Talk:Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

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Former good articleSecond Amendment to the United States Constitution was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
July 10, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed
October 14, 2008Good article nomineeListed
December 17, 2008Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article


Conversation moved to the Village Pump
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Reject "supports the Second Amendment" phraseology[edit]

A Google search for "supports the second amendment" (with the quotes) on English Wikipedia, "supports the second amendment" site:en.wikipedia.org, has 24 results. There are several problems with Wikipedia saying that an individual or organization "supports the Second Amendment". In many cases, Wikipedia would be echoing that individual or organization's own ipse dixit claim, which is not coming from a third-party reliable source. Even if it comes from a reliable source, the phrase "supports the Second Amendment" could mean many possible interpretations of the Second Amendment, so the reader learns nothing about the individual or group's actual views on gun ownership and carry. Most important, though, is that in most cases, "supports the Second Amendment" is used to mean support for an interpretation of the Second Amendment emphasizing an individual right to own and carry guns. Until District of Columbia v. Heller, U.S. courts had continually held that the Second Amendment did not include an individual right to own and carry guns, and in this point remains controversial. Notably, a Google search for "opposes the second amendment" on English Wikipedia, "opposes the second amendment" site:en.wikipedia.org, has zero results (although that will change when this page is indexed), which suggests that groups and individuals that support limitations on gun ownership and carry do not describe themselves, and are not described by others, as opposing the Second Amendment, which in turn means that groups and individuals that generally oppose limitations on gun ownership and carry should not be described as supporting the Second Amendment. (Without restricting to English Wikipedia, there are 213,000 results for "supports the second amendment" and only 50 for "opposes the second amendment", confirming my point.)

Wikipedia should not take sides in the disputed interpretation of the meaning of the Second Amendment and should not use phrases like "supports the Second Amendment"; instead Wikipedia should say more precisely that an individual or organization supports an interpretation of the Second Amendment that ..." or otherwise describes their views on what limitations should or should not exist with respect to gun ownership and carry. I look forward to a discussion on this topic, and if there is a consensus, we can edit articles that are out of alignment with that consensus. Here are some examples of language illustrating the problem:

I hope other Wikipedians will agree that these and similar examples should be replaced with more specific language detailing the individual's views. —Anomalocaris (talk) 07:03, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

The phrase is objectionable on multiple fronts. It can be WP:OR (if we are interpreting other things they have said), and its almost a meaningless phrase, since even staunch gun control proponents say they support the second amendment (although some of them significantly dispute what the amendment means). However, gun laws are exceedingly complex, and I do think a "summary" sentence is within acceptable bounds of our duty as editors, but I think "generally supports gun rights", or "generally supports gun control" are much less loaded and confusing statements than making people parse what the second amendment means. ResultingConstant (talk) 14:58, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
It is incorrect phrasing, because these people actually support a specific reading of the Second Amendment, which may not correctly interpret it. However, that does not appear to be an issue in this article and so this is not the correct forum. You should raise it at the Village Pump. TFD (talk) 16:28, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
The issue is what should replace "supports the Second Amendment." I suggest "supports an individual right-based interpretation of the Second Amendment." Those who disagree with Heller could be described as "supports a militia-based interpretation of the Second Amendment." SMP0328. (talk) 16:42, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
TFD: Thank you for your thoughts. I believe the discussion belongs here. There are five village pumps: Policy, Technical, Proposals, Idea lab, Miscellaneous. It doesn't feel right to me to put this discussion in any of them. —Anomalocaris (talk) 21:02, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
It says at the top of this page, "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution article. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject." Nothing in this discussion involves changing this article and no conclusions we reach can be used to change any other article.
The most relevant guideline is Contentious labels, which is part of the manual of style. It says we should not use terms that "may express contentious opinion." If you can persuade other editors at the Village Pump that "supports the Second Amendment" expresses a contentious opinion, then it can be removed across the encyclopedia. Or you can argue your case on the talk page of each and every article that uses the term.
TFD (talk) 21:56, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
TFD: Which of the five Village Pumps would you recommend? —Anomalocaris (talk) 03:04, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I would try proposals first. Then if other editors agree (or even if they don't) you can take it to policy (which includes guidelines). Going to proposals first may attract alternative approaches to the issue. TFD (talk) 03:14, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── ResultingConstant, SMP0328., TFD: I started a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 60#Reject "supports the Second Amendment" phraseology. I didn't copy anyone else's comments, just my own. —Anomalocaris (talk) 07:25, 30 October 2018 (UTC)