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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Revising the Second Amendment

For John, BLUFApparently, Retired Justice Stevens would deny you the right to a gun based on age.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Retired Associate Justice of the US Supreme court John Paul Stevens has a new book out (Six Amendments:  How and Why We Should Change the Constitution) and he is flogging it with an OpEd in The Washington Post.  The OpEd is headlined "Justice Stevens:  The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment."  Frankly, I didn't know it was broken.

But, first, a definition of the Militia.  As originally passed, and apparently still in force, it was a tax on Caucasian males, 18 through 44.  United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/2nd Congress/1st Session/Chapter 33 (there is more, but this is sufficient for the point):

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia by the captain or commanding officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this act.
The Second Amendment as it reads today:
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.
As Justice Stevens would have it read:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.
I like it.  My only question is, will those of militia age have to buy their own M-16s, or are the various states going to issue them to every man jack of the proper age (and, I assume, every woman).  I assume appropriate securing gear and ammo will also be issued by the states.

In the Althouse blog Comments the Battle 0f Athens (1946) is mentioned.  The most recent time the People took up arms against a corrupt and oppressive government [in the United States].

Of course proposing a Constitutional Amendment is one thing and getting it passed is another.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course the Bill of Rights and 2nd Amendment were crafted by the 1st Congress in 1789 and ratified by its 2/3 majority when Virginia approved the same in 1791.

The subsequent creation of an organized militia and age restrictions on the militia were enacted in 1792 by the 2nd Congress.