Bypassing the Politicians on Gun Control

As we watch the lawmakers scramble to make new laws to restrict our ability to defend ourselves and our families, it becomes clear that there are few politicians representing the people or the Constitution in this manner. Despite abundantly clear Second Amendment's restrictions, the politicians seem to not care. The politicians have learned from recent history that any controversy over their current actions will blow over and be replaced by the latest pop scandal in the press by election time. Furthermore, they know that litigation against their illegal laws will take years and perhaps even decades. To bolster their point they sponsor polls and tinker with the numbers counting on people to not understand what the famed historian Alexis de Tocqueville called the "Tyranny of the Majority." The sad fact is that the politicians know they will always have their armed security and so depriving the American people of theirs is a small matter to them.

What is also becoming increasingly apparent is that the new gun control laws on the books will make criminals, even felons, out of many legal and peaceful gun owners in America. Already gun owners in New York are refusing to register their suddenly illegal weapons and thus are becoming criminals overnight. If the situation leads to gun confiscation, such as "The Great Gun Grab" after Hurricane Katrina, the possibility for violence and potentially even civil war is high.

Fortunately the Founders gave us a way to tie the hands of the government through the constitutions of both our country and our states. While amending the U.S. Constitution is a difficult process and full of political barriers, the Founders also gave us a method to bypass that procedure through the power of the 10th amendment. It is a much easier job to amend a state constitution, and that should be the avenue by which we can stop the government in its tracks in a way that they cannot easily circumvent. All we need is an amendment that clarifies the government's restrictions when it comes to our rights:

No Governmental body of the State, County or Municipality may enact laws or regulations to restrict the possession of any semiautomatic or single shot firearm, ammunition for such a firearm or accessories for such a firearm by any person who is over the age of 18 and has not been convicted of or under arraignment for a violent felony or legally adjudicated mentally defective by a court of law.

No governmental body of the State, County or Municipality may enact laws or regulations to require registration of, or permits for, of the ownership of any legally possessed firearm.

No governmental body of the State, County or Municipality may enact laws or regulations to restrict the concealed carry of any legally possessed firearm by any individual who has completed a commercial course of not less than 20 hours and not more than 40 hours on concealed carry of a firearm that covers firearm safety, safe firearm storage, ballistics in an urban environment, firearm retention in a combat situation, effective concealment, safety in public self defense situations, and marksmanship at the range and under stress. Current holders of concealed carry permits will require such certification on the renewal of their permits.

Pursuant to the Second and Tenth amendments to the United States Constitution No governmental body of the State, County or Municipality will enforce, or assist any other agency in enforcement of any Federal law unless such law is in compliance with both the state constitution and the constitution of the United States of America.

This amendment would tie the hands of the state government and block them from depriving law-abiding Americans of the capability of defending their lives and their families from an increasingly violent criminal class. Because the final clause demands that the state not participate in assisting in enforcement of federal laws, rather than barring such enforcement by the feds alone, it would be difficult for the federal government to argue that it violates the supremacy of the federal government. Since this is a potential legal sticking point, laws which prevent federal agents from enforcing noncompliant federal laws,should be normal legislation that stands on its own

Furthermore, countering the standard arguments of the gun-control advocates is fairly easy. For example, the amendment does not prevent background checks since the first clause states that arraigned or convicted violent felons or those adjudicated mentally defective may be prevented from obtaining firearms. This means that background checks can only be upheld to take care of these situations, not be onerous in requirements. Furthermore, the training requirements for concealed carry means that those carrying concealed will be better equipped to protect the lives of others around them and many companies would step in to fill the requirement with course offerings.

To amend the constitutions of most states, the people need only collect the required number of signatures and get the issue on the ballot. Then it's up to advertising and getting out the vote to make it happen. If such amendments were to be passed in every state, nothing the federal government would do would really matter. Their enforcement path would be impossible, since none of the state resources would be available to them. Furthermore, existing onerous state and municipal regulations would suddenly become unconstitutional.

The zen of wisdom in the Constitution of the USA, and of the states, is that it is only the establishment of that constitution as the highest law in the land that prevents the formation of tyranny either by government or the majority. It is time to tie the hands of the politicians by utilizing the tools provided us by our Founders. While the politicians play games and pass laws in the back room, the focus of gun owners should not be on trying to persuade a group of corrupt and bought politicians on both sides of the proverbial aisle, but rather to stop them decisively.