In an opinion piece published by the Christian Science Monitor, a Republican and veteran of the War in Iraq and proponent of gun control regulations on “assault rifles” wrote that the Constitution is “not the gospel” and is instead a “living document”.
The piece, published today, details the author’s disappointment that Diane Feinstein’s unpopular assault weapons ban – which would have banned 157 different weapons, not all of them “assault rifles”, will not be included in the Senate’s soon-to-be-released gun control proposal. What is particularly disturbing is what the man, a veteran of Iraq, believes our Constitution to be.
He wrote (emphasis mine), “I also like to inform my gun-advocating colleagues and friends that the Constitution is not the gospel and has been amended 27 times since its signing in 1787, including for the provisions of universal suffrage and the abolition of slavery. As demonstrated throughout the course of American history, the Constitution has proved to be a living document, which has reflected the state of affairs and needs of its citizenry.”
The implication is clear – to him, the Constitution doesn’t really represent a document that limits the powers of the federal government – as written. Apparently because the Constitution contains 27 amendments, it no longer constrains the powers of the federal government. It’s a “living document”, so as a result, it is effectively meaningless.
His larger point was to argue that the use of assault rifles, such as the AR-15 (pictured to the right), are not necessary for self defense, and therefore should be banned. His argument is simple, but unfortunately, that simplicity fails the smell test of how effective these bans actually are, not to mention how often these guns are used in crime.
“As a former Army officer with extensive experience with military assault rifles, such as the M16 and M4 (variants of the AR-15), both used for the offensive purpose of neutralizing or killing as many combatants as possible in the shortest duration possible, I can attest that these types of weapons cross the commonsense threshold of a weapon of self-defense,” he argued.
In all due respect to the former Army officer, he is using his experience in a combat zone to argue in favor of laws for everybody at home. Not only is this nonsensical on its face, but it needlessly confuses the real issue of personal defense and the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. A trained military officer should know this.
The rights of the people to keep and bear arms “for self defense” is not the constitutional right afforded to Americans – but I suppose, when you do not recognize the Constitution to be “the gospel” of government power and the guarantee of people’s rights in the United States anyway, those little tidbits become less important, don’t they? But more than that – who gives this man the right to determine what is necessary for self defense? This man is entitled to his own opinion, but enforcing that opinion on the larger population is where problems come into play.
In fact, the former Army officer considers the ownership and use of AR-15s to be selfish and, ironically, “inconsistent with the Constitution that I swore to support and defend while I was deployed to Iraq.” Inconsistent, you mean, with the document that you appear to be throwing by the wayside? The document you consider to be a “living document” and not the be-all-end-all of our nation’s founding principles? Surely you see the irony.
In the same editorial, the author first disregarded the importance of the Constitution, then later uses the Constitution to support his point of view. This is flat disgraceful.
I deeply respect your service to our nation, sir, but your insistence that the use of AR-15s is selfish and that our Constitution – which you do not appear to respect – does not protect the right of the people to own those weapons, is absurd. I expect more from someone brave enough to fight in combat zones for their nation.
The Constitution that you took an oath to uphold protects the right to keep and bear arms, and the 27 amendments to the Constitution proves how important the document is.
If the Constitution wasn’t gospel, there would be no need to amend it, would there?