The U.S. Constitution is sacred, inviolate, an unchanging. That’s the current argument against gun control: yell “Second Amendment!”, drop the mic, BOOM, walk off stage, end of discussion.
Except, of course, a good portion of the people I know who are dropping that bon mot aren’t so defiantly defensive about absolute nature of the Constitution when it comes to the First Amendment. Mandatory prayer in schools should be okay, along with teaching creation science and intelligent design. Oh, and media people saying things we don’t like should be pulled off the airwaves and/or internet ASAP.
Oh, and the Fourth Amendment isn’t sacred, because we need warrentless wiretaps and indefinite detention because TERRORISM. Same with the Fifth Amendment, because enhanced interrogation isn’t cruel or unusual if it coerces someone to incriminate themselves.
And let’s not forget the Fourteenth Amendment, which is already less sacred because it wasn’t written by the Founding Fathers. That’s the one that establishes “anchor babies” and establishes the foundation for most equal protection laws protecting women and minorities.
If most of the people screaming that the Second Amendment is absolute and only open to one interpretation — theirs — were as vocal about the rest of the Constitution being inviolate, I might give them more credence. But you can’t cherry-pick and say that the document is sacred when you like what it says, and open to interpretation when you don’t. It’s always open to intepretation. Times change, people change, and the needs and wants of the nation change. We need a guideline, to be sure, and we need much thought and plenty of thoughtful discussion before we make any changes. But it’s never as simple as saying things are black and white, only one way or the other.