The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment. We’re not the only nation that has such a provision in our constitution–Mexico, surprisingly, has a provision that’s supposed to be similar to it, though it clearly doesn’t work–but we’re the only nation that seemingly tries to respect it.
Yet that’s a problem for some.
Take an op-ed writer at the Washington Post. He doesn’t like how Bruen interpreted the Second Amendment.
Two and a half months into 2023, there have been more than 110 mass shootings in the United States and more than 8,700 overall gun deaths, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Rather than that creating a sense of emergency in our nation’s legislatures and courts, we’re seeing quite the opposite: the most extraordinary court-driven rollback of laws meant to reduce gun violence we’ve seen.
Last year, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, in which Justice Clarence Thomas declared that for any contemporary gun regulation to be constitutional, the government would have to identify a “historical analogue” to it from the nation’s founding. The result has been a transformation in U.S. gun laws that is producing far more chaos than expected, and leading to outcomes far more divorced from the public will than anyone predicted.
In the broadest terms, says Blocher, “the pre-Bruen settlements actually did reflect where most Americans are on guns.” Clear majorities support universal background checks, “red flag” laws that allow guns to be taken from people who pose a danger to others, and licensing requirements to own a handgun.
But any or all such measures could now potentially be declared unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has effectively rewritten the Second Amendment in ways that the vast majority of Americans, even gun owners, disagree with.
But if we’re going to rewrite the Second Amendment, we should do it through the normal constitutional process, and establish one that works for the contemporary world.
In other words, he wants to rewrite it so that it means absolutely nothing.
An actual rewrite of the Second Amendment that allowed gun control to any degree is a version of the Second Amendment that will allow any and all desired gun controls one wants to imagine, possibly short of a total gun ban.
The thing is, most nations lack total bans. Usually, someone can get a firearm. The question is just how restrictive are the laws and do they prohibit anyone but the elite from getting them. However, a total ban isn’t really where gun control is likely to go.
Instead, what we’ll see is a functional ban, a set of rules so restrictive that a ban might as well be in place. Take machine guns. Sure, you can buy them, but the rules surrounding them put them out of the reach of most people.
So yeah, any attempt to rewrite the Second Amendment would essentially make the right to keep and bear arms meaningless in this country.
That’s likely the plan, though.
Further, let’s also remember that Bruen never rewrote anything. It simply went a lot closer to that whole “shall not be infringed” thing than the author would like. So no, we won’t be rewriting a damn thing.