Tenth Amendment: The second Second Amendment

The 10th Amendment is of very simple language and explanation, as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which is a part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791.


If we compare the size of the entire U.S. Constitution with the Affordable Care Act 2010 we would appreciate the statement that less is more.  Confusion, enormity, duplicity and strangulation on healthcare services by the federal government is not exactly what was envisioned in a constitutional republic such as ours, and part of the reason why the Tenth Amendment was established.

This is what happens when politicians in Washington D.C., far removed from our healthcare needs, determine what healthcare insurance policy we must purchase, based upon thousands and thousands of new rules:

“Implementation has also become a bureaucratic nightmare, with some 159 new government agencies, boards and programs busily enforcing the roughly 20,000 pages of rules and regulations already associated with this law.” Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) speaking on “Fox and Friends” on May 13.

The size of the Constitution does not sufficiently demonstrate its real power over the politicians the people elect, but it does explain how lawmakers’ get-away-with passing unconstitutional laws: by burying prohibitions insides tremendously long bills, of which nobody reads nor understands.

When the federal government determines it ought to create its own gun control laws overriding state laws and rituals that do not violate the Constitution, we have a heavy-handed government operating in violation of not only the Second Amendment, but the Tenth Amendment as well.


The Republican-controlled Michigan House of Representatives introduced a simple-worded bill in March which provides that any federal law that attempts to ban certain firearms or magazines is unenforceable in the Great Lakes state.

While only 24 out of 110 of its members co-sponsored the measure which is stagnate in the state’s judiciary committee, the move is a signal that at least some politicians recognize the benefit of the power of the Tenth Amendment, and effective movements start somewhere.

The states’ were designed as autonomic because it brings the decision-making closer to the voter.  It is easier for me, for example, to petition my local, county, and state government for redress than it is for me to have any influence on a congressional representative who is usually cheerleader for the federal government, not one who will protect us from overreaching laws they create.

If we do not agree with the laws that the state in which we live – passes, we can pack-up and move to another state or we can petition our state capitol for change.  With federal gun control laws, there is no other state to move to, and rare is it the case that an average citizen has an opportunity to be heard before the U.S. Congress.


Lack of confidence in federal gun control laws permeates selective law enforcement.  This selective enforcement is tantamount to unequal protection and is a violation of yet another amendment – the Fourteenth.

Federal gun control laws are a tangled web of civil rights disenfranchisement; sexist, racist, nonsensical, and arbitrary.  If the government selectively deems a firearm to be “military-style” for example – that firearm is banned.  But who discerns what is “military-style”? The same politicians who are writing the bad law, and what difference does it make whether the military are using the same weapons we are?

There is no place in the Constitution that gives this kind of power over the free individual to the federal government, but the government gets around its hurdles by coercion.  If state laws do not mirror national rules, then those states oftentimes lose funding for services.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1931 declared the Tenth Amendment to be truism or obvious truth which added nothing to the original Constitution.  It rarely finds laws unconstitutional for violating the Tenth Amendment and in modern era, the judicial body has compelled states to comply with federal regulations, not the other way around.


In Printz v. United States (1997) the court ruled that part of the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act violated the Tenth Amendment.   The court said that the provision of the act that compelled state and local law enforcement officials to conduct background checks was in violation of the Tenth Amendment.  However, law enforcement officials were free to perform background checks at their discretion – which they often do.

If we continue to allow the federal government to step all over us, our rights, our freedoms, our ability to make decisions and mistakes for ourselves, America will fail us.  Fight back now or forever hold your peace.

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