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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

GUN RIGHTS AND OUR CONSTITUTION

Most of us don't remember that our Constitution became operational in 1789, not 1776.  It has thus been 226 years, and you got to wonder if any part of this incredible document might be obsolete.  Forget about a new Constitutional Convention to re-write this document, there is an easier way.

We all took history, but have forgotten the details:
  • In the beginning, our country adopted the Constitution with ten amendments, which are known as the Bill of Rights. 
  • There have been 11,539 proposals in Congress to amend the Constitution.  Typically, each of our two-year Congresses has considered 200 or so amendments.   
  • Methodically over these years Congress has in addition to the Bill of Rights passed, and our states have ratified, seven amendments.  
    • The 13th amendment in 1865 abolished slavery
    • 16th in 1913 created income tax
    • 18th prohibited alcohol
    • 19th in 1920 gave women the right to vote
    • 21st in 1933 repealed the 18th alcohol prohibition, 
  • Six amendments were awaiting full ratification (75%, or at least 38 states required) and two more are now essentially dead.  As ratification must occur within seven years,  realistically, there are today zero amendments being considered by states.
The last successful amendment was 82 years ago. How can we change our laws?  
  • A full Constitutional Convention, but this won't happen anytime soon, for the last one occurred in 1787.
  • Two-thirds vote in each house of Congress.
  • An Amendments Convention.  But this is not exactly easy, for:
According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States," meaning 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V Convention has proposed an amendment or amendments, then the amendment or amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution.



So how difficult is it to call for an Amendments Convention?  Well, 700 states (Hawaii is the only one that has not requested) have tried and not one has been held.
So, then, what is that "easier" way to change our national laws?  You must await a truly horrendous or monumental massacre to occur and take advantage of public emotions.  Adam Lanza fatally shooting 20 school children and 6 adult staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School on 20December2012 was almost the tipping point.  However, as terrible as was that incident, it will take something worse, maybe much worse, for our country to shed obsolete patriotic views.

Rather suddenly, our country has embraced same sex marriage and marijuana.  I suspect GUN CONTROL could well be the most vulnerable issue ready for national adjustment, but only with that cataclysmic trigger.  There are public gun control organizations in every state.  I don't keep up with the field, so I don't know the present landscape, but, as a beginning, there should be a linkage system to share information and hold annual gatherings.  Some central organization should then develop a compelling Plan A on how best to "take advantage" of that inevitable "social catastrophe."

An even easier strategy is to avoid tampering with the Constitution/Amendments structure.  Just do it!  The primary action will occur in Congress, but one of the first impediments will be the view that gun rights are protected by the 2nd Amendment.  Very simply, this is it:


This was a period when England remained a serious threat.  There were Indians.  Lawlessness was prevalent.  I would be the first to buy a gun under those conditions.  There was no organized police department.  There was no 911 phone number.  We have a National Guard to complement the Department of Defense.

I'm not that concerned about the President controlling the military to attack me, nor Governor David Ige dominating my freedom with the national guard.  The British have left and, save for a few terrorists and criminals, I feel safe without any gun ownership.  The details on how you control guns (and the restriction to own a gun can be as Draconian as possible as far as I'm concerned--third party liability and life termination of anyone convicted of a gun crime) and how long this will take are postings of future days. 



For example, what about homicides per million to the left?

But, ah, there is the National Rifle Association, and politicians are actually afraid to be placed on their removal list.

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Typhoon Chan-hom is at 105 MPH and shows a track now just north of Miyakojima at Category 4 strength, with landfall just north of Taizhou, then materially weakening on land before heading towards Zhejiang Ocean University located on the Zhoushan Archipelago and Shanghai.

Slightly north of Chan-hom is Typhoon Nangka at 135 MPH, with gusts up to 160 MPH.  Thankfully, Nangka is avoiding population centers, and models show the storm turning north, weakening, and heading for Japan:


There is a tropical depression east of the Big Island of Hawaii, expected to become Tropical Storm Ela and move north of the islands.  However, two models show Ella's eye crossing over Honolulu on Saturday.  In any case, a lot of rain would be expected:


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