I loved playing with Silly Putty when I was a kid. My favorite Silly Putty activity involved pressing it onto newsprint. The putty would pick up whatever was underneath – creating a mirror image. I thought it was a hoot to press it on the Sunday comics and get a copy of Snoopy or Beetle Baily. Then I would pull the edges of the Silly Putty and distort the picture into all kinds of weird contortions.

A lot of people think the Constitution is like Silly Putty. They think they can stick it onto whatever political opinion they like and the Constitution will “pick it up.” They also think they can shape it and pull it into whatever form they like.

I’m seeing this mentality a lot in the gun current gun debate. Supporters of federal gun control are proposing all kinds of interpretations of the Second Amendment that have no basis in fact. Failing that argument, they’ll just claim the Constitution is malleable and was meant to change with the times.

A viral article by some chick named Anastasia Bernoulli is a perfect example. I’m not going to link to it because I really don’t want to give her any more traffic. But here’s the relevant paragraph.

“Yes, yes, I hear you now. We have a second amendment to the constitution, which must be held sacrosanct over all other amendments. Dude. No. The constitution was made to be a malleable document. It’s intentionally vague.”

Actually, dudette, the Constitution is the exact opposite. It is a legal document with a fixed meaning that was not intended to change with shifting sands. And it’s not vague at all. Like any legal document, it is very specific. You wouldn’t sign a “vague” mortgage and we don’t have a “vague” Constitution. Anastasia’s problem is she’s a victim of government schooling. She never learned the Constitution, and she’s too busy trying to ban guns to learn about it right now.

Of course, in one sense, these people are right. The founding generation knew things would change. That’s why there is a way to update the Constitution as needed. It’s called the amendment process. But you can’t just decide the Constitution means something else when the actual meaning gets in the way of your political agenda. In fact, that was the point – to get in the way of your political agenda when it infringes on individual liberties and oversteps the delegated powers of the government.

I talk about this more in-depth in my most recent podcast. Check it out HERE.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.