Letter to the editor: Baseless second amendment argument backfires
To the Editor:
In your most recent issue of the Bullet, Luke Mendelsohn wrote that President Barack Obama’s gun control proposal infringes on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He claimed that it is a right to own what even he termed “assault weapons,” and that citizens must be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government.
Such an argument, though, doesn’t take into account the actual wording of our Constitution.
The text of the Second Amendment is well known. “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.”
What many people do not know, however, is the wording of two important clauses earlier in the Constitution.
Here is a portion from Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power…to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
Suppress insurrections? That seems to fly right in the face of arguments that the Second Amendment is meant to allow for insurrections. Especially when taken with Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Levying war against the U.S. explicitly falls under treason.
It is unfortunate that such an argument about a hypothetical future of tyranny, grounded in flawed reasoning, prevents us from addressing the very real epidemic of gun violence. Our courts have never held a right to own any type of weapon. There is nothing unconstitutional about Obama’s gun control proposals, and certainly no threat of tyranny.
Girard Bucello is a Freshman.