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.
As I’ve done previously, I’ll disclose my bias up front. I believe the 2nd Amendment to be outdated, vague, and no longer relevant to the world we live in. The 2nd Amendment should be repealed and replaced with something that actually reflects the realities of the firepower available and the threats we face today (and if you say, “tyrannical government,” please take your paranoia elsewhere).
I also believe that confiscating guns is a good thing (see Australia) that deserves serious consideration. Why any civilian needs an assault rifle defies rational explanation.
Yes, I’m a gun-grabbing Liberal…and I’m proud of it.
I also understand that none of this will happen- not in my lifetime, not in my dreams. And I’m OK with that. I don’t always have to get everything I want. Frankly, I’d settle for some common sense…and arriving at that place appears to be even more unlikely than the things I’d like to see happen.
Let’s start with the language of the 2nd Amendment, the most willfully, conveniently, and ridiculously misinterpreted 27 words in American history. It fascinates me how gun nuts focus like rabid dogs on “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” while completely and oh so conveniently glossing over the “well regulated militia” part. Here’s a radical thought directed at gun nuts: YOU DON’T GET TO PICK AND CHOOSE. You don’t get to latch onto what you feel supports your unhealthy, immoral love of firepower and ignore that which really doesn’t.
You don’t get to determine for yourself what the 2nd Amendment means and cling to that with a love greater than most parents feel for their children. It’s sick, it’s immoral, and it’s just plain wrong.
IF you’re going to discuss the 2nd Amendment, you need to discuss the totality of it- all 27 words. When you do that, it should be clear just how thoroughly out of date it is. It was written in an era when high-tech weaponry meant a muzzle-loading musket and personal safety and security was a far more precarious consideration than it is today. A “well regulated militia” was necessary to protect a people still in the process of pacifying their world. Risks were real and ever-present; the Founding Fathers couldn’t just call 911 and wait for the first responders to roll up on the scene.
We no longer live in that world. The rule of law is primary and (for the most part) our personal safety and security is no longer imperiled…despite the feverish rants of gun nuts who would have us believe otherwise. Native Americans aren’t going to attack and kill innocent men, women, and children. Nor are jack-booted government thugs about to descend from black helicopters to trample our freedom and liberty.
Our military is the world’s finest. A “well regulated militia” is no longer necessary; it’s a concept as quaint as it is throughly and long-since obsolete.
Let’s stop the Sturm und Drang about how the 2nd Amendment is sacrosanct and inviolable. It’s not, and it shouldn’t be, despite the furious rants emanating from the gun nut lobby. Let’s stop the silliness and come to an agreement on something that will protect American children and civilians. Here’s my contribution:
Let’s ban assault weapons- both the possession AND the manufacture of the. There is NO reason- none, zero, zip, bupkis, nada- why anyone not in the military or law enforcement needs to have a rifle whose sole purpose is to destroy human life. If you trot out the “tyrannical government” canard, all you’re going to see is me laughing at you long and hard. If you’re convinced that the government is out to rob you of your freedom and liberty…well, Idaho’s beautiful this time of year. Bring your own razor wire and Claymore mines, ‘kay??
How about meaningful, universal, and robust background checks? There are simply too many loopholes for the current system to have any meaning or validity. Perhaps if guns were titled in a manner similar to automobiles, private sales could become subject to background checks. There are laws clearly delineating who should not be allowed to purchase guns- felons, the mentally ill, teabaggers (I kid)- so let’s have a system designed to work…and endeavor to be certain that it actually does.
Let’s do right by and deal meaningfully with the mentally ill- not because we blame them for mass killings, but because it’s the right thing to do. Isn’t it time we showed some compassion and fcr those among us unfortunate enough to be dealing with mental illness?
Let’s neuter the NRA and the paranoid conspiracy theorists who run it. Until 1977, the NRA was a responsible organization that supported reaonnable, effective gun control and gun safety. Now it’s the home of the paranoid, the angry, and the just plain irrational. If the NRA, which owns Congress lock, stock, and barrel, isn’t willing to play a reasonable role in the national debates regarding guns, they should be laughed out of Washington.
Congress needs to pass laws that once again permit federal dollars to be used to study gun-related issues (and for ATF to establish a national gun registry). Americans deserve the truth. NRA-funded propaganda slanted to support the gun nuts shouldn’t be the only information available to the American public.
There’s nothing particularly radical about these ideas, though I’ll likely be pilloried by gun nuts for daring to oppose their inflexible attachment to their weapons. That prospect doesn’t particularly upset me, as long as we’re talking…though in the case of most gun nuts, I may as well be pounding my head into a cinder block wall.