As The Bamboos Sway: When US Constitution ammendments clash


Reacting to a posted picture where a placard bore by one of the million student protestors in Washington D.C. questioning “Why is the NRA more powerful than congress, senate and our president,” my FB friend, Kalovski Itim, commented “You know why? Because it is one of the lobby group of the big military industrial complex promoting imperialist interventionist wars of destruction and plunder everywhere in the globe.”

In response to the post, my classmate, Christopher Mateo, said “The second amendment wrapped around gun industry protected by NRA is kinda hard to debate against. Bottom line is the almighty $. Just saying.”

Not yet fully digesting what Christopher stated, I just posted “It’s no longer a matter of debate, Klasmayt. It’s also considering redress of grievances as also enshrined in the constitution. When a clash of what are enshrined happens, a deep review of for whom is the greater good should be studied and if amendment is required, it must be pushed. And singly, this is beyond me and you. The NRA has the money and backed by the military industrial complex who profit from the sale of the smallest guns to the biggest bombs no matter who dies. These youths only have their numbers and their voices. They don’t just want to die anymore in the streets or their schools in the hands of those who could buy guns. My take on this? I’m glad my children are done with their schooling and may no longer be subjected to a shooting spree in any school. But I now have 12 grandchildren who will have to go through the gauntlet. If these current youthful protesters could have their voices loud enough with their number, I will be grateful that they may save future lives of students who could include my grandchildren. But I do know what you are saying.”

To which Christopher responded “Thanks. We’re in the same page as far as the next generation is concerned. But I’m strictly looking at this problem on the economic point of view. Gun industry is a big business in America and if you back it up with the Constitution, it will be an uphill battle. Debate is where they settle matters in Congress and if NRA finance my seat in Congress then you get my point.”

Finally digesting his point, I replied “Yes, I do, Klasmayt. I get your point. It will be a long discussion, but the theory is: if the state cannot protect and is inimical to the interest of the majority, the majority will conclude that drastic action will have to take place sometime in the future. With social benefits and services on the decline, rising medical expenditures, spending more on wars to the detriment of social goods in the US, escalating taxes and prices of goods, the violence within, etc. are percolating to that effect. A number of this million youths marching at this time will be contributing to the growing core of those who will reach that conclusion. Again, this is beyond you and me.”

Christopher thus concluded, saying “The only thing that matters are the votes in Congress. So, either we influence them vs lobbyists or we vote them out. Either way $ talks…So, either we have more money than lobbyists to fund elections of representatives or fund voters to elect representatives, right? That’s what I’m talking about uphill battle.”

I had to agree with a caveat, saying “At present, yes, I agree. In this kind of democracy, definitely… In this set up, yes. These million kids must realize that.”

These exchange between Christopher and me reflects a chasm between the First and Second Ammendments of the US Constitution. While the First guarantees freedom of speech and of the press, commonly called freedom of expression without fear of government restraint, it doesn’t guarantee that Congress will listen or act on the grievances even if there are millions who shout their lungs out in expressing their grief.

On the other hand, the Second protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms…The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right.

In this regard, Kalovski and Christopher are right. With the National Rifle Association (NRA) with five million members and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) who funnel lobby funds for law makers to be elected, the Second will prevail over the First Amendment with regards to the gun control issue. Moreover, even if a million or two million protesters march and deliver eloquent speeches, what are their chances to be heard against five million NRA members (now one can even become a member with just $30.00 with a camouflage bag to boot). Furthermore, with the generous backing of the MIC which makes humongous profits from the sale of the smallest guns to the murderous bombs no matter who dies, lawmakers could be deaf to the wailing of those left by the dead.

It is worthwhile to note that “Before and during the Second World War, American industries had successfully converted to defense production as the crisis demanded, but out of the war, what Eisenhower called a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions emerged. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience that Eisenhower warned, ‘[while] we recognize the imperative need for this development, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence…The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.’ Eisenhower cautioned that ‘the federal government’s collaboration with an alliance of military and industrial leaders, though necessary, was vulnerable to abuse of power.’ Ike then counseled American citizens ‘to be vigilant in monitoring the military-industrial complex. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.’”

Following Eisenhower’s sentiment, I reiterate my saying that if the state cannot protect and is inimical to the interest of the majority, the majority will conclude that drastic action will have to take place sometime in the future. The majority in this regard should be the students who would like to have gun control, so they could avoid being killed by those who could afford guns, the parents, relatives, friends of these students, and the rest who fear gun violence.

Drastic action could mean, ultimately, the highest form of change if civil discussions and legalities will not work. After all, “In political philosophy, the right of revolution is the right or duty of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests and/or threatens the safety of the people without cause. Stated throughout history in one form or another, the belief in this right has been used to justify various revolutions, including the English Civil War, the American Revolution and the French Revolution. #


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