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Wording in Constitution Issue - "Amendment 'grants' the right" ?

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  • Wording in Constitution Issue - "Amendment 'grants' the right" ?

    The referenced webpage uses language that is inconsistent with the actual purview of the US Constitution.
    It states, "The Second Amendment has most recently been interpreted to grant the right of gun ownership to individuals for purposes that include self-defense. At first it was thought to apply only to the Federal government, but through the mechanism of the Fourteenth Amendment, it has been applied to the states as well."

    To say an amendment "grants" a right to individuals is extraordinarily misleading.

    The US Constitution, and more particularly the Bill of Rights portion, does not "grant" rights, including rights to individuals. It stipulates what the Federal government (and/or a state) can and cannot do.

    Individual "natural rights" exist extra-constitutionally. Where it does so, the constitution merely identifies and enumerates these extra-constitutional rights in some instances. In some cases, it also explicitly codifies what the Federal government can NOT do so as to make it absolutely clear the Federal government may not intefere in any way with one or more rights.

    You may wish to consider clarifying the webpage (and similar, if they exist) statements on the Cornell website.

    Regards and thank you.


  • #2
    Thanks for your insight. I will pass this message along.


    • #3
      This doesn't appear to have been addressed. Not only does the statement "Second Amendment has most recently been interpreted to grant the right of gun ownership to individuals" not make sense in the Constitutional context, it is also unsupported by the linked-to decision of the SCOTUS. That decision specifically stated "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm...". It also refers to it as "an ancient right", and cites contemporary and preceding Constitutions which treated it as an individual right already existing.

      This needs to be corrected.


      • #4
        Hi, AndrewKrause. I will pass this message along to our Content Development department. Thanks!