Second becomes the ‘It Depends’ amendment
By Michael Shannon
Dick’s and Dunkleberger’s have decided the Second Amendment contains a hitherto unknown age restriction on the sale of rifles. In the future, only customers over the age of 21 will be able to buy a scary-looking long gun in those stores.
Walmart, L.L. Bean and Florida also are banking on age discrimination as a civil rights violation understanding judges will be happy to overlook. Or should turning a biased eye meet with too much pushback, our robed rulers will quickly discover a provision hidden between the lines of the Constitution that legalizes a Second Amendment age qualification.
I’m opposed to knee-jerk ageism as currently proposed, but with just a few tweaks to the regime, I could become an enthusiastic supporter. And I don’t mean by limiting the age restriction. Indeed, I want to expand it.
If lawmakers and commercial interests think America would be safer if citizens under age 21 aren’t covered by the Second Amendment, I can think of many ways the country would benefit from expanding this philosophy to other portions of the Constitution.
Let’s start with the First Amendment. Think how much more mature and less profane culture would be if free speech rights were denied teens and pre-adults. Not being forced to listen to or read about Parkland media darling David Hogg is enough to convince me.
If that overly-opinionated and under-matured agitator for gun confiscation had to wait four years before free speech rights were conferred, it might give him time to cool off and grow up. Emphasis on the ‘might.’
Making free speech privileges a right-of-passage, like one’s first sip of Jack Daniel’s, would immediately eliminate lawsuits regarding obscene t-shirts in schools; along with obscene caps, dress codes, offensive posters, offensive chants, cleavage, yoga pants, thongs, saggy pants, baggy ideology — in other words, the whole works!
Parents will be quick to point out you can’t shut a teenager up, First Amendment or no. True, but if under 21s aren’t covered by the First Amendment, then they also aren’t protected by case law regarding libel and slander. Add a provision specifying media outlets giving a platform to under-21s are liable for any slanderous or libelous statements and bingo, you’ve got a blackout!
I can’t think of any discussion of a major issue in our past where under-21s have brought new light to the debate. Mucho heat, yes. Innovative thinking, no.
Besides spouting off, what other limitations do I want as a price for my support? Voting for one. Raising the voting age to 21 will eliminate all the tired, recycled, thumb-sucking news coverage of ‘the youth vote.’ People start voting regularly when they reach the age of 35. Before that time only a lunatic with a handout — Bernie comes to mind — will motivate youth to put their game controller down long enough to go to the polls.
With any luck, a 21-year-old minimum voting age will also end that perpetual money-raising, results-lacking racket: “Rock the Vote.”
The Fourth Amendment could also use an age limitation. The majority of American teenagers would benefit from a few random locker searches. The same goes for their cell phones and computers. Maintaining privacy at that age is usually a cover for activities parents forbid or discourage. Letting the sunshine in and completely eliminating this misplaced concern for Junior’s privacy, replacing it with a mild sense of paranoia, would go a long way toward reestablishing cultural and moral standards parents and other authority figures have allowed to degrade.
The left won’t agree to my proposal because to a large extent it has already silenced conservatives who are under 21. For that beleaguered class, the Second isn’t the only ‘it depends’ amendment.
Young conservatives have discovered their First Amendment rights are conditional, too.
Before his death, Andrew Breitbart observed, “Politics is downstream of culture.” Conservatives are living in that fetid marsh today. The left runs higher and lower education. It controls Hollywood, cable and broadcast TV. It controls all the legacy networks with the exception of Fox. (There its control is confined to the entertainment side, while the news side skews conservative — for now.)
Music — country, rock and rap — is controlled by Cultural Marxists. Social media is another preserve of the left.
Conservatives are limited to radio, a handful of websites, even fewer publications and Trump’s twitter feed.
Gun ownership is witnessing the same kind of squeeze. During the Obama administration, they tried to put an age ceiling on guns by using the Social Security Administration. This year’s goal is an age floor. If they continue to narrow the window, soon the ‘Productive Years’ and the ‘Golden Years’ will be joined by the ‘Gun-owning Years’ as brief periods during an individual’s life.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.