America’s Contemporary Sin

Slavery has often been called “America’s original sin” because the gridlock on the issue at the establishment of our nation did not address it and great suffering continued. I propose that the Second Amendment to the Constitution has become America’s contemporary sin because the gridlock on this issue does not allow us to properly address it and great suffering follows.

The Second Amendment is a single sentence. Lost in almost all arguments on both sides are the first two clauses regarding “A well regulated Militia” and “security of a free State”.

Second, the last clause uses the term “bear arms” without defining “arms”. Did the authors really intend to include any and all possible weaponry as arms to be protected? Modern military weaponry? Hand grenades? Smoke bombs? Suitcase nukes?

Third, the wording, with those weirdly placed commas, has always been troublesome. Just about everybody can recite the last clause: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Despite the insertion of a comma that just muddies the issue.

But who can remember for an hour what the first two clauses say: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,”? Being confusing when attached to the last clause, it makes it difficult to recall the wording.

A well formed sentence, being necessary to understand the issue, the right of the people to a new amendment, shall not be infringed.

Understandable? Maybe not. Let’s try:

Because the Second Amendment wording is far from clear, and confusing, and because the Supreme Court has not adequately interpreted it, the Congress shall review the wording and study what the people think should be the intent of such an amendment and propose either revoking it or amending it to read in such a manner that it is abundantly clear in its intent.

Seems reasonable to me. But I shudder to think what the current Congress would do with such a proposal. Between the lobbyists and the no-compromise positions of citizens on both sides, either an ungodly mess or complete stalemate would result.

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