Like most Americans, ever since the massacre at Sandy Hook, the issue of the place of guns in American society has been ever present in my mind. President Obama declared that we must change, but he has yet to offer concrete changes. Sen. Feinstein has introduced a bill to outlaw assault weapons prospectively, which would do nothing to get those weapons off our streets. The NRA says it will propose concrete actions, but has yet to offer any particulars.
While politicians and pundits discuss ways to regulate lethal weapons, at Systems Change Consulting, our purpose is to change systems so that we do not have the same tired conversations again and again, resulting in remaining mired in an unsatisfactory status quo. It would be nice to think that legislation would be sufficient to end the violence which guns have wrought on American society. Yes, we do have more gun related deaths than any country in the world, other than Mexico, with nearly 10,000 homicides committed in the US in the most recent reporting year.
Our Supreme Court has completely distorted this simple amendment which reads:
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.
Not only is this Amendment an antiquated artifact directly resulting from the Colonial revolution against the British, but the Supreme Court ruled in its 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, that the militia clause has nothing to do with the right of the people to bear arms. In that case, the Supreme Court found that the District of Columbia’s handgun and trigger lock ban violated the 2nd Amendment.
The Supreme Court then expanded that misguided logic in 2010, in its McDonald v. Chicago decision applying the 2nd Amendment to state and local governments, declaring the City of Chicago’s handgun ban unconstitutional.
With Supreme Court decisions like these, and the never ending onslaught of violence and death caused by guns, it is time for this nation to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
Some may declare that such a proposal is unrealistic. That may be true, given the strength of the NRA and the inherent difficulties of amending our Constitution, as any amendment must be passed by 2/3 of the members of both Houses of Congress, and then approved by 3/4 of the states. This is, indeed, challenging.
However, if Sandy Hook is the wake up call that our nation needs to get out of our cycle of violence begetting more violence, then now is probably the best time to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Even if the amendment is not ultimately ratified, it will put the NRA on the defensive and allow ever stronger gun control legislation to pass and may even cause the Supreme Court to re-think its most recent decisions which make most sensible gun control legislation virtually impossible.
Since amending the Constitution is necessarily a long and difficult process, let me suggest one other piece of legislation that has yet to be raised and should raise no Constitutional concerns. While the 2nd Amendment arguably allows citizens to own weapons, there is no Constitutional right to manufacture lethal weapons. So, let’s start by banning the manufacture and importation of assault weapons. It is too easy to buy these weapons. You can even do it on-line from Tactical Arms Manufacturer, which brags on its web site that its assault weapons, the same ones used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook, are Made in the USA.
So, let’s get serious about stopping the cycle of violence. Let’s repeal the 2nd Amendment and in the mean time ban the manufacture and importation of assault weapons in the USA.
Or, we could just follow this simple 12 step program.