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Dr. Thomas Krannawitter helps us understand that the second amendment is irrelevant. 

I find it astounding how few Americans, even smart ones who study the Constitution, know how to think like a constitutionalist. This problem is aggravated, I’m sure, by decades of misleading and confused Supreme Court decisions — which consider the Bill of Rights as an opportunity for a few cloaked in black to decide what our “rights” mean and what limits ought to be placed on them — and which are studied and repeated by law professors, lawyers, jurists, academicians, and others.

Case in point: This little video from Reason Magazine, which is home to plenty of smart, freedom-loving folks. Yet even they get wrong the 2nd Amendment. According to the video, if an Amendment is passed by two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states that repeals the 2nd Amendment, THEN Congress may go about legislating and regulating the guns of citizens.


The entire premise of the U.S. Constitution is that WE THE PEOPLE create a government and grant to it specific, enumerated powers. That means that those in elected, constitutional, government offices have ONLY the few powers that WE granted to them, through our Constitution, and nothing more. Nowhere did we grant power to Congress to regulate the guns of citizens. Nowhere! In this sense, the 2nd Amendment truly is irrelevant to the question of whether government may or may not regulate guns.

Regardless of whether the 2nd Amendment is repealed or not, the ONLY way for Congress to have Constitutional authority to regulate any guns of any citizens is for yet another Amendment to be passed in which the American people positively grant to Congress the power to regulate guns. Until and unless that happens, Congress has zero constitutional power to regulate guns — zero! — regardless of what the 2nd Amendment may or may not mean, regardless of whether the 2nd Amendment exists or not. I repeat: the 2nd Amendment is irrelevant.

If the folks at Reason want an example, they might brush up on the story of Prohibition. Some in the United States government wanted to regulate and outright prohibit alcohol, but they were honest enough to admit that the United States government had no constitutional authority to do such a thing because WE THE PEOPLE never granted such power to our government. So what did they do? They proposed an Amendment — the 18th Amendment — asking the American people to grant constitutional power to the United States government to regulate and prohibit the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol. And we all know how that turned out.

Please, Americans, remember that your freedom does not rest upon the existence of the Bill of Rights. Your freedom rests upon the fact that you’ve granted to your government only certain limited powers. And everything that government is not authorized to regulate are things you are free to do as you please.

— Don’t want your freedom of speech restricted? Don’t authorize your government to regulate speech. The result will be free citizens speaking freely.

— Don’t want your freedom of religion restricted? Don’t authorize your government to regulate religion. The result will be free citizens worshipping freely.

— Don’t want your freedom of the press restricted? Don’t authorize your government to regulate the press. The result will be free citizens publishing their views freely.

— Don’t want your freedom to own guns restricted? Don’t authorize your government to regulate guns. The result will be free citizens owning guns if they freely choose.

But all of this works ONLY if WE THE PEOPLE remind those in government constantly, relentlessly, what few powers we have granted to them, and the many, many powers we have not.

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Thomas Krannawitter

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