TED Conversations

Morgan Barnes

Law Enforcement Officer, government agency

This conversation is closed.

Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?

After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age.

That Militia should be held to Law Enforcement agencies, Military and government controlled Para military agencies, with a show need, clause for people such as certain Primary producers etc.

Is it time to tell the NRA and the Gun Lobby there will be no more "collateral" damage no matter how much you donate to the "Party"

What would be the best way for the government to enforce such a law???

And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place.

The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years.


Closing Statement from Morgan Barnes

Firstly I would like to say I did not flag or delete anyone's comments I am perfectly capable of speaking for myelf however I did get frustrated and had some comments deleted myself.
As I write this President Obama has signed 23 executive orders inline with Colleen's post from yesterday from New York.

I have to admit I am a little disappointed that we could not of just discussed the issue in a more calm, critical and logical manner and be able to offer solutions as well as recognised the underling causes, as this is a forum for open ideas and thinking, Then again we are dealing with human nature.
To those of you from the International community thank you for your imput and allowing people to see the different views helds in different parts of the world on this subject.
I will not deny that the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights are the backbone of America, but remember it was written by man not given by god and man can take it away or amend it, if he really wants too.
I am a believer that in the 21st Century we should use it to advance humankind to address the problems of the world and improve it for all. It won't be easy but we have to start somewhere or we risk implementing our own destruction.
I hope that this be a positive start and and an even more positive step in which the US can show the way.
Once again I thank you all for your contributions

"In a progressive country change in constant : change is inevitable "Benjamen Disraeli

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 1 2013: So have you guys read the second amendment?

    "As passed by the Congress:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Do you have a well regulated Militia now? Or do you view every person's right to bear arms as that "well regulated" Militia?
    • Jan 1 2013: Great! They should, indeed, change the second amendment to make the language clearer.

      I propose the following:
      Since self defense is a fundamental right of every person, the right of people to bear firearms shall not be infringed. However, to prevent accidental misuse, it is mandatory for people to undergo a course on its handling and safety. Those of unsound* mind and those with a record of violent crimes shall forfeit this right.

      * "unsound mind" is loosely defined, and needs the attention of psychologists and psychiatrists to define properly.

      Hopefully, with this, people would focus more on the right to self defense, rather than empty words and conditions like "well-regulated", "militia", "free state", and what not.

      The constitution of the US, and its first few amendments were ground-breaking not just for the US, but for the rest of the world. However, its language sounds dated and vague to a modern audience. Constitutions and laws should be written in a crisper, less florid, language.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: Actually John it is just a misunderstood word. Militia is not a regular army.

        The unintended consequences of unsound mind could be onerous and just about guaranteed to not be effective.
        • Jan 1 2013: Sure, I understand that a militia consists of people who have other jobs, but fight for the state in the time of need. But as far as I know, civilians are drafted so rarely these days, that I preferred to ignore it.

          And there are certainly people of unsound minds, right? I understand that this can get difficult to define, but, there are mental disorders that indicate a propensity to violence. I know a bipolar person (not violent) who, despite being in his 30s, thought he could fly. He jumped out of the second floor balcony. If people can't be held morally (or legally) accountable for their actions, I don't want them to be in a position where they can injure many people.
        • thumb
          Jan 2 2013: I'm wondering more about the "Well regulated" part... The word militia is quite easy to understand.
        • thumb
          Jan 2 2013: Pat, John, Jimmy,
          It was suggested on this thread that our national guard could have been considered something like a militia prior to more recent times....they generally had other jobs, went to a two week summer national guard training camp, and were ready to fight for the state in the time of need. However, in the past few years, they have been trained as soldiers and sent to war just like the rest of our military, so it doesn't seem like they fit the criteria of "militia" any more.

          It is the "well regulated" clause in the document that may provide the foundation for the ban on assault weapons for public use. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was amended or repealed when the ban on assault weapons was adopted years ago, so the document, as written, may provide basis for that law.

          I agree with you that "unsound minds" may be difficult to determine and enforce. There are clearly some folks who are mentally challenged, then there are LOTS of people in our world that we may not even suspect of having mental challenges.....who is to say? Who would make that call?
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: But is does indicate a right to bear arms.

        Was this individual on psychiatric drugs?

        A more effective means would be to use the scientific method and track down the real causes. 99% of the individuals who committed mass shootings were on psychiatric drugs.
        • Jan 1 2013: I understand that psychiatry is possibly messed up in the US, and many psychiatrists are in cahoots with Teachers' Unions and Big Pharma. I understand that psychiatrists in the US have a tendency to over-medicate. However, it is not so bad in the rest of the world.

          "Was this individual on psychiatric drugs? "
          Given the above context, I'd say it depends on the exact drugs the person is on. Are there drugs (whether psychiatric or not) that increases a person's propensity to violence? If so, he should not be allowed to handle weapons. Heck, with some drugs that are not even for psychiatric illnesses, the person using them is not even allowed to drive!

          However, keeping reports such as http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/January/mental-illness-and-violence in mind, I'd certainly not want people with specific mental disorders, who also have a history of addiction to narcotics, to be allowed to handle weapons.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: Just by looking at the charts on your link the correlation between drugs and violence are overwhelming?

        Just from a practical point of view why does a person takes drugs including alcohol? to escape.

        Whatever they are escaping from is what comes back to bite them when the drugs wear off or the masking of the real problem wears off in a unpredictable manner.

        It sounds like yes the individual was on psychiatric drugs?

        Just from a simple logical point of view taking away the drugs is what would fix the problem
        • Jan 1 2013: "Just by looking at the charts on your link the correlation between drugs and violence are overwhelming?"
          Not exactly. "Substance abuse disorder" does not cover those who use it only occasionally. People with substance abuse disorders have significant lifestyle differences from the rest of us. It's not just about escapism. It's also about the kind of things they end up doing to get their next fix, etc. http://behavenet.com/substance-abuse

          "It sounds like yes the individual was on psychiatric drugs?"
          Depends. People who are on drugs for depression or anxiety, AFAIK, are as harmless as you or I. People who are on drugs for bipolar or schizophrenia, AFAIK, have a tendency to avoid drugs (they think they are perfect without drugs).

          "Just from a simple logical point of view taking away the drugs is what would fix the problem"
          That's not logical at all! Not all drugs cause problems! Some drugs are prescribed despite having adverse effects, because the person is better off with drugs than without.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: The initial reason is the escape. what they do to solve their problem still stems from escapism.

        Regarding the question directed to whether or not, it does sound like the answer is yes. This really is a yes or no question.

        I meant the psychiatric drugs. But while I'm at it Meth is also a BIG problem.
        • Jan 1 2013: "Regarding the question directed to whether or not, it does sound like the answer is yes."

          You are making exactly the kind of jump that other people are making here, for the relation between ordinary citizens owning guns, and increase of violent crimes in society.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: I don't see it, you want to obfuscate for some reason. I hope the person was ok.

        Clearly someone who jumps off of a building because he thinks he can fly is psychotic. I'm stating that a larger percentage of people will demonstrate their psychosis if on the psychiatric drugs.
        • Jan 1 2013: "larger percentage of people will demonstrate their psychosis if on the psychiatric drugs"

          Well, most people on psychiatric drugs do not (and cannot) have psychosis, as I explained earlier. If they do, sure, I agree that they forfeit their right to weapons.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: The evidence would indicate otherwise...
        • Jan 1 2013: Please show me :-).

          People who are severely depressed, for example, are likely to kill just themselves, without making a scene for anyone else.
      • thumb
        Jan 1 2013: Either way it is psychotic.

        I would use the chart that you linked.

        I did a speech about this years ago, there was a perfect correlation between the incidents of school violence and the use of psychiatric drugs starting in the late 60s. I don't know where the graph is, but trust me? it was remarkable. This is something that any detective looks at, of course unless they have another financial agenda.
        • Jan 1 2013: Noo... depression is not associated with psychosis. But of course, a person could have depression and another mental illness too, at the same time, because there is no guarantee that a person has to have only one disorder at a time (mental or physical). It's like having cancer and arthritis at the same time.

          Don't use the chart I linked. Please read the article. :-) Especially the first two paragraphs. The graphs talk about two specific disorders: schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. And, yes, these *are* associated with psychotic symptoms.

          I have no financial agenda here. :-) I work with electronics and software.
      • thumb
        Jan 2 2013: I do not accept what psychs say. As far as I'm concerned a psychotic is anyone who cannot handle his environment well enough to survive.

        I do not accept your definition. No what is pertinent is the chart the hell with the psychobabble.

        As stated earlier this stuff causes a lot of grief that would not exist otherwise and no I do not accept anything they say, I made that mistake exactly once. As with anything else the key is to LOOK and be your OWN adviser.

        The financial agenda is with the good DR's and big pharma.
        • Jan 2 2013: "I do not accept what psychs say."

          That's a good attitude only if backed by proper research and findings. Otherwise, how is this attitude any different from homeopaths and chiropractors who reject all of modern medicine? As it stands, it is just a personal bias.

          "As far as I'm concerned a psychotic is anyone who cannot handle his environment well enough to survive."
          Researchers in the field make more specific, and well-defined claims. There are some psychotics who rape and/or kill others, but survive just fine, and die, eventually, of old age.

          I believe you have been exposed to a very bad practitioner (once, as you say) and that has affected you for your life. I, on the other hand, have a few psychologists as friends, and know how much of a positive difference they make to the lives of their clients. They earn a lot less than I do, and are not medical doctors; they cannot prescribe medication.

          If you're interested to know about the kind of advice modern psychologists give, read http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/. I must add that these are short advice columns, and not proper therapy sessions.

          If you call the article psychobabble, you are certainly not qualified to look at the chart! You might as well look at pictures drawn by kindergarten kids and draw life-lessons from that.
      • thumb
        Jan 2 2013: It is backed by logic and is not a personal bias or looking at the chart and not being able to understand it the chart is simple. If anything complexity adds error.

        I view this as what works and what does not, the psychs are clearly in the latter group.

        This has run it's course and we have not compelled each other to consider anything.

        Happy New Year John
        • thumb
          Jan 2 2013: I think it's really dangerous to come up with your own (very loose) definition of things as you do here Pat. It's a shame that you haven't considered anything John says since he's making good arguments... and you're not.
        • thumb
          Jan 2 2013: if firearms had to be registered in the US and legislation passed that anyone who has to take any kind of medicine for mental health issues or those with known side effects that could cause a mental health episode or even known illegal drug users as soon as they drugs were prescribed and it hit that the person prescribed to is firearms owner then it should be compulsory to surrender the firearm if the firearm(s) have not been surrendered with a prescribed time limit then Law enforcement should be within their rights to forcibly remove the firearm from the premise. (Hypothetical scenario)
      • thumb
        Jan 2 2013: Jimmy

        I don't think so.
    • thumb
      Jan 1 2013: The first clause defines the need as the security of a free state and the second prohibits the infringing upon the right of all people to bear arms,( to that end) thus creating a living armory, much like Switzerland.

      The Supreme Court, in working their exegesis have similar texts to drawn, like the Vermont Constitution that states:

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."

      Some here have opined that the writers of the Constitution expected us to change it around from time to time, assuming we have some good men to do the changing.

      I guess that is what Thomas Jefferson meant when he wrote "Don't speak to me of good men. Chain them to the Constitution."
    • thumb
      Jan 1 2013: The latter. This is a common argument.

      A militia by definition is ordinary citizens it is not professional soldiers. This is a common misconception.

      Security is protection from danger of any kind.

      The back story on this comes from England where all citizens were required to have firearms as it was their duty to preserve the peace.

      The 3 primary rights the second amendment is designed to protect are personal security, personal liberty, and private property. As indicated by Nail Ferguson in the 6 killer apps these are necessary ingredients to a successful country.

      The supreme court in 1951 in Dennis vs the U.S. stated that Congress has the power to protect the government from armed rebellion and that a right to revolution is without force where the government provides a system for peaceful change.

      But should Americans ever find themselves faced with an incorrigible government of totalitarian oppression a government that has abandoned the very principles this nation was founded upon then the people have the natural inalienable right to change the government as they see fit, and the spirit of this amendment clearly applies.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.