|To the Editor: Constitution modified to meet changes in nation|
|Written by V. N. Krishnan|
|Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:04|
England's jurisprudence forms the basis of our Constitution and provides the legal validity for our Second Amendment. But England has neither a written Constitution nor anything similar to the Second Amendment. Its Constitutional history dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215 and the landmark Revolution of 1688 establishing a limited constitutional monarchy. It evolves through many reform acts of subsequent centuries. It consists of many written documents, court judgments, constitutional conventions as laid out in Erskine May and Royal Prerogatives. We could trace it down to the Crown Succession Act of 2013. Parliament is supreme and no law it passes can be declared unconstitutional. England went on to build an empire on the planet where the sun never set. Its citizens never had any reason to think that their Parliament was a threat to their freedom. In the early 60s cops in London did not even carry guns. A country that stood up against the Nazis would be the last one to think of depriving its own citizens, their freedom.
We don't seem to realize how we were very much a part of that British effort against the Nazis. Without us it would not have been possible for Britain to prevail. Were we not imbued with the zeal to protect freedom that finally led us to WW II? Would that same government, now labelled as the leader of the free world turn round and destroy freedom at home?
A Constitution though sacrosanct, is not exempt from change. It contains within itself a provision for change in the form of an amendment clearly showing that ultimately sovereignty rests with the people who make the document. As history changes the life of a country its people introduce amendments to the Constitution to accommodate the change. Our constitutional history too shows this fact. The question I have raised is a constitutional one based on our history. Has the Second Amendment succeeded in saving lives? Can we improve it and make it more effective in preventing needless loss of innocent lives, especially that of children? How would amending it to include common sense gun control regulations undermine its main objective of the right to bear arms?
V. N. Krishnan
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