Its Time to Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment

A pistol on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (c) 2015, TheLiberalOC

A pistol on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (c) 2015, TheLiberalOC

Exactly when is it time to have a much needed debate in America that the Second Amendment needs to be amended or repealed?

This nation has changed constitutional amendments before.  It’s not easy, but the Founding Fathers did provide citizens with the ability to fine tune the Constitution as events, technology, and cultural evolution saw fit.  That’s clearly demonstrated by granting women the right to vote, recognizing African-Americans as free and full citizens, banning alcohol and then restoring it.  We’ve added a number of amendments over time — which is why they are called “amendments.”

How many mass shootings have to happen before its time we recognize that people who abuse guns have ruined things for responsible gun owners?

My conservative friends always argue how many people die in traffic accidents or how many people die due to drunk driving, yet we don’t ban cars or booze.  It’s a false equivalency.

Guns have one purpose.  To kill.  That’s it.

People drive cars to get from place to place.  People drink alcoholic beverages for a variety of reasons.  No one drives a car or drinks booze with the ultimate intent to kill someone else.  People carry a gun to shoot at someone.  Sorry responsible hunters and target shooters, but the people who decide they need to kill people inside Planned Parenthood, kill co-workers at a holiday party or kill school children in an elementary school have abused the right for you to own a gun too.

It’s time to repeal the Second Amendment.

Don’t like that?

Require biometric technology on all weapons so only the authorized gun owner can fire that particular weapon. That would surely stop toddlers from grabbing daddy’s handgun and shooting a baby sibling…. or their mom.

Require each gun owner to pass a written test and a practical use test like car drivers do. Lessons in cleaning the weapon should be mandatory. Fees for the written and practical test can fund the ATF.  License every gun a gun owner has and make that license expensive.

Require expensive insurance that’s paid monthly to own each gun, much like car owners, home owners, and businesses must carry. Your doctor has expensive malpractice insurance and he or she is trying to save lives.  If your gun is stolen, used in a crime or kills someone, your insurance company pays the victims and your premiums go way up.  It’s called accountability.

Tax the snot out of bullets.  It’s not stopping you from owning a gun but it makes using one expensive.  Want to target shoot?  That’s $200 a bullet (all proceeds going towards mental health services and victim’s family charities).  Save up.

Make it a crime to possess any firearm.  Oh that rifle is a family heirloom?  Remove the firing pin and surrender all the ammunition for it and you can keep it as an antique.

Too drastic?

Fine.  Let’s amend the Second Amendment by adding some simple words. “”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 provided they are members of the armed forces or law enforcement communities.” Add 12 words.

The gun lobby is out of control and the right wingers who won’t challenge the gun lobby won’t do a thing.  It’s time for action.

I received a press release not long ago about an alleged “media boycott” that Amazon.com had removed a book for sale from its inventory and no one is covering that news.  The book is entitled “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.”  The PR firm listed nearly 23,000 media outlets it contacted about the “censorship” by Amazon and complained that no one was reporting on the story.  Perhaps the reason why no one is reporting the story is because the media was on hand to see the carnage of little kids slaughtered in an elementary school by a mentally disturbed man who used accessible and legally obtained firearms belonging to his mother.

Two quotes from the press release that shows the lengths the gun nuts will go to in order to justify the their right to own weapons that slaughtered little kids – just deny the whole thing ever happened.

“The whole Sandy Hook operation was a sloppily staged fraud perpetrated by FEMA in collusion with local and state authorities,” said the book’s editor, Professor Emeritus James Fetzer of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, a former U.S. Marine Corps officer.

“None of those allegedly 20 slain children were killed,” Fetzer said. “This looms as a far bigger scandal for the Obama administration than the simple burglary at Watergate ever was for President Nixon.” He termed Amazon’s action, an “egregious act of censorship.”

Oh, you’ll find several books on Amazon decrying Sandy Hook as a hoax.  There’s even an email string suggested the FBI has admitted Sandy Hook was a hoax that Snopes.com refutes.  RightWingers then refute Snopes as a George Soros-owned site that cannot be believed.

Perhaps it’s time for the news media to take a page from pro-life abortion foes and show graphic images of victims of these shootings to shame conservative pro-gun legislators into some sort of common sense action.

There are no easy answers here.  But with each mass shooting, Americans become more desensitized to gun violence.

We can look to the common sense words of Supreme Court Justice Stevens in his dissent of the 2008 case Heller vs. Washington DC.

Stevens wrote:

“….a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.

Guns are used to hunt, for self-defense, to commit crimes, for sporting activities, and to perform military duties. The Second Amendment plainly does not protect the right to use a gun to rob a bank; it is equally clear that it does encompass the right to use weapons for certain military purposes. Whether it also protects the right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting and personal self-defense is the question presented by this case. The text of the Amendment, its history, and our decision in United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 (1939) , provide a clear answer to that question.

The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

….

The Court properly disclaims any interest in evaluating the wisdom of the specific policy choice challenged in this case, but it fails to pay heed to a far more important policy choice—the choice made by the Framers themselves. The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons, and to authorize this Court to use the common-law process of case-by-case judicial lawmaking to define the contours of acceptable gun control policy. Absent compelling evidence that is nowhere to be found in the Court’s opinion, I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice.

 

Justice Breyer maintains the protection of The Second Amendment is not absolute. He writes:

“The Amendment permits government to regulate the interests that it serves. Thus, irrespective of what those interests are—whether they do or do not include an independent interest in self-defense—the majority’s view cannot be correct unless it can show that the District’s regulation is unreasonable or inappropriate in Second Amendment terms. This the majority cannot do.”

So what do we do about mass shootings?

A final note….on Black Friday this year, Americans bought a record number of firearms. Two background checks filed every six seconds. Because nothing says Peace of Earth like a semi-automatic weapon with a large capacity magazine.

Fa-la-la-la-la.  La-la-la-la.

  7 comments for “Its Time to Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment

  1. junior
    December 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Pictured: 1853 Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver; Designed and Manufactured by Samuel Colt; Decorated by Gustave Young, engraver; Made in America (Hartford, CT) Steel, brass, gold, and walnut.

    The 1853 Colt Third Model Dragoon is considered one of Colt’s finest guns, and one of a select few featuring gold-inlaid engraving. The gold inlay features a bust of George Washington on the cylinder. The arms of the United States are also featured on the frame. The mate to this particular pistol is housed at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, and was a gift to Czar Nicholas I by Samuel Colt. The Metropolitan’s gun was presented by Colt to Sultan Abdulmecid I of Turkey.

  2. junior
    December 3, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Stevens himself wrote the argument to his disent.

    “The Amendment permits government to regulate the interests that it serves. Thus, irrespective of what those interests are—whether they do or do not include an independent interest in self-defense—the majority’s view cannot be correct unless it can show that the District’s regulation is unreasonable or inappropriate in Second Amendment terms. This the majority cannot do.”

    Is that man an idiot?? Of course the 2nd Amendment is about self-defense!!

  3. Ltpar
    December 3, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Nice try Dan but your liberal philosophy regarding the Constitution is a dog that will never hunt in this country. Many people possess guns as an insurance policy for protection of family, hoping never to use it. They have no desire or intent to kill anyone, except in self defense. While I agree there are a few things about the Constitution I would like to see fine tuned, the 2nd Amendment is not one of them. Lucky for you, to be a resident of America’s Safest City. Not everyone in this country has that luxury.

  4. David Vasquez
    December 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    This is such a divisive issue.

    I grew up in a gun “friendly” environment. Lot’s of responsibility and respect for weapontry. I waved that flag, and understood.

    UNTIL, I lost a close family member to gun violence, I began to rethink my position, personally and politically and the older I get, the more I realize, we are antiquated in our laws. Crazy old kook’s aside, there has to be some reason to let the masses have access to guns other than keeping Pat Rodgers pension funded.

    Control Guns and we’ll need one -third the pension bleeders.

  5. Bill Spaulding
    December 3, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Why is it that only the Second Amendment is sacrosanct? We have libel and slander laws. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater unless there is one. Inciting a riot is against the law. All impinge on the First Amendment. We have asset forfeiture laws that impinge on the Fourth Amendment. FISA and various parts of the Patriot Act impinge on the Fifth. Could someone explain why the Second Amendment is exempt from such “clarifications?” Well, other than having a lobbying arm of the guns and ammunition manufacturers. I hear all sorts of hand-wringing on both sides of this — those who say we need sensible gun safety laws and from those who say you can’t touch the Second Amendment or the sky will fall. Everyone’s wringing their hands and the only thing that’s happening is people are dying. Needlessly. I will grant that i’m no Constitutional scholar or expert, but I’m sure the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments aren’t the only ones restricted by law. Even if they are, the point is still valid. I have yet to find any reference in the Constitution or its 27 Amendments that says the Second Amendment (or any other) is different to or more special than all others So, please, could someone explain why, other than the manufacturers’ lobby known as the NRA (which used to be about gun safety and isn’t any more), why is the Second Amendment so sacrosanct?

  6. RHackett
    December 4, 2015 at 11:35 am

    The 2nd Amendment doesn’t say anything about not allowing background checks and registration of all firearms. In fact the Founding Fathers required that militia members have their weapons available for surprise inspections and have their owners account for their weapons.

    We also know that when the Constitution was ratified that gun ownership was not universal. In fact many law abiding Americans were denied the Right to own or even possess firearms.

  7. December 8, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    If the First Amendment was repealed could a law then be passed eliminating freedom of speech?

    The answer is…….No.

    If the 2nd Amendment was repealed could a law be passed eliminating the right to keep and bear arms?

    The answer is……No

    Keep going. The answer will always be the same.

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