Gene Lyon’s column ("Is our problem gun control ... or democracy," The Star Democrat, June 10, 2022) is wrong. First, he states that the Supreme Court has turned the Second Amendment upside down through “legalistic flim-flam.” Not so. James Madison tersely contracted the submissions of several states into the words that became the Second Amendment.
Here is what New Hampshire proposed: “Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion.” And New York: “That the People have a right to keep and bear arms (with words about a militia coming second. Several other states wrote the same.). From two state constitutions at the time, Pennsylvania, “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves...” and North Carolina, ”That the people have a right to bear arms.”
The Second Amendment makes it the law of the United States that people have a right to bear arms. Mr. Lyon’s confuses democracy with Constitutional governance. There is no place for a national referendum in the United States. In fact, the Constitution was painstakingly written to prevent such a thing. If it is truly the will of the people to change the Second Amendment: propose an Amendment. It is not hard. Prohibition and its repeal make the point. Delete the Second Amendment and substitute a new Amendment. Maybe this one would be acceptable: “That the people age 21 years and older have a right to keep and bear small arms, including pistols, rifles and shotguns, single shot and semi-automatic, to a maximum caliber of .45.” There, done.
Then let’s get on to more amendments to fix our broken Federal Government. Here’s one: “That Congress shall erect no Company of Merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce.” (MA, NC and NH wanted these words in the Bill of Rights.) Poof: No Fannie Mae.