Let’s get serious and repeal the Second Amendment
Posted For: Le Bouffon du Génocide
This column will be timely whenever you read it. Some horrible mass shooting will be in the headlines; one always is. Followed inevitably by pathetic wails of pain. “Do something!”
But there is nothing we can do today to end or even reduce the carnage inflicted on America by gun violence. Neither the no-longer-shocking massacres in our schools, bars and businesses nor the torrent of 53 “regular” gun murders daily is going away any time soon.
Thoughts and prayers won’t stop it, “reasonable gun regulation” won’t, even if we could get such laws passed, which we can’t. We are trapped in a death spiral of spent ammunition and wasted lives. The problem only gets worse, year after year after decade.
But we are not helpless. There is a way forward, if we stop thinking about magic fixes and realize that tackling the problem of gun violence is not the work of today or tomorrow. It is the work of generations. It is, at minimum, a 50 year job, but that clock won’t start until we get serious.
Getting serious means repealing, or drastically amending, the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has decided that “a well-regulated militia” includes gang bangers and wild-eyed loners with a grudge. They say the Constitution makes it impossible to pass the gun laws that an overwhelming majority of the American people want. But the Constitution is not a suicide note. The Second Amendment can be amended, even repealed.
Most Americans aren’t for repeal yet, and the gun lovers will be outraged by the mere suggestion that their gun rights aren’t sacrosanct. So be it. As I said, this is a work for generations, and big ideas always take that long to percolate from the fringes to reality.
There were Abolitionists 50 years before the Civil War ended slavery. They were the most reviled, detested voices in the country, before they changed the country forever and for the better. The LGBTQ+ community protested and agitated for generations, until marriage became legal. For 100 years, citizens went to prison for smoking marijuana and only now is that, still unfinished, revolution upon us.
We should take a lesson from the conservatives. They were outraged when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Fifty years ago they began their battle to overturn that Supreme Court decision. It became their organizing principle. They used that single issue to rally their troops. State by state they fought every election, and for years they mostly lost. But they never quit; they kept on fighting. And then they began to win. When they won the presidency they made absolutely sure their candidate was committed to putting anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court. Until, finally, the unthinkable happened. Roe was overturned.
Some Americans were shocked. The Supreme Court never took a right away from the people, having granted it once. And by the time the court stripped away the right to an abortion, in 2021, an overwhelming majority of the American people were pro-choice. A referendum outlawing abortion in deep red Kansas failed catastrophically, nearly 60 % of voters said no.
Yet Roe v. Wade was overturned, because a dedicated, focused, tireless minority of activists fought to overturn it, for 50 years.
That is how we will overturn the Second Amendment. It is the only way. We should have started this movement right after Columbine, back in 1999. If we had, we’d be halfway home by now. Instead, every couple of weeks the flags are at half-staff.
If we begin now, here’s what will happen. At first, a few reliably liberal states, like California and New York, will lead the way. A few toss-up states will follow, and then the campaign will stall, temporarily.
Because, tragically, eventually, every state will have its Sandy Hook or Parkland, when the populace cries out in anguish, “Do something’!” And now there will be something to do. The pressure on local politicians will be immense, damn your thoughts and prayers, pass the amendment!
Some will and some won’t. And in some places, the voters will punish the recalcitrant legislators, replacing them with those who will vote yes. Slowly, repeal will gather pace, and finally succeed. But only when we begin.
This is the future American activists should be working for. It is a daunting task. Twenty thousand dead Americans a year makes a heck of a mountain. But it is a political hill worth dying on.