Before you mock the idea of a constitutional amendment, consider that hardly anyone is happy with our unstable status quo: gun enthusiasts fear their rights are under constant threat; gun-control advocates point to the danger of illegal guns and easy access to firearms. …

Laws to permit the carrying of concealed weapons are on the rise, but even the most ardent gun-rights advocates would not argue that owners should be free to carry, say, AK-47’s as they walk down the street. One of the most conservative justices, Antonin Scalia, in an opinion in the 2008 case, Heller v. District of Columbia, agreed with common-sense limitations like bans on guns in schools and government buildings.

Most Americans are committed to the Constitution and rely on the courts to adapt our antique highest law to modern technological and cultural developments. Many of us trust the judiciary to balance rights against the inevitable restrictions on them. But we are left with the awkward, irresolvable phrasing of the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?” the gun-rights advocate asks. “What part of ‘a well regulated Militia’ do you not understand?” goes the retort.