Constitutional amendment is unlikely on firearm rights

The Bill of Rights is an American citizen’s protection against our own government.  It was established by very wise men who understood the dangers of tyranny.  They considered this protection so important that they separated it from the rest of the Constitution. They set it apart as if to say:  “Look here first!”

The right to bear arms is guaranteed for all of us.  Can we limit it?  Certainly, just as we have limited other rights (free speech does not mean you can yell Fire in a crowded theater).  Can we eliminate it?  Not without a constitutional amendment, a lengthy process at best (I refer you to the Constitution itself for the process).  Can the president use executive powers to limit gun ownership?  Unlikely; again, see the Constitution.

Can we keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and other persons with evil intent?  Not in a free country.  Can we limit access, require more background checks, require sellers at gun shows and shops to stop direct, walk-away sales until a background check is complete?  We can probably legislate all those, but can we enforce them?

Personally, I would like to see a ban on AK-47s and other assault weapons, even though the last ban, in place for about 10 years, did nothing to stop the violence.  Do we own weapons?  Not in Costa Rica, but we owned hunting rifles and shotguns in the States, and I trained with handguns, although we moved here before I filed for my carry permit.

So, where are we?  A constitutional amendment?  Lengthy and doubtful, as 34 states would have to ratify it even if it passed the House and Senate.  A constitutional convention?  Both parties are afraid of the outcomes if a convention is called as conventioneers do not have to limit what they discuss and propose.  Legislation to require deeper background checks and other delays of sales plus a ban on assault rifles may be the only option.  But what about enforcement?

In the end, do we really want to tinker with the Bill of Rights?  Do we really want to ignore the framers of the Constitution when they said:  “Look here first!”?

Victoria Torley

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