The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Constitution has been amended 17 times

 


To The Eagle:

I disagree with the fellow who stated that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is inalienable.

The Declaration of Independence of 1776 declared four basic human rights, to life, equality, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to be inalienable for their having been “endowed to us by our Creator.” Later, a supporting document, the 1787 constitution, specified protected civil rights inherent to that pursuit.

That constitution’s preamble states that "We the People” ordained and established it “in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The constitution’s Bill of Rights addresses arcane matters such as “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house.” It establishes principles of civil law and codifies the protected civil rights of speech, assembly, worship and the keeping and bearing of arms. Those and other rights established by “the people” are not natural rights bestowed by The Creator and therefore not, in my opinion, inalienable.

Our constitution has been amended 17 times, reflecting the evolution of our society over the past two centuries. What was once considered necessary to insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare has changed considerably.

Widely admired combat grade semi-automatic rifles, the weapon of choice of recent mass murderers, could never have been imagined by the drafters of the constitution. Misguided interpretations of its 2nd amendment are destroying the domestic tranquility and general welfare it was designed to promote.

The constitution is not an unalterable, unchangeably immutable artifact. It is a ‘living document’ designed to accommodate future additions, cancellations or amendment informed by our national experience.

That experience begs us to find a better way to ensure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare of our nation’s posterity than to permit, even encourage, the unregulated possession of military grade firearms by civilians.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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