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Amend the Second Amendment

| December 26, 2012

It’s not, as in this case, always a toy gun. (Chris De Bruyn)

By Angel Castillo Jr.

Let’s face it. If we want to transform American society for generations to come, tinkering with our existing patchwork quilt of federal, state, and municipal laws dealing with firearms is a pathetic waste of time.

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Another federal ban on “assault weapons” will not be effective. More “conversations” and “dialogues” and commissions of experts are not going to remedy our society’s deeply rooted gun sickness.

The only transformational vehicle available for the American people “to come together and take meaningful action,” as President Obama suggested after the Newtown massacre, is to change the Constitution.

Only law enforcement agents and members of the armed forces should be allowed to have and use firearms of any kind.

It does not matter what the Second Amendment says, since its adoption in 1791, about a “well regulated militia”.

The United States Supreme Court settled that debate in 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, by a vote of 5-4. The Court concluded that the Second Amendment, as it reads today, protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.

What does matter is that the Framers of the Constitution acknowledged that succeeding generations might prefer to order American society in new and different ways. That is why they included an amendment procedure in Article V.

florida voices columnists flaglerlive

Between 1795 and 1992 the American people have amended their Constitution 17 times. Often the amendments involved issues that deeply divided Americans, such as is the case today with government regulation of firearms.

One of the two amendment methods the Framers included in the Constitution, the holding of a constitutional convention, has never been used.

The other method – depicted in the current movie “Lincoln” – requires a joint resolution to pass in both the House and the Senate by a two-thirds majority in each. The President cannot veto it. Once the resolution has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. Ratification by three-fourth of the states – 38 out of 50 today – is required for adoption.

The next amendment – the 28th – should read as follows:

Section 1. The second amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. Only law enforcement agents and members of the armed forces may have and use firearms anywhere in the United States.

Section 3. Firearms manufactured in or outside the United States may be sold or distributed in the United States only to law enforcement agencies or the armed forces.

Section 4. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 5. This amendment shall become effective when it is approved by the state legislatures of three-fourths of the states of the United States.

Until the American people get the courage and the resolution to attack the gun crisis at the root, I leave you with this multi-purpose, multi-state message, to be used as often as needed in the future:

“All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence.”

Angel Castillo, Jr., a former reporter and editor for the New York Times and The Miami Herald, practices employment law in Miami. Reach him by email here.

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63 Responses for “Amend the Second Amendment”

  1. Sensible says:

    Of all the gun control advocacy I’ve heard recently, the viewpoint expressed is the most rational. Thank you.

    Now, this is not to say I agree with your view on gun ownership. I will support and defend the 2nd Amendment with my life, because I understand its purpose (to keep the tyranny of government at bay). But you are correct that it is the law of the land, and people should either respect it, or work to repeal it through the proscribed mechanism in the Constitution. What they should not do, is to ignore the 2nd Amendment or try to work around it with unconstitutional gun control laws.

    So either learn to live with the 2nd Amendment and the right it protects, or muster the votes to repeal it. Then try to confiscate private arms, start the Second Civil War, and reap the whirlwind. Good luck with that.


  2. Are you serious says:

    This is probably the single most ignorant thing ever written on this website. Once again, Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people. I am a proud gun owner and have never shot anyone. There are millions of responsible citizens with firearms who go about their lives never using firearms irresponsibly. Why do you want to punish law abiding citizens?? Ignorance like this infuriates me. LAWS ONLY APPLY TO PEOPLE WHO OBEY THE LAW…..more laws will do nothing to avert these tradegies…..however, if there was an armed person near these tragedies….lives could be saved. Don’t punish law abiding citizens….for the acts of criminals and mentally ill individuals because you are upset about what has occurred. Get out there and do something to help the mentally ill…


  3. Outsider says:

    If any of you read the writings of the founding fathers, particularly with regard to the second amendment, you could do nothing but conclude the public is not armed well enough. Some of them advocated for revolution every 20 years to remove entrenched politicians. Sound like a good idea now?


  4. joe shmoe says:

    yes change the second ammendment and then invite someone like al assad or kim jun ill to be our dictator!


  5. Deep South says:

    I own guns, and only use my guns for sport and yes protection. I was raised around guns, and taught by parents how to handle a gun. My parents were taught by their parents, and so on, so on. I have taught my children, and grandchildren how to handle a gun. I own fishing rods. I use my fishing rods for sport. I have taught my children, and now my grandchildren how to handle a fishing rod. Parents teach your children how to handle guns and fishing rods, and life and it’s meaning will be more respectful for one another.


  6. Andre peartree says:


    A well regulated police force, necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to live in peace and security and free of threats, shall not be infringed through the unregulated distribution of excessively powerful arms.

    Please share


  7. Andre peartree says:

    Thank you angel for your text. Your wording is better than mine. There still can be room for regulated private ownership of firearms to practice Hunting etc. However this clearly should be a privilege and not a right that is guaranteed. Arms for the purpose of securing the peace should be limited to police and illegal for all others. I would love to see the NRA guys being forced to give up their personal stashes of firepower, we will see how “law-abiding” they will behave. To those of you on this post promoting this business of free gun ownership, I say, do not make yourself the mouthpiece of a murderous corporate industry who wants to sell us and tax us with the requirement to buy their ammo out of fear. Take a look in the mirror, do you need to exert your right to stash chemical weapons and nukes


    • Leo Kelsey says:

      Andre, you need to cut back on what you are smoking!

      The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions. The Second Amendment is not about Bambi and burglars — whatever a well-regulated militia is, it is not a hunting party or a sport-clays club. It is remarkable to me that any educated person believes that the second item on the Bill of Rights is a constitutional guarantee of enjoying a recreational activity.


  8. confidential says:

    Next is what they use guns for, as well:
    Police find light beacon destroyed The Sheriff’s Office continues to hunt the gunman or gunmen who destroyed a $10,000 light beacon at one of the new 800 MHz radio towers off the 5800 block of County Road 208. A tower company employee climbed the 250-foot tower and discovered two rifle shots in the lenses. The crime is a federal felony. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 824-8304.


  9. Stevie says:

    “A well regulated police force, necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to live in peace and security and free of threats, shall not be infringed through the unregulated distribution of excessively powerful arms.”

    A police force is a professional army. A militia is an irregular army of citizens ready to function as a defense against tyranny. Your first premise is ridiculous and insulting.

    There is no right of the people to live in peace anywhere in the Constitution. You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Peace is the attainment of happiness and not a right. The pursuit of it is a right.

    You need to bone up on your history or find another country.

    Finally read this link from one of our veterans. Perhaps you will realize the difference between FREE Americans and peasants from the former Soviet Union.


    • Anonymous says:

      That is the right way to do it. Nobody ever said the right way is the easiest. I have no fondness for guns but I do for the constitution. I think the day will come when the 28th Amendment as described by Mr.Angel Castillo, Jr will easily pass and be easily enforced because the general public would have lost its hunger for guns. I’m old enough to have seen the rise in gun ownership and the political movement to protect the right to own guns. I’m also old enough to see that this is just a fad, abet a dangerous one, which is already passing.
      Unfortunately, it will take a few more Sandyhooks and Columnbines before we get the political muster as well as popular consciences us to make the bit leap.


      • Mike says:

        More people are killed by cops every year than all of the school shootings combined. Will you confiscate their guns too?

        By the way, murder is already illegal, and yet people still do it.


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