Michael Maharrey and the good folks at the Tenth Amendment Center have an excellent post responding to a bizarre and patently unconstitutional policy proposal by NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.
In a recent media event, Mr. LaPierre suggested that Congress should authorize the placement of armed police officers in every school nationwide. Of course, as Maharrey points out, such an unprecedented authorization by the federal government is supported nowhere in the Constitution:
“If LaPierre thinks Congress can just ‘do stuff’ without any constitutional authorization, I wonder what makes him think they have to pay one iota of attention to the Second Amendment?”
It’s a fair point, and one that I’ll take one step further: LaPierre’s enthusiastic support of recent Supreme Court decisions striking down state and local gun laws based on specious judicial reasoning demonstrates a similar lack of concern for what the Constitution actually says. Aside from the fact that dipping the Supreme Court’s fingers into Second Amendment jurisprudence will probably not end well for supporters of gun rights, there is a larger problem at stake: Mr. LaPierre, like most Americans on both the Left and the Right, fails to realize that advancing his organization’s interests at the expense of the Constitution provides a sense of undeserved legitimacy to constitutional usurpations by opposing interests.
The Second Amendment should be the first line of defense for supporters of gun rights. Instead, misuse of the Amendment by LaPierre and the NRA might lead to its undermining. Now that the expectation is for the Supreme Court to determine how the Second Amendment should be interpreted, all it would take is one or two personnel changes on the Court to wipe away all the so-called progress that LaPierre has spent his life laboring for. When you consider that the Court is likely to endure at least two or three ideological shifts in the lifetime of the average American, you have to question the reasoning of those who would jeopardize the stability of the constitutional order in exchange for short-term political gains.
Maharrey sums up this problem nicely:
“The gun-ban-nuts want to ignore the Constitution and strip away rights protected by the Second Amendment.
But now we have the “conservative” response – equally destructive to the Constitution.
Seems to me we have a pair of cures far worse than the problem.”