I see that Michael Moore has decided that we need rid of the second amendment, and has proposed a 28th amendment to replace it:
The inalienable right of a free people to be kept safe from gun violence and the fear thereof must not be infringed and shall be protected by the Congress and the States. This Amendment thus repeals and replaces the Second Amendment.
Congress shall create a mandatory system of firearm registration and licensing for the following limited purposes: (a) licensed hunters of game; (b) licensed ranges for the sport of target shooting; and (c) for the few who can demonstrate a special need for personal protection.
All who seek a firearm will undergo a strict vetting process with a thorough background check, including the written and confidential approval of family members, spouses and ex-spouses and/or partners and ex-partners, co-workers and neighbors. A mental health check will also be required. There will be a waiting period of one month to complete the full background check.
Those who meet all the requirements for the restricted gun owners groups and successfully pass the background check must take a firearms safety class and pass a written test on an annual basis.
The minimum age for the restricted groups who can own a firearm is 25 years old. Renewal and review of the firearms license will occur on an annual basis.
Congress will stipulate and continually update the limited list of approved firearms for civilian use, including weapons in the future that are not yet invented. The following firearms are heretofore banned:
• All automatic and semi-automatic weapons and all devices which can enable a single-shot gun to fire automatically or semi-automatically;
• Any weapon that can hold more than six bullets or rounds at a time or any magazine that holds more than six bullets;
• All guns made of plastic or any homemade equipment and machinery or a 3D printer that can make a gun or weapon that can take a human life.
Congress shall regulate all ammunition, capacity of ammunition, the storage of guns, gun locks, gun sights, body armor and the sale and distribution of such items. No weapons of any kind whose sole intention is the premeditated elimination of human life are considered legal. Congress may create future restrictions as this amendment specifically does not grant any American the “right” to own any weapon.
Police who are trained and vetted to use firearms shall be subject to comprehensive and continuous monitoring and shall be dismissed if found to exhibit any racist or violent behavior.
Persons already owning any of the above banned firearms, and who do not fall into the legal groups of restricted firearms owners, will have one month from the ratification of this Amendment to turn in their firearms for destruction by local law enforcement. These local authorities may organize a gun buy-back program to assist in this effort.
I am not certain about Moore’s legal training and abilities – but he is obviously not particularly familiar with firearms: banning “ all devices which can enable a single-shot gun to fire automatically or semi-automatically” seems more than a little bizarre. I mean, I guess I could build or design a single-shot that ejected automatically . . . a blow-back 22 without a magazine or tube comes to mind . . . but why?
Moore also seems to have missed some of the challenges in getting an amendment passed: starting the process requires either a 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress or 2/3 of state legislatures calling a convention. Then it has to be passed by either legislatures or special conventions called in 3/4 of the states.
I took Problems of American Democracy in high school – and those requirements haven’t changed. Three quarters of 50 states means that 38 individual states have to pass an amendment. Or the converse – only 13 states need to hold out to keep an amendment from becoming law. In the process of proposing an amendment, California is 20 times more powerful than Montana in the house of representatives, equal in the senate, and equal in the state legislatures or conventions. I could point out that Moore’s “inalienable right of a free people to be kept safe from gun violence and the fear thereof must not be infringed” translates to being safe from fear – and that’s something that can’t be guaranteed. Still, it is enough to understand the process of amending the constitution leaves Moore’s amendment with two chances of passing: slim and none. If he had studied PAD at LCHS 56 years ago, he would know that.