A Constitutional Convention for Gun Control is A BAD Idea
Is California Governor Gavin Newsom a real idiot or is this just a role he is playing by calling for an impossible-to-achieve constitutional amendment?
Newsom is promoting a call for a constitutional convention to take up a constitutional amendment that would in effect revoke the 2nd amendment…and he is calling for citizen co-signers to the amendment, which would constitute a petition drive.
There is no such thing as citizen co-signers in the Constitution, nor any such thing as a petition drive to call for amendment, (That’s an email harvesting technique for fundraising purposes to support his future presidential aspirations.)
Constitutional Conventions are called by two-thirds of the state legislatures. There’s no way for citizens to petition for a constitutional convention.
More importantly, it is absolute idiocy to call a constitutional convention in this political environment because once a convention is convened, the members of the convention CAN DO ANYTHING THEY WANT. There is some debate about this but that debate would end up in the Supreme Court. Guess how this Court would on that depending on the nature of the amendment?
That’s how we ended up with this Constitution. The states called for a convention under the Articles of Confederation but once the delegates met they decided to rewrite the entire constitution.
The Republican party currently controls both houses of 27 state legislatures. The Democratic party currently controls both houses in 19 states, which indicates that there are only four states with divided legislatures.
The United States is deeply polarized. That shouldn’t be news to anyone.
The good news is that NEITHER party has the 34 state legislatures in its pockets required to call a constitutional convention. This is good news because any attempt to convene a constitutional convention would inevitably result in the breaking up of the nation into two, three or even four separate republics, none of which could even begin to compete against our friends around the world, not to mention our enemies.
A hypothetical convention would probably begin by proposing several amendments, such as an anti-abortion amendment, an amendment declaring the United States a Christian country and probably instituting school prayer in the public school systems, and an amendment enshrining the right to bear any firearms without any restrictions. From there, who knows where they might go, but it is certain that, if they have the votes to call such a convention, they probably would have the votes in the state legislatures to approve their amendments. (In fact, Republican strategists are on record about waiting until they have an ironclad amendment passing majority before they pull the trigger.)
In contrast, the Democrats aren’t even close to having the ability to call a convention or to pass the amendments that the convention might propose.
The bad news is that the only way the Constitution has ever been altered has been through the congressional process…and we can’t even do that because neither party has the requisite votes. The Republicans in the House have 222 seats as opposed to the 211 for the Democrats, well short of the 288 votes required to meet the two-thirds requirement. In the Senate, the Democrats and their independent allies have 51 votes against the Republicans 49 but neither has 67 votes required to meet the two-thirds majority, and neither is likely to pick up the necessary votes to meet that target.
Sure, I would love to see an amendment passed to reign in the currently out-of-control Supreme Court, a nationwide abortion law giving women the right to choose, or an urgently needed change in the presidential succession law…and you probably have your own shopping list for additional amendments.
But it’s not going to happen. Ever again. With a polarized Congress, polarized state legislatures, and a polarized electorate, the only time we could expect to gather enough support to pass an amendment would be when both sides of the political divide agree upon the need for the amendment, in which case the amendment would probably not be necessary in the first place, with only one exception and that would be a declaration of war.