With the many new and unforeseen problems that America is now facing, some people are beginning to wonder if the current United States Constitution is outdated and needs more amendments.
There are two ways that an amendment to the Constitution can be made. The first is Congress can propose an amendment with a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate and the second is where the two-thirds of the states, 34 or more, can call a convention to propose an amendment.
In both cases three-fourths, 38 states, must ratify the amendment in order for it to be added to our Constitution.
The power to do both of these actions comes from Article Five of the Constitution which reads – The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate
All of our 27 current amendments have gone through the Congressional process and although the state way has never been successful it is now gaining popularity.
Michigan became the 34th state to call for a Constitutional Convention concerning a balancing the budget act.
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California is one of the many government officials who are calling for a Convention and stated that, “A balanced budget amendment is long overdue and remains an effective tool to address runaway spending and deficits.”
Many states already have a balanced budget amendment in their state Constitutions but with the national debt being over $17 trillion the Convention idea is gaining traction as a means to make the National Government adopt a better budget law system than the one that is already in place.
The U.S. law currently states that the government has to pay back its debts but gives no timeline for it and does not limit how much the Government can borrow. Many of the states want to make it so the Federal Government cannot borrow more money than it will make in a year and that all debts would have to be paid back by the end of that year.
Due to the vague nature of the Article Five, 50 state representatives met in Indianapolis in June to try and iron out many of the problems that could arise such as how many votes a state gets and who from each state gets to vote.
Some legal experts warn that a successful amendment change through a convention could pave the way for more changes.
“Let’s assume that we get Congress to call for a convention, and we are deliberating about one item. Maybe that would stick. But how can you be confident that once you open the door to a constitutional convention, even if for one narrow amendment, that it won’t just become a runaway convention?” said Steve Hayward, a visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
He continued with,”It seems to me that our Constitution may have problems these days, but I think most conservatives would be very nervous about opening it up to a new convention,”
School internet blocks pro-gun sites
Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut
Andrew Lampart was facing a difficult task. The 18 year old’s law class was asked to prepare for a debate on gun control.
Having been well taught by the school’s speech and debate team, Lampart knew that he needed to get both sides of the story to have an accurate and successful debate. The only problem was that his internet access through the school would not allow him to access any sites that were pro-firearm.
His trouble began when he tried to log on to the National Rifle Association’s website and found that it was blocked. Then he tried the Second Amendment Foundations and had the same result.
Setting aside his research goals he set out to see just how far the site blocking went and what he found was startling.
For each of the sites that were blocked an opposing site was not. He found that the Connecticut Republican Party website was blocked. The Connecticut Democratic Party website was not. National Right to Life was blocked, but Planned Parenthood was not blocked. Connecticut Family, a pro-traditional marriage group, was blocked, but LGBT Nation was not blocked.
Lampart’s discoveries went beyond right and left wing politics into religion as well. Pope Francis was blocked from the school’s web service. But although he could not access the Vatican website, the school allowed him to access an Islamic website.
“This is really border line indoctrination,” Lampart said. “Schools are supposed to be fair and balanced towards all ways of thinking. It’s supposed to encourage students to formulate their own opinions. Students aren’t able to do that here at the school because they are only being fed one side of the issue.
After giving the principal a week to do something about the website discrepancies, Lampart met with the school superintendent who vowed to look into the issue.
Zero Tolerance Abuse Reform
In a time where stories of children being thrown out of school for holding a pencil like a gun have become commonplace, Florida is leading the way back to commonsense style thinking.
House Bill 7029 was signed into law June 20, 2014. Commonly called the “Right To Be A Kid Act” or the “Poptart Bill”, this law clearly states that “Simulating a firearm or weapon while playing or wearing clothing or accessories that depict a firearm or weapon or express an opinion regarding a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is not grounds for disciplinary action or referral to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system.” The bill then provides the following non-exhaustive list of the types of activities protected by the legislation:
1. Brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm or weapon.
2. Possessing a toy firearm or weapon that is 2 inches or less in overall length.
3. Possessing a toy firearm or weapon made of plastic snap-together building blocks.
4. Using a finger or hand to simulate a firearm or weapon.
5. Vocalizing an imaginary firearm or weapon.
6. Drawing a picture, or possessing an image, of a firearm or weapon.
7. Using a pencil, pen, or other writing or drawing utensil to simulate a firearm or weapon.
Each of these listed examples came from a real life case where the overly-broad Zero Tolerance school weapons policy was abused and cause a child, who was being harmless, to be punished.
Addressing concerns that this bill could go too far HB 7029 also has this provision, “a student may be subject to disciplinary action if simulating a firearm or weapon while playing substantially disrupts student learning, causes bodily harm to another person, or places another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm.”
PA Drops Reciprocity With Utah Concealed Firearms Permit
Pennsylvania has dropped the Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Reciprocity as of 5/12/2014.
According to the PA Attorney General’s office, they are currently working on setting up a new reciprocity agreement with Utah. We will provide more information when it becomes available to us.
In the mean time we encourage you to contact the PA Attorney General’s office to express your interest in a new agreement being set up as soon as possible.
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
16th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Here is the updated list of states for Utah Information
Check back often for updated gun news! For even more news make sure to subscribe to our FREE monthly newsletter!