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Is the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution obsolete?
Should it be repealed or a new version more applicable to modern realities be ratified?
I can see no reason for wanting to repeal or change it in any way. To be honest, I don't understand what is meant be "modern realities". The Amendment exists as a check on government. Our government has grown into a huge mostrosity, which gets involved in every aspect of our lives. I would argue that we need this limit on government just as badly today as was needed two hundred years ago. Perhaps even more so.
Modern realities could go either way. The right could be expanded to give citizens more power to defend themselves or be changed to address specific types of arms and possible limits. So, would you expand the 2nd Amendment?
Well, it really can't be "expanded". Government can only take away right; it can't grant them. I would argue just about every gun law in the country is unconstitutional. We don't need gun laws; we need to prosecute violent crime.
Absolutely, but that doesn't mean that the idea of counterbalancing the government is obsolete. The original intent was to maintain a ratio of power between the government and the People by ensuring that the people had the tools by which they could in fact defend themselves and their property and provide a legitimate check to the government.
All of those things are now void. We have failed to maintain any semblance of a power ratio, and we have completely failed to maintain any sense of the tools necessary to defend ourselves or to check the government. Just for a second consider the ways in which the government can hurt us. Sure they can stomp down our door and black-bag us, but why leave their air-conditioned office when they can just press a button on their computer and take/destroy/erase everything we are and own?
Modern day 2nd Amendment types are really like the static trench warfare mindset of WWI. The government would have no need to engage them, they would just go around them and marginalize them. Do people really think the government gives a crap if some dude sits around his bunker, with an arsenal, eating MREs all day. It's ridiculous.
A modern day 2nd Amendment would rebalance the true power structures. It would be far more concerned with critical infrastructure and systems (water, energy, food, communications, etc.) and with privacy, information, and digital systems. The government has near complete control over all of that and nobody is going to change that with a gun.
What's really odd to me is that the pro 2nd Amendment types tend to be conservatives and yet conservatives are largely to blame for the government becoming so powerful (uber-security developments, warmongering, orgies of defense spending, civil liberty erosion (Patriot Act, torture), etc.) It just doesn't make sense. "I need this gun in order to fight the government (to whom I gave gazillions of dollars of super sophisticated death machines)." It's bewilderingly stupid.
Not by a long shot. As I have said repeatedly, the 2nd amendment exist to protect the citizens from the gov't. Not the other way around. Although there are number of other good reasons to own a firearm other than a potentially tyrannical gov't. The gov't may not care who is sitting around in a bunker as junkseller referenced. But if we should ever see a true hard tyranny in the US someday, you'll wish you were armed as well as the guy in the bunker. Or perhaps some of us will freely go to the gas chambers. Americans are really naive to believe that the day can't come in this nation when people are rounded up and sent to the equivalent of a gas chamber. This is not a political party issue. The fact is that the history of the world tells us that both past and present...political tyranny is the norm and not the exception. And the US is one of the places in the world to fortunately never have lived under a military dictatorship. That does not mean it can't develop one day. The founders were well aware of this and gave us this protection for expressly this purpose.
There is a reason why over and over again, the first step in a dictatorship that wishes to harm it's citizens is to disarm them. Disarming the population was a strategy long before guns where even invented. At times it was training with swords or bow and arrows that was prohibited. The Japanese and British empires were notorious for this. The reason is that it is very hard to round up and control an armed population. When they have even minimal access to weapons and a will to fight, they are dangerous to political authorities wishing to impose harm.
And in terms of Justin Earick comments...How well did the advanced military of the soviet war machine of the 80's do against the poorly armed Afghans riding around on horseback. For that matter, our current military in the US has been slowly bled dry by the same poorly armed Afghans. History is filled with examples of poorly armed and poorly trained citizens defeating both foreign and domestic military threats that were more advanced and better trained. It's amazing what people will accomplish when their life depends on it. And your stats on guns deaths are quite misleading. More than half of gun related deaths are suicides. They'll kill themselves with or without a gun. As per the Department of Justice, guns are used on average 1.5-2 million times per year for some form of self defense.
There is only one type of government that eliminates the capability of the people to protect themselves - tyranny.
There is usually a beginning of tyranny when the people are disarmed. The funny thing is, one of the main reasons it was written is because of the fact that the British tried to disarm the people originally and take their only means of defending themselves. The entire premise of the writing of the constitution is the question, "can man rule himself?"
If you believe what the Declaration of Independence says then God has endowed us with unalienable rights. Funny thing is, something the founders spoke of was the fact that in nature, animals naturally would defend themselves and their young against predators with whatever means necessary. So they said that nature's God (God Almighty) endowed nature with the ability to defend itself so we should believe that those rights extended to us. Well, when you have someone facing you down with a musket, you want to have the counterbalance to face them back.
Lets bring it back to today. The House of Representatives are questioning the fact that DHS has purchased more than 47 million rounds of ammunition. It turns out that even our military is not so well supplied in the field. Why do they need that amount of ammo, and no the bullcrap answer for training exercise is exactly at, bullcrap.
Governments go tyrannical all the time, the founders writings show that they knew the heart of man was easily corruptible by power which explains why they set up the government the way they did, so no one man would have that kind of power. You're seeing our president now and some from the past begin to break those checks and balances in general. If this country lost the second amendment, we would see a darkness unlike any probably seen since world war 2.
Sure we talk about the constitution as being law of the land, but you have to know context of why things were written. What would the OR (original reader) and OH (original hearer) think? Why did they include it? We have had so much revisionist history in the past century that its hard to find the original intentions of our bill of rights unless you look at original writings and documentation back then and not go on feelings and the whims of the day.
This has been the most argued and debated issue on Hub Pages for the year I have been around. I cannot verify it, but I doubt if the mind of one single person has been changed on this issue. I am not referring to how this particular question is worded--amending the constitution is not easy--but the pro-gun and the anti-gun divisions has probably maintain the same rift.
Until someone has a new idea, I wish we would drop the subject. Before anyone tells me, I do not plan on taking part in any more of the debates about this issue, unless some new issue develops.
I think it is. As the first part of the amendment pertains to a well regulated militia as there was no standing army in those days to protect the country from foreign and domestic threats. I believe this amendment pertains to securing the country and not the "right to bear arms" as most people see it today. I believe that kind of right would have to be written into a new amendment without the militia being a part of the amendment.
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