Sitting at home on July 4th, as the Fireworks began (around 9:00 PM), I wondered what might have happened if the Gun Nuts who hi-jacked the Second Amendment, and the folks on the “Right” who encourage them, had free rein on all 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. You see, in their haste to cherry-pick selected wording, in order for them to carry assault rifles, have thirty round clips and carry them openly, they seem to have failed to actually read the entire Amendment.
Back in Colonial Times, Britain had very stringent control over who could carry weapons. That was generally meant to apply to muskets; because, “rifling” (which caused the shell to spin more true in its trajectory) had not been invented yet. So, by denying weapons to the Colonials, only the Crown would have firepower. Thus, our Constitution’s Second Amendment begins with: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” Part two, the words the gun nuts actually saw were: “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As I sat here, I wondered what other Amendments might have been defaced, as well? Now, I am only going to cite a few Amendments, which a deleted word, or another one added, or one of those political-speak redactions, might have used to change the course of American History. Consider, just a few of the following, with changes in parenthesis:
First: Congress shall make (“laws”, instead of “no law”) respecting an establishment of religion…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to assemble peaceably…
Fourth: The right of the people to secure their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizers, shall (delete not) be violated…
Fifteenth, Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall (delete “not”) be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color of previous condition of servitude.
Sixteenth: The Congress shall have (add “no”) power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source…
Nineteenth: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall (delete “not”) be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.
Now, I could go on, and if I chose to be more adventurous in my re-wording, let’s say more than a word or two, almost all of the Amendments could be changed, to varying degrees. So, I just focused on some of our most basic rights: freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, illegal search and seizure, the right to vote, the power to tax, etc. These are all contentious issues with many on the “Right”.
States Rights tends to be an opportunistic choice, but mostly when a particular political party does not occupy the White House. When their man (perhaps woman, in the future) sits there, they are all for an Imperial Presidency. When the opposing party controls the Oval Office, however, they believe that most power should be centralized at the the State level.