with white balloons at a "Mass for the Peace" Aug. 10, 2019, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, one week after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in nearby El Paso, Texas. (CNS photo/Jose Luis Gonzalez, Reuters)
“We need to help our society to see our common humanity—that we are all children of God, meant to live together as brothers and sisters.”
Jim McDermottSeptember 16, 2019