Mr. Justice Stevens proposes to insert a few words into the Second Amendment, thus:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
Now, this goes to the heart of the collective-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment... and the reason this interpretation is absurd in the first place.
According to the Collectivists, the Second Amendment is only meant to prevent the Federal Government from disarming the various State militias. But, since the State militia powers were already spelled out in the body of the constitution, this makes no sense, unless one believes that those powers might only apply to some sort of unarmed militia, whatever that might be*.
So: were we to make the proposed change, what, exactly, would the New! Improved! Second Amendment mean?
- The Federal Government is forbidden to disarm itself?
- Soldiers on active duty are allowed to carry weapons?
OK, so interpretation (2) is already being violated. So this totally makes sense, right? The whole purpose of the Second Amendment is to prevent military bases becoming victim-disarmament zones?
And here's a happy thought:
Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.
For any currently fashionable value of "this area", right?
Considering some of the logic that comes out of the courts, maybe we should pick judges at random out of phone books. Hey, if we have that Constitutional Convention, there's an amendment I'd like to suggest**!
* I suppose I shouldn't laugh; considering some of the amazing feats of sophistry demonstrated by the Court over the past couple of centuries, "unarmed militia" might not be much of a stretch.
** Along with picking legislators the same way. And going back to picking juries that way, as opposed to carefully screening them.