The Second Amendment is a key part of our Constitution. The Bill of Rights is held up as sacrosanct because it preserves the rights for the American people, rights they shouldn’t need to have preserved, but are anyway. Our Founding Fathers preserved them because they were the most likely to be abridged on the road to tyranny.
And the Second Amendment is the insurance policy against such a road.
However, many people don’t think the Second Amendment should still exist. They see it as archaic. Some, it seems, are willing to invoke a Founding Father to justify that claim.
Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, is highly revered in the country. The words of Jefferson and other founding fathers are like the gospel truth. But how sincere is their devotion?
This is what Jefferson said about the American constitution: “Every constitution then and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right.”
Jefferson believed that laws have an expiry date and that a law that works today may not work in the future. Society changes, but if laws don’t change with society it can be disastrous and the US is learning this the hard way. The Second Amendment of the US constitution talks about gun rights, and the law is considered largely obsolete.
No, it’s considered obsolete by some. Not largely and not universally, especially given the fact that there about 100-million gun owners in this country. Some may think the Second Amendment is obsolete…like the people who would invoke Jefferson’s comments about the expiration of the Constitution.
However, Jefferson died in 1826. That’s well past the time when the Constitution would have expired, and what did he do? Nothing. He made no real effort to push for a new constitution. Since the Constitution was ratified in 1788, 19 years later would put in at 1807…right smack in the middle of Jefferson’s presidential administration.
In fact, he didn’t even think of writing that bit until 1816, well past that magical 19-year number was over and gone. It was also after he’d served as president and was on the outside looking in.
Further, I think Jefferson would roll over in his grave to know that someone is invoking his words then to try and justify overturning the right to keep and bear arms. After all, this is the same man who said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
Can you get any plainer than that?
Of course, those who think the Second Amendment is old and outdated don’t seem to feel the same way about the First or Fourth Amendments, at least when it comes to their right to speak freely or be protected from illegal searches. The technological difference they often tout with the Second Amendment (“It only meant muskets!”) is non-existent when it comes to the internet or their personal computer files.
Yet when the Second Amendment vanishes, the other rights won’t be too far behind. Think of England for a moment. They did away with their guns, and now you’re not even allowed to make inappropriate jokes. They’re already heading down that road to tyranny and many are just too blind to see it.
Invoking Jefferson for such a purpose goes against much of what the man stood for.
Then again, this is really nothing but an attempt to undermine the constitutionality argument against gun control. To me, it suggests that some people recognize that gun control is, in fact, unconstitutional and they want to change things so that it will be.
However, there’s even less political will to repeal the Second Amendment than there is to pass gun control, so good luck on that one.