I can hear and see them now. Chanting and standing with their pitchforks and lanterns.
“No way,” they yell. “The 2nd Amendment, just like 1 through 27 are sacred and unchangeable.”
Let’s face it. Most gun users are sane. They believe in gun safety, gun control, etc. The scholarship bears this out.
But the simple fact is too many people in this country die at the hands of guns and this is not good for the overall health, safety, and future of the United States.
Since the passage of 2nd amendment, and particularly since the 1968 Handgun Control Act, state and federal politicians have attempted, and in some cases succeeded in placing controls on the importation, manufacture, sale, and storage of guns, and on certain types of ammunition. But this has not really reduced gun related crimes and deaths.
Therefore, it’s realistic to assume that these gun control initiatives have been mostly tinkering around the edges or half measures. And organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety do not go far enough.
Thus the best and most direct way to reduce the use of handguns is through a repeal of the second amendment.
The right to bear arms, also known as the second amendment, was a product of a unique time and place. Recalling this history is not important here. It’s out there for anyone who wants to do a simple google search.
But things have changed. We no longer have slavery, we have subdued the indigenous population into a largely docile and marginalized group, and we are rarely burdened by wild beasts that attack us.
In no way did the framers of the constitution ever consider that the United States would be burdened as we now are by the plague of gun violence, with its accompanying needless injuries, deaths and destruction that is experienced on the streets and in the homes of this country every day. Had the framers predicted this current state of affairs, perhaps they would have thought twice about passing the 2nd amendment. But that was then and this is now.
Thus, why can’t we institute a system of gun ownership similar to other countries like Canada, Great Britain, Australia or the Nordic countries. Are the citizens of those countries no less scared of government control than us.
Most other advanced industrialized countries don’t have something similar the second amendment in their constitutions. And that’s why their approach to guns is a lot saner then what exists in the United States today.
In all fairness, I’m not the first person to suggest this change, and I certainly won’t be the last. Advocating for and attempts to repeal the 2nd amendment is not unprecedented. In 1991, former Chief Justice Warren Burger argued that the 2nd Amendment was the greatest fraud perpetrated on the American people at the time. In 2018, retired Justice John Paul Stevens argued in a widely famous op-ed to abolish the 2nd Amendment. And in both 1992 and 1993 Democratic representative Major Owens entered legislation in Congress to get it repealed. And with predictable results.
Arguments against repealing the Second Amendment are specious
Those who are against the repeal of the 2nd amendment quickly argue that:
• It will create a black market for illegal guns. But this kind of exchange already exists. Yes, there are continuing efforts by legislators and law enforcement to control this through the passage of laws and enforcement strategies, but the unregulated market still exists.
• It’s a slippery slope. First you will start with outlawing guns then you will move on to other lethal objects like knives, rocks, poison, etc. Perhaps, but not likely.
• We can’t live in a country where the only people who have access to guns are the police and the military. That’s not completely true. Again if we use the examples of other countries that are not dictatorships or authoritarian that are not obsessed about gun ownership, we see limited cases of gun ownership. Moreover, one need look no further than the British police for examples of police that do not carry guns on a regular basis. In fact there are approximately 18 countries, and one US territory, where the police do not carry guns. Are the crime rates in those countries significantly higher than they are in the United States? No.
How can we realistically repeal the Second Amendment?
Although some gun control activists have suggested that we hold a constitutional convention where the attorney generals of all states come together to work for the repeal the 2nd amendment, at this current time in US history there is not enough states who support this. That is why there are some other solutions, currently in place that are more promising.
• Continue to hold gun and ammunition manufacturers accountable and take them to court where the legal circumstances allow.
• Hit these companies with big financial penalties
• Now that the National Rifle Association is on the ropes, it’s time to finally put them out of business.
• Massive investments need to be made in educational campaigns that outline the negative effects of gun ownership.
Few people and constituencies are keen on repealing the 2nd amendment, that there is widespread agreement on how to do it, nor that it is going to be easy. This is not a popularity contest. But just like activist demands for prison abolition, defunding or abolishing the police, it high time to reconsider the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
Sure, people (and organizations) will find lots of creative ways to injure, kill and threaten others. I mean they do this already. So let’s just eliminate the principle way.
Day 231. Gun control.