Second Look at the Second Amendment
Do any of you remember that awful day when a murderer rushed into a crowded place with an ax, and within minutes killed 50 people by hacking them to death? How about the time someone stabbed about 30 people to death on a college campus with a Swiss Army knife? Or the horrific moment when an evil person forced his way into an elementary school, and strangled 25 children with his bare hands?
Of course you don’t remember those things, and neither do I. That’s because they didn’t happen. They couldn’t happen, because the time and effort it would take for one person to cause that level of carnage with such legal devices would never be allowed to accumulate; such people in these fantasy scenarios would be stopped, one way or another, before it got to that.
Give each of those fictional assailants a gun, however, and suddenly the carnage is faster, easier, and much more difficult, if not impossible to stop. You don’t have to imagine such scenarios; they happen in the United States every few weeks anymore. All three of my bogus examples at the start of this post are based on actual mass shooting events with which you are all familiar.
The guns vs. ax/knife/noose/poison/bare hands argument is not a new one. It shows up time again in the alleged “gun debate” in this country. But it only shows up so often because it’s obvious, without a true counterargument. It cannot be disputed by rational, brave, civilized societies.
But this is the United States, and increasingly, those adjectives don’t seem to apply to it.
These obvious statements about the danger of guns available in this country are met with opposition statements that are as familiar as they are wrong. You’ve heard them all before too, but let’s list some anyway:
–Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
–If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
–The only defense against tyranny is an armed society.
–The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
–The first thing Hitler did was take away the people’s guns.
–Everyone in Switzerland owns a gun, and they have no violent crime there.
And of course, say it with me:
–The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment. The Second Amendment….
Pathetic as it may be, the above responses are on the high end of what passes for the intelligence of the modern gun-advocate. You are probably just as likely, if not more likely to run into the lower-level defense offer by wild eyed, possibly drooling gun-nuts who will respond to any talk of changing gun policy with things like, “libtard,” “faggot,” “Obama (or any Democrat in the White House) is going to set up a dictatorship,” “They can have my gun when the pry it from my cold dead hands…”
Macho bullshit from people who have done nothing but exacerbate the situation. The only cold, dead hands we see with any consistency in this country anymore are those of innocent people, babies even, getting their heads blown off by legal weapons. “Good guys with guns,” were too far off and too damn late to do a fucking thing about that. But it’s all right…they will pray for all who died, and maybe throw in a bogus appeal to “mental health issues.” Then they remind the mourning communities, the country and the world of…Second Amendment, Second Amendment, Second Amendment.
Their approach, even in their moments of silence, is ineffective, cowardly, and inhumane. If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s presented, as I’ve said, most often in the coldest, foulest, most insulting and least helpful language possible in the wake of mass casualty events. I don’t want to hear anything about “not all gun owners are like that.” The loudest, richest, most influential and most angry and dangerous members of the “gun enthusiast” community are in fact, and for years and years have been, the sort of callous, heartless, cave people I’ve been talking about here. They’ve been allowed to control the so-called debate, and so they are the ones that get the spotlight, and my response.
And they are the ones that have to be countered now with the same amount of frankness and anger and lack of tact by those who want something done about the guns. Statistics don’t work. Facts don’t work. Intelligent conversation clearly does not work, and neither does shame. The murdered babies of Sandy Hook, and the complete lack of effect on policy that that brought about is proof of that.
It’s time to at least attempt to shut them up, and finally tell these lunatics, whether they be in Washington or down the street just how full of shit they are. It’s time to shout back. It’s time to rise up against a philosophy and approach to society that to the rest of the civilized world is archaic, bizarre, irresponsible and dangerous in the 21st century. It’s time to stop being afraid of considering a change, even if it means a change in the Second Amendment.
You can hear the collective gasp from the gun enthusiasts, can’t you? I’m another libtard pansy that wants to surrender my manhood to a tyrant and destroy the founding document of this great nation. If that’s my attitude, why don’t I just leave the country?
No, Johnny Gun, why don’t you leave the country, so the rest of us who are actually impacted greatly by mass murders in elementary schools and night clubs can get on with attempting real change in our society. Don’t want to leave the country? Fine, stay, but I’m not going to show you and your viewpoint any more calmness and respect than you have shown mine, just because you throw an amendment in my face. The time for polite debate is over.
So, allow me to repeat…as a society we need to take another look at the Second Amendment. Not just talk about it, not cower in the corner in the shadow of the NRA and throw out toothless terms like “common sense gun measures.” In a world where a long, sickening phalanx of disturbed bastards can purchase guns designed for warfare with more ease than I can buy a car, “common sense” is no longer a useful tactic. No, we need to examine the issue, thoroughly, honestly, and without concern for fall out, and being called nasty names by Johnny Gun and the Gun Racks.
Even if I accepted, (which I do not) that the Second Amendment applied to every single citizen, (and not just a “well-regulated” militia, even though those are the exact words in the Constitution), I don’t have to accept that it must forever remain that way. It’s called an amendment for a reason. As a nation we’ve amended the Constitution 27 times, almost always for good reasons.
We came to realize that people of color probably shouldn’t be considered only three-fifths of a human being. Even though our mighty Constitution said otherwise, we came to believe that we can’t own people. We grew up, and we amended the Constitution.
It occurred to us at some point that yes, women deserved the right to vote for their leaders, instead of relying on the men in their lives to do so. The glorious Constitution had to be altered in order for that to happen, though.
We’ve only had the right to elect our own Senators to the United States Senate for about 100 years. That’s because, as written, the Constitution didn’t allow for that. Other people chose our senators for us, until as a country we decided, “this isn’t right. Let’s change this.”
The Constitution can, has, and should be changed to reflect a changing world and an ever more educated and enlightened citizenry. It is not a scripture. It is not a document from the hand of God. It isn’t even a gift of demi-gods. The Founders were humans with an idea. A great idea in many ways, but they were only people trying to get something done over 200 years ago. We can change our minds about what they said.
We do this peacefully, through a prescribed system. It wasn’t through tyranny or violent force that each of those 27 amendments came about, but through a democratic process. Plenty of people on the losing side of that process each time were of course none too happy about it. “Blacks are not people,” a lot of whites continued to say. “Women should be submissive to men, not be allowed to vote on their own.” And so on. Those small minds had their say, the mechanism was put forth, and ultimately, they lost.
Even when the “wrong” side wins in the process of amending the all-too human Constitution, all is not lost. One of the amendments after all exists solely to cancel a previous amendment once the country realized, “we went too far on that one. It’s not working.”
And sometimes the right side loses. The Equal Rights Amendment failed. But it failed after the mechanism was in place.
Race. Gender. Booze. As a nation we’ve had the courage to ask the questions about what it means to be a civilized society. We’ve shown we can and have taken a hard, deep look at what it means to be an American society, and when we have decided, through much consideration that our founding document is steering us the wrong way, we fix it, or at least open ourselves to the possibility of change.
But when it comes to guns? Half the country (and I’m being generous with that fraction) screams that it would be unthinkable. The death of the nation. The destruction of the Constitution. The other “half” meanwhile has for too long said, “Well, um, sir, I don’t want to take your guns away, I just think that maybe if there were some common sense gun reforms…” And that great mechanism of Constitutional change is cut off before it even gets rolling.
Horseshit. If you don’t want the guns, or don’t want as many of them, get ugly about it. The gun lobby certainly has no problem being ugly. Their tone deaf and mostly money-driven response to America’s mass-shooting flavor of the month has established that sad fact already. So let’s at least force them to encounter the same mechanism that bigots and teetotalers had to face and eventually lose.
If ever there were ever a time when once again because of the original wording of the Constitution our society has begun to veer into self-destruction, it would be this borderline masturbatory obsession with guns of all kinds being available, with relative ease to just about everyone.
You love your guns. Wonderful. You love them so much that you need to be able to have whatever kind you want, as many as you want, whenever you want. You’re willing to pay the price of making mass murder of children and unarmed people easier. I understand your position now. What you personally find entertaining and exciting takes priority over even the slightest increase in the safety of your nation. Got it.
What’s that you say? The more guns you have, and the easier they are to purchase, the safer we all are as a society? How many mass shootings have you thwarted, exactly? How many can you name were thwarted by any one that was not a law-enforcement officer? How many of those few did so with a semi-automatic military style assault weapon? You can get back to me on that one; meanwhile I’ll be watching reports on an unarmed group of movie fans getting blown to pieces in a matter of seconds. (Too bad you and your superhuman reflexes weren’t there to stop it. You know, again.)
Arm everyone? So you mean, be like the highly civilized and not at all dangerous world of the Old West? That time of tranquility?
But at least you’ll be safe from the government, right? The AR-15 you insist on being allowed to walk around with at Chucky Cheese in front of my children because “Second Amendment” will serve the dual purpose of stopping a government attempt to arrest you, and compensate for whatever sexual inadequacies or “daddy-don’t-love-me” issues you’re dealing with.
I have news for you, Rambo. If the government comes, it’s coming, and there’s nothing you are going to do to even slow it down. The honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier would likely blow you and your macho friends away without so much as putting a wrinkle in his uniform. You’d be dead before your bodies even hit the skee-ball machine. All of you jackasses put together across the country wouldn’t last an hour against a single division of any of our Armed Forces.
The only thing you’re protecting by walking around in public with your guns is your ego. You like to see people afraid of you. You’re a bully and you’re full of shit. You’ve got nothing intelligent to say, and you deserve to hear nothing intelligent from me. You go ahead and terrify innocent people while you play “army man” with live ammo. I’ll use my kind weapons and point out on my blog what an insufferable and deranged knucklehead you are.
Could the Second Amendment remain as is, while we truly and effectively outlaw weapons that can fire about 13 bullets per second, and kill dozens of people in the blink of an eye? That’s a big “maybe,” but you’d need the right judges and the right attitudes, and neither are in great supply in this “debate.” More and more it is the judicial and political elevation of the Second Amendment into sacrosanct status that is making “common sense reforms” less and less likely to be proposed, let alone survive. To borrow some of Lincoln’s phraseology, if I could decrease mass shootings by keeping the Second Amendment as it is, I would do that. If I could decrease mass shootings by changing some words of the Second Amendment and leaving others alone, I would do that.
Furthermore, if I could decrease mass shootings and the number of guns, and power of same by presenting fact-based intelligent arguments as to why such steps should be taken, I would do that. Australia did it. The United Kingdom did it. Free nations have done it. As I’ve been saying here, though, I believe the time for thoughtfulness in this discussion is over.
Those who want gun control and gun reform need to get louder, angrier, meaner and more arrogant than we are. If so, at least we may provoke a Constitutional discussion that this country desperately needs on the gun issue. Lobbyists are far more powerful today than they were during previous amendment fights, and they wouldn’t play fair. But at least let’s make them spend the money and time in this battle. Let’s stand up and say that doing nothing but shrugging and praying as scores of citizens are mowed down by easily available, legal guns without a chance of defending themselves is immoral, and must come to an end.
Maybe it all starts by more people becoming willing to tell extreme gun enthusiasts to conceal such firearms up their own asses from now on.