When George Mason insisted that the states should share with Congress the power to propose amendments, he agreed that 2/3 of the states would be needed to call an Amendment Convention. This corresponds to the 2/3 requirement that Congress must meet in order to propose amendments.
But since 1789 no such majority has been assembled. Mason, I believe, would be astonished. While Congress took more and more power from the states, the states were passive. It’s proven too difficult for the states to agree, in advance, on a solution.
The solution seems obvious. Allow a simple majority of states to call a convention, and require 2/3 of the states (34 of 50) to propose an amendment.
I think Mason realized that the power of amendment given to the states necessarily gives them the power of amending Article V. So if the states wish to exercise their power, they must first amend the procedures of Article V itself.
Here Mason and Madison gave Congress a means of protection. It can require the amendment be ratified in state conventions. So if the states are overstepping themselves, the delegates to ratification conventions can restrain them.
But, subject to the approval of the people in convention, the states are free to make the changes necessary to bring Article V to life.
They are free to empower themselves, if they wish. What are they afraid of?