After Orlando, should we repeal the second amendment?

Summary: Orlando, as usual for a crisis in America, brings forth calls to rip another strip from the Constitution. But the Second Amendment worked well for us for two centuries, until conservatives decided America needed more guns in more hands. Orlando is another example of the results. But there are solutions that do not require another amputation on the Constitution. Celebrate Flag Day by remembering the Constitution, and defending it.

Repeal the Second Amendment.”
— Reaction to the Orlando shootings by Erik Loomis (Asst Prof History, U RI).

Constitution & guns

The rule of crises in America is that our elites exploit them to strip away pieces from the Bill of Rights. Both Left and Right are complicit in this. They are a tag-team working against us. Each has their favorite amendments and those they seek to erase.

After generations of this, its amendments have been pruned like the withered branches of an ancient oak tree. Most of the Bill of Rights remain de jure in force but are de facto void.  They attack it to fight “crime” (the 6th largely void for those who fall into our misnamed criminal justice system) and “terrorism” (the 4th being their latest victim). Amendments 7, 8, and 9 are almost dead letters. The third is obsolete.

Now it’s the Left against the second amendment. Not only is this an attack on the Constitution, it’s bad political tactics, self-marginalizing by the Left. See “Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment” by David S. Cohen in Rolling Stone.

A few more generations it will become a totem, like Magna Carta, or poetry like the Declaration of Independence. (For more about this see Forecast: Death of the Constitution.)

What about Orlando?

Update: a commenter noted that even strict gun-control laws are unlikely to prevent a licensed security guard from getting some form of gun.

We learned to control guns in America, adequately if not as well as have other nations. It kept the rate of mass killings at a high but tolerable level. This system worked for two centuries. It allowed local diversity of laws to suit regional cultures. While we slept, right-wing ideologues — backed by the unassailable might of money — have taken this from us.

Relentless pressure by conservatives at State and local levels have eroded away their gun laws. In 2008 the national legal regime changed with the activist conservative judges on the Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (conservatives overthrow State’s rights when convenient).

Now we’re going backwards, seeing behaviors unknown in developed nations for many generations — such as open carry of guns. And lots of mass shootings. How many? Life is cheap in America, so the government tracks thousands of kinds of financial activity. But it doesn’t track mass shootings — there are several definitions — just as it does not accurately track shootings by police.

The FBI released a report in 2014 showing that the number of “active shooter” incidents has increased since 2000. There are also crowd source trackers, such as the Mass Shooting Tracker and Shooting Tracker. By any measure, 2016 is a bumper year for mass killing in America! Plus the almost endless list of children shot this year in America.

Orlando should remind us that these are self-inflicted wounds. We need not repeal the second amendment. It once worked for us. We can roll the clock back so that it works for us again.

Our burning constitution

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about gun violence and regulation, and especially these about gun regulation…

  1. The Founders talk to us about guns for a well-regulated militia.
  2. “The right to shoot tyrants, not deer”.
  3. Let’s look at the Second Amendment, cutting through the myths and spin.
  4. Second amendment scholarship (using money to reshape America).
  5. Guns in the wild west: regulated, with no fears about ripping the Constitution.


7 thoughts on “After Orlando, should we repeal the second amendment?”

  1. It’s always these rare, big shootings that provoke discussions about gun control, but a far bigger issue is the use by criminal gangs, who kill one, two or three people at a time, often in haste, so that bystanders are among the victims. This type of crime is so common in some cities that it barely registers as news.

  2. But, but, but what would happen to the legions of the private armed guards who protect Hollywood celebrities, the ultra-wealthy, the politicos, and the other super-elites?

    Oh, yeah, right. Without the 2nd Amendment, special laws could be passed that allow THOSE special groups to be protected with firearms while the masses of we peasants are left defenseless from the hordes of armed predators who’ll ignore the laws against firearms, like they do now; you know, pretty much like how most laws favor the latter-day aristocracy and keep we peasants in our places.

    1. Asok,

      Repeal of the 2nd amendment would not mean that American’s ability to own guns would increase or decrease. Merely that the state, local, and federal governments could regulate at will. That would mean more regulation in some places. But the gun deregulation movement is so strong in so many regions, I wonder how much effect it would have.

      This is, imo, another example of the Left confusing fantasy with political strategy and tactics. The Right — or at least the elites running the Right — seldom make that mistake, which is one reason they’re winning.

  3. You demonize open carry, but fail to show how this has increased crime, caused more homicides or decreased safety. Vermonters have open carried since the founding of that state; show some history and facts where open carry is a problem.

  4. Persons with screwed up minds or values will continue to inflict horrible deaths on innocent persons whether they are jihadies, those mentally off their rocker like the Conn. killer of school children or someone going postal due to perceived slights or being fired from their job.

    One thing that connects them all is the easy availability of high capacity firearms, especially assault rifles like the AR-15 used in Conn., San Bernadino, and Orlando. As someone who owns many guns: mainly WWII era bolt action rifles, shotguns, .22 rifles, black powder muzzle loaders, and revolvers, I can not fathom why anyone would own an assault rifle designed for use as a “spray and pray” military piece.

    I sometimes hear the reason as a hunting weapon but most states I know do not allow that small of a caliber to be used in deer hunting and a lot of states only allow shotguns with slugs for deer hunting as they cannot carry for over a mile and kill someone. Besides, if you can’t kill the deer or whatever else you are hunting in the first one or two shots you should not be hunting.

    If the reason is home defense a shotgun would be a more effective weapon.

    Before 1934 machine guns (think Thompson machine gun in the gangster movies) were legal. The 1934 National Firearms Act limited the possession of these weapons plus silencers, sawed off shotguns and other deadly arms like grenades. Some of these weapons you can still own such as an automatic firearm like the Thomson and silencers but you have to pass a federal screening, pay a substantial fee, register the weapon, and only pass it on to someone else who also has to go through this rigorous screening.

    They should make the same rule for assault weapons and high capacity automatic pistols.

    So I would contend that we don’t have to get rid of the 2nd Amendment, just pass a sensible gun law like they did in 1934 and leave the hunters their low capacity rifles and shotguns and the target shooter his pistol. Register all the rest and make sure you have a rigorous screening of those who HAVE TO own one.

    How many innocent victims have been killed by automatic weapons like the Thompson machine gun since 1934? The law must be working!

  5. While I am for stricter gun control laws, such laws would only be a small part of the overall solution. Even before we think of passing new laws, we need to examine why our existing laws failed. Why was a person who was investigated by the FBI as a potential terrorist on two separate occasions able to legally buy guns? Don’t we have watch lists for exactly these kinds of people?? Our existing laws and regulations should have been enough in this case to at least prevent this guy from purchasing his arms legally.

    Then we need to recognize that there is something deeper going on than a ready supply of guns. We love violence as a culture. Any disgruntled youth these days need to look no further than the local movie theater for a ready template to bring his darkest thoughts to life. Seeing 100 murders on the movie screen is tame these days. Only a mini-gun with an endless supply of ammunition is enough to cool our blood lust. We are violent to the core. Whether its a religious radical or some nihilistic kid, we are taught to solve our problems violently. We need to look inside ourselves, each one of us. What are we teaching ourselves and our kids? When a gang related triple murder in a troubled part of town is pushed under the rug in a 9 second news segment, can we really be surprised when the violence strikes a little closer to home? We are screwed people and no gun law is going to save our corrupt soul. Maybe… just freaking maybe when we start to really care about young black people committing genocide on themselves will we find a small piece of the big puzzle.

    I find myself agreeing with both the left and the right. Having ready access to light and powerful rifles that can easily and quickly be reloaded is a problem. I also think that the guns themselves are not the real, core problem. Unfortunately, just like with every other political issue in the US these days, most politicians do not hold nuanced positions on gun control and mass killings. Its either this or its that. It can’t be both and 50 other things. This is why we fail.

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