Thursday, December 20, 2012

21st Century 2nd Amendment

Let’s bring the 2nd amendment into the 21st century. Here is the second amendment of the United States Constitution:

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.

But first, let’s examine the first amendment of the Unites States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This first one is a doozy. It covers religion, speech, press, assembly, and petitioning the government. Freedom of religion is the only one without limits, in the sense that you may establish and practice any religion of your choice. Of course, religious activities that are criminal or fraudulent are not a protected right. All of the others have limits. You may not say whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. The press is not all powerful to do as it chooses. Assembling peaceably ( in itself a limit) has confines. Petitioning the government is subject to protocols and procedures.

Now back to the second amendment. 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. This has limits, too. You don’t get to bear a rocket propelled grenade. A line has already been drawn. Moving that line is a matter of societal and cultural change, and technological progress.

The question is simple: what arms do the people have a right to bear?

The line has already been drawn based on destructiveness. The people don’t have the right to bear a rocket propelled grenade due to the weapon’s destructiveness and indiscriminate nature. The people do not have the right to bear fully automatic weapons because of their destructiveness. It comes down to how offensive (as opposed to defensive) a weapon is. The greater the offensive capability, i.e. designed to kill as many humans as possible as fast as possible, of the weapon the more it should be restricted.

It is time to reconsider the placement of this line.
By their very nature “assault” weapons are highly destructive; pushed over the line by their ability for rapid fire combined with high volume magazines. Handguns are too easily concealed; their inherit stealthiness rendering them much more offensive than defensive.

The following firearms should be legal for the people to bear:

Bolt action rifles and breech loading shotguns.

With bolt action rifles and breech loading shotguns you can hunt and protect your home. Everything else should be illegal.

Arguments of gun proponents:

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
People murder people; handguns and “assault” weapons make murder easy and efficient. Let’s make it less so.

“Criminals will always be able to get guns.”
The idea is to make it more difficult for criminals to get guns. It is currently far too easy.

“Outlawing something just doesn’t make it go away.”
If you can’t have perfect results than don’t even try? So what you are saying is, “We can’t stop all robberies or rapes or terrorism so let’s just stop trying.” Whatever.

“Automobiles kill more people than guns.”
If we have mass murderers who kill via vehicular homicide then I will be more than happy to discuss “car control.”

“The founding fathers wanted to guarantee our right to bear arms.”
The founding fathers aren’t here and circumstances have changed necessitating a modification to what constitutes “arms.”

"300 million American guns were not misused again this week."
It's like we are sharing our homes, buildings, and places with gather with poisonous snakes. We go days, weeks, months without an encounter, and then 20 people die. And we do nothing; we simply wait for them to kill again.

“Gun control is not enough.”
No kidding, but gun control is part of the solution.

“But … The Second Amendment!”
We can change it if we choose, even repeal it. The brilliance of the constitution is its flexibility of interpretation. As times change, the interpretation changes. And times, they have changed, and so it is finally time for the interpretation of the second amendment to join the 21st century.



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