Much better minds than mine have examined this issue, yet sometimes it proves helpful for a regular May, or in this case a regular Mac, to look with fresh eyes at a thorny issue and report her or his findings. So let’s take a look at the Second Amendment of the Constitution: “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.”
At first glance, I had to believe our framers surely must have meant to say, “… the right of the people to keep and bear a coat of arms, shall not be infringed.” But when I mentioned this possibility to a retired professor friend, he only laughed out loud, so I have been moved to examine the matter further.
The first clause, the precondition, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” establishes the reason and purpose for the second clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” In 1791, we did not have a well-regulated militia, but we do now. We spend more than a billion dollars a day to regulate a National Guard, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and CIA. The emergence of a well-regulated militia has effectively nullified the need and purpose of the people to keep and bear arms.
A similarly constructed amendment, an amendment to protect us from constipation, let’s say, would read, “A well-regulated morning constitutional, being necessary to the health of an individual, the right of the people to keep and bear blasting powder shall not be infringed.”
Individuals carrying automatic weapons do not represent a well-regulated militia; to the contrary, they represent an unregulated militia, and an unregulated militia has inadvertently, accidentally and regretfully created our horrific domestic terror epidemic.
An AR-556 with a 30-round magazine is not protected by the Second Amendment; it did not exist in 1791, and if it had existed, it would have been, well, regulated.
Thus, I humbly submit here, a 28th Amendment to bring the Second Amendment into the 21st century. And what should such a 28th Amendment say? To my mind, it is very straightforward: “The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. Henceforth, the right of the people to keep and bear single-shot arms shall not be infringed.”
I’m not a constitutional lawyer; I pray God will not make me a constitutional lawyer. I’m an average citizen with an average sense of rectitude. We can’t prevent every attempt to kill with a gun, but we can diminish the resulting carnage, and a 21st century 28th Amendment could do exactly that.
McAvoy Layne is a 30 year impressionist of Mark Twain and can be reached at GhostofTwain.com.