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 The third is obsolete.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