Debate on universal background checks is ongoing as I write. As Senator Coburn just said “the Second Amendment isn’t going away.” As if the Senate and House could simply vote away, repeal the Second Amendment. Any amendment or repeal to the Constitution must be ratified or defeated by a three fourths majority vote of the States [Article V]. The likelihood of the repeal of the Second Amendment is nil, less than zero. Still, this is the argument that republicans, the NRA, and avid gun owners are making. We are coming to take their guns away. The government is coming to confiscate everyone’s guns.
It’s in the Constitution” is what a close childhood friend said to me yesterday. I agreed with him, but I stated that isn’t what is being debated in Congress. Just background checks, keep guns out of the hands of criminals. He kept yelling “it’s in the Constitution.” There is no reason a citizen needs an assault weapon. He was incredulous.
“have you forgotten the Second Amendment? That amendment is the one right after the First Amendment, guaranteeing free speech.” I guess he feels our Founding Fathers figured the Second Amendment was pretty important because you can’t “support the First without the Second. Remember, George Washington didn’t defeat the British by talking to them. He shot them. They want to ban all private possession of guns. The primary reason for the Second Amendment was and is to protect citizens from tyrannical government, not to protect hunters. Some say, how can you protect yourself from the state? Well, if you can’t match their firepower, then you lose.” I was beside myself. My evil twin sister was about to show up.
Constitutional rights are not absolute. They never have been. They are limited by the rights of others. The Courts have upheld limitations numerous times. We have freedom of speck, but that is limited by laws against slander and inciting riots and violence. We have freedom of the press, but that is limited by libel laws and laws against false advertising etc. There are , in some cities, limitations banning political signs on public property and how long such signs may be placed on private property.
If taken literally, the Second Amendment give a person the right to bear arms only if he or she is a member of a well-regulated militia, generally considered an arm of the state or federal governments. An argument also could be made that while the amendment gives the right to bear arms, it says nothing about the right to fire those arms. Presumably, that right would come about only if the individual got the command while a member of the aforesaid militia. Uncle Sam wants and needs you.
In are response to comments and urging of a number of Republicans Senators and Representatives Wayne La Pierre, leader of the N.A.R. has issued the following statement:
The Second Amendment is the center piece of freedom and American values. We are the longest standing Civil Rights organization in the United States. We fight for your freedom. If you must fight, don’t lose. Good guys carrying guns can and do make a difference. The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. You can’t tell the difference between the lions and the lambs. I am defending and protecting your right to purchase the largest clip and rounds of bullets that are presently available. Therefore, today I am announcing that we, the N.R.A. will begin a new membership drive in all states, and readily available to all. We soon will be setting up N.R.A. kiosks outside all movie theaters, and stadiums to add new members and educate the people to the importance of high capacity magazines and assault rifles. We want them to discover that like Wyatt Earp, they too can enjoy their version of the gunfight at the OK Corral, Batman movie or any other venue they choose. Stadiums are even better since attendance there is huge. We want as many bodies riddled with bullets as possible.
He then went on to reiterate his comments from May, 2012, as reported by The Onion, http://www.theonion.com/articles/nra-sets-1000-killed-in-school-shooting-as-amount,28352/?ref=auto. As they apply to “soft-targets etc. I was impressed with his passion for higher body counts. He continued:
Government policies are killing us. In response, along with my previous statement, we are planning to be the “bookmobile: for assault weapons and ammunition, as much as you want. There are those who say the I have the charisma of an unflushed toilet. I do not fear them. Our future is bright and bloody. I will not stop protecting our civil rights and freedom.
This will only end when they take my assault rifle from my blood drenched, dripping hand.
Assault weapons ban does not violate the Second Amendment. There is no prior claim that laws preventing citizens from buying weapons that fire 30 or more bullets without reloading violates the Second Amendment. Even the most conservative judges hold that the Second Amendment was meant to protect state militias and not individual gun owners. Banning any possession of handguns by citizens , even in the home, is the only law so far the Supreme Court has held that violates the Second Amendment.
The Right will tell you that “hunting rifles” those assault weapons, are for their personal protection. That it is about defending themselves against the government. They consider the government more and more a threat each and everyday. Would the Supreme Court uphold that the Second Amendments protects citizens owning plutonium, to defend themselves against nuclear attack? Weapons are weapons. Defending ourselves from tyranny is the justification. Protecting ourselves, the great American value, but so was slavery. Their argument is ludicrous.
American public has been conditioned to belief that their communities and country are more dangerous than they really are by their local news, television and other media. Hate, violence and intolerance do well on television. We are all watching television and being pumped full of fear. Mostly against blacks and Latinos. It is always the lead part of the story, ” a black man with a gun” or “a black or Latino man with a gun”. Never, a white man with a gun. Conditioned to fear blacks and Latinos. The Black and Latino communities have become entertainment for the rest of society. Their response is guns and more guns. Guns that can fire more bullets than can be imagined. I must protect myself. If more guns make you safer, then American would be the safest place in the world.
The simple truth is that no one wants to ban all guns. But is it really so unreasonable to ask that it be made more difficult for individuals to buy assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition? They even call themselves Christians. The Sixth Commandment says “Thou shalt not kill” period. It does not say thou shalt not kill unless I am “protecting” myself. Just thou shalt not kill. They call it personal protection. The argument is stupid. They want you to believe that Stalin lives in American if gun control was enacted. Their fear is purposeful. It gives them the right to kill at will. They call it “ patriotism“. They need to do better.
We all need to do better. We must come together and find a way to actually protect our country, our citizens and ourselves without resorting to Constitutional murder.
I don’t pretend to know the answer. I only know that to stop good citizens and mad men from killing innocents we must do something. American can no longer continue on the path that if you don’t agree with me I will shot you dead with a hundred bullets.