Nothing happens in politics unless one side holds a trump card and can force the other side to compromise.
In this gun debate, President Obama has a powerful Second Amendment trump card. And, if there was ever a time to use it, it's now.
Oh, you didn't know such a card existed? Well of course you didn't. Because no one ever raises the issue. Here's the full text of the Second Amendment. Read it and see if you can identify the trump card part:
"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."
See it? It's right there in the beginning and the kicker is at the very end.
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..." and "... shall not be infringed ."
The part the NRA folk like best... "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms," is actually the shortest part of the Second Amendment.
Obama's trump card goes like this:
- The President of the United States of America is, constitutionally, also the nations "Command in Chief..." the guy in charge of the military. State governors are in charge of their state militias.
- Therefore, any national "militia" would be under the Commander in Chief's command. State militias would be under the command of State governors, which would then be responsible for their behavior -- or misbehavior.
- Such "militias" must, be, as demanded by the Second Amendment, "well regulated."
- And that regulation requirement, like the part of the sentence about there right to bear arms, "shall not be infringed," but only as long as the first part of these amendment is part of the deal.
- Right now all those gun-owners out there are supremely and utterly in violation of the the very first part of the Second Amendment - they are unregulated and increasingly unruly.
- Therefore, to wit, in order for gun-owners to claim protection under the Second Amendment they must be in full compliance with it. Full compliance, not partial.
- They are not in full compliance with it, and therefore cannot claim such protection.
Hello Barry? You in there?
If you are in there, call a news conference and tell the NRA, and their ilk, that they have a choice:
Either back sensible and effective gun regulation, or you declare gun-owners are operating outside the constraints clearly delineated in the Second Amendment. And that they must either join a recognized and well-regulated federal or state militia, or they will be forced turn in all semi-automatic weapons in their possession until they do join such a well-regulated militia.
Oh sure, all holy hell would break loose. But the President would have the words of the Second Amendment on his side.
The Right has become accustomed to using the US Constitution to claim whatever it believes are it's rights. Well, we can play that game too. The US Constitution is in black and white. It's a contract, not a suicide pact.
Since the Right likes to claim the US Constitution is infallible and must be taken literally, fine. Then they can't have it both ways.
The first 13-words of the Second Amendment has two parts, not just one: "A well-regulated militia" as a requirement to "keep and bear arms." If the framers didn't want it that way, they wouldn't have written it that way.
So, all you self-styled "patriots," either enlist in a state or federal militia, or hand over the heat. Or, submit to sensible gun control measures. Your choice"