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A modest proposal

skepticalotherkin:

alynnafoxie:

To amend the second amendment:

A Well Regulated Civil Defense, being necessary to the security of a Free State, and the right to bear Weapons by Citizens of Fit Mind and free of any Felonious Convictions, shall not be Infringed.

Now let us go over the terms in this proposal, to see what we are trying to achieve here, so there is no doubt what the terms of the amendment mean when they are trying to weaken it in 200 years…

Well Regulated Civil Defense: Back near the founding of our country, it was natural to believe there would be local militias.  “Well Regulated” was never defined in context as to who would do the regulating, however because States could be days away from each other in travel time, it was necessary for States to be able to defend themselves.   These days, the US Military is the Implicit Defender from Foreign Invaders in all places in the US.

This however does not mean the US is not in need of Internal Defense, which is to say, a defense against Internal Threats, and Quick Responders, people who are There, additionally the People should continue to have the Implicit Right to defend themselves from the Unjust Actions of their own Government.

Therefore the idea of the Militia should be replaced with the idea of Civil Defense, in which the Right and Responsibility of such is given unto the People of these United States.  This Definition is meant to include any Citizen that desires to bear a Weapon, and specifically remove the insinuation that only militias are granted this Right, to preserve the ability of the People to defend their Life, Property, Family, and their Freedom.

Well Regulated, however, codifies the Responsibility of the Government to Regulate Weapons, within the terms of these Definitions and the Amendment itself, it does not restrict the government from requiring Basic Training on a type of Weapon, nor does it restrict the government from requiring Licensing.  However it does restrict the government from requiring renewal of a license more often than once a year, and shall restrict the cost of said license to 20% of the cost of the firearm, to prevent the government from restricting this Right through cost attrition.

Weapon: Shall be defined as a Weapon capable of inflicting Death as a function of their Normal Use.  This does NOT include Defense Weapons not intended to cause Death as a function of Normal Use.  This extends the definition beyond guns so that future Weapons may also be covered by this Amendment.

Citizens: Legal Citizens of the United States.

Fit Mind: A Mind not currently Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder that would Impair the Judgement of the Citizen baring a Weapon.  “Currently” here means that having had a disorder in the past shall not be a factor in determining if you may Own and Operate a Weapon now.  The primary requirement to satisfy this condition is to be Free of Mental Disorders (and specifically ones that would impair judgement) for a period of 6 months prior to being permitted to acquire a Weapon.

HOWEVER, if one ceases to have a Fit Mind as defined above, any license they may have to Own and Operate Weapons should be suspended until it is rectified. 

ADDITIONALLY, while being in an altered state of mind shall NOT be defined as having an unfit mind for the purposes of this Definition, it shall be deemed Unlawful to operate a Weapon while in such an altered state of mind, inclusive of such states being Induced by a mind altering Substance.

Felonious Convictions: A conviction of a Felony Crime.  Such a conviction results in a Permanent Revocation of the Right to Own and Operate a Weapon.  However it must be an Actual Conviction, not simply being suspected or tried.

You may call this the “Make-Sense Second Amendment”, The one that tries to strike a balance between “Preserving our right to own weapons” and “Keeping weapons out of the hands of those who cannot be expected to use them responsibly”.   I don’t fault the Founders with the way the Second Amendment is currently written, but they simply couldn’t know what we would have weapon-wise, or where we would be as a nation, 200+ years later.

Aside from the “well regulated” bit and new definition of a weapon, I don’t think this changes anything. Still, the changes made are smart.

It doesn’t actually change that much, but it ends the debate about what the government’s role is in the regulation of weapons and the scope of rights that citizens have pertaining to Owning and Operating such.

The fact is, even the Courts find interpretation of this amendment to be problematic.  Why is “Arms” translated to “Firearms” only?  You can kill with a knife, or a blowgun.  Or a bomb.  Or a quiver of arrows, but only “guns” are protected.   Also what is a militia, in the context of this amendment?   Does this amendment mean individual states can form their own militias?   Or that private citizens can form their own militias?   

Many other amendments say “Congress shall make no law <regarding x>” however the second amendment does not say this, it says, the right to keep and bear Arms shall not be “infringed”.  How is this to be interpreted?  Shall it be “Congress shall make no law” or “Congress may make laws as long as the right to bear arms is not totally nullified”?

These ambiguities allow a great deal of flexibility in interpretation, and that flexibility is not helping us any.  One side will say “You can’t even take arms away from the mentally ill” an the other will say “We should take away all arms except on a need-to-have basis” and in the meantime nothing will be done about the misuse of weapons in general.

I recognize fully that the entire population has the basic right to own and use weapons, we need them to defend ourselves from threats, of all sorts.   However I also recognize there are those who should not have a weapon, and that we can’t allow people to use the Second Amendment to override good sense in these matters.   We need to find a balance.