- Properly interpret the entire text of the 2nd Amendment.
- Properly regulate and enforce that interpretation with laws that would make it harder for criminals, mentally ill people, domestic abusers, and unattended minors to easily gain access to them. Training requirements, annual registration, licenses, etc…
- Properly treat all racist rhetoric as hate speech and all acts of overt racism as hate crimes and/or acts of terrorism.
- Properly investigate and punish perpetrators of domestic violence.
In regards to the 1st Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
As explained on the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute site explains:
The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.
As I wrote in October of 2016, “Freedom of Speech ≠ Consequence Free Speech”
The 1st Amendment protects you from governmental persecution, prosecution, incarceration, or execution in order to silence your message.
It does not guarantee you a platform from which to speak. You are not entitled to have your words mass distributed by a social media or news outlet. You are not entitled to a microphone or news camera to extend the reach of your words. You cannot force people to listen to your message.
It does not prevent an employer from terminating your employment if they do not want to have their business or professional reputation associated with the opinions and words you are expressing.
It does not protect you from public ridicule, ostracization, or rebuttal in response to the words and opinions you express.
Nowhere does it protect the right to espouse hate speech or the use of it as a shield for stochastic terrorism to incite violence without personal consequence. That is an interpretation we have allowed to embed itself within our own cultural inertia to the point that we don’t recognize how much it is harming us to cling to it any more.
This brings us to the 2nd Amendment:
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.
Every modern interpretation of this amendment to our constitution completely ignores the first thirteen words it includes and their relevance to the entire right as outlined.
Make no mistake, there is currently nothing at all well regulated about American gun ownership or American militias. In point of fact, those private militias are one of our greatest sources of large scale gun violence as domestic terrorism and the source of radicalization of many of the perpetrators.
As ‘Frontline’ for PBS reported in 2012, “while conventional wisdom suggests that an individual’s right to bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, it is, in fact, a relatively recent interpretation.”
It really started to change with the rise of the modern conservative movement in the ’70s and ’80s. You had Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese, who was his attorney general, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the Senate, really making a very sustained argument that the courts had misunderstood the Second Amendment for hundreds of years, and the NRA was an indispensable partner in this moment. And it became the conservative conventional wisdom that the Second Amendment gave an individual the right to bear arms.
1977 is really a key moment here, because that’s when the National Rifle Association went from being a largely apolitical gun-safety organization to a mobilized political operation that was dedicated to fighting gun control. … It both reflected and reinforced the growing conservatism of the Republican Party generally.
We would be well advised to remember one this statement from one of the key writers of our nation’s founding documents. As Thomas Jefferson said:
“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”