I love life, and I love the people of my country far far far more than I value the “freedom” to bear arms. I don’t know if any “reforms” will really solve the problems of gun violence in the United States. In all actuality, I believe we must repeal the Second Amendment now!
There! I uttered the unutterable – the ultimate taboo in U.S. political discourse.
As the horse once served as a primary means of transportation in earlier times, it now grazes and prances peacefully on rich pastures. Possibly during former moments in our history, we may have had reason to enact and enforce the Second Amendment of our great Constitution, but those bygone days have long since passed. Now we must put the Second Amendment out to pasture.
I believe that even our brilliant and well-meaning, but flawed, founders did not want unlimited and unrestricted rights of firearm ownership. They could never have imagined the enormous leaps and heights to which the Second Amendment now menaces not only the very lives of our people, but more poignantly, how it imposes an existential threat to our nation.
Even if our early leaders had advocated for unrestricted gun ownership, these are the same men who owned and marketed enslaved Africans, committed genocide against and expelled native peoples, withheld enfranchisement from women, engaged in and killed one another in duels, and so on. Since those early times, legislation, judicial actions, and constitutional amendments have at least attempted to redress those past tragedies.
Though we can never bring back the estimated 30,000 victims of gun violence each year, by gutting the Second Amendment we can give our residents a greater chance at life.
I often travel abroad visiting cities and people around the world. Increasingly during my journeys, people express to me that they admire the remarkable achievements and wonders of the United States, but because of the perennial gun violence, they vow not to step foot on this land.
These same people believe they have more freedoms in their countries with severe firearms restrictions than we could ever have under our Second Amendment. Because of their well-founded hesitations to visit our country, they will never experience our gleaming cities, our fertile plains, our lush grasslands, our majestic mountains and national parks, and yes, our seemingly endless supply of shops.
In the end, the realities of gun violence in the U.S. hurts everyone everywhere, with the possible exception of our enemies who desire to witness us defeated from within.
Rather than working to reduce the supply of firearms on our streets and in our homes, gun sales and ownership steadily increases. The United States ranks number 1 of 178 countries researched in 2014 for the highest rate of firearms with 112.6 per 100 residents, with Serbia coming in a distant second at 69.7, Yemen third at 54.8, and Switzerland forth at 45.7. On “Black Friday” after Thanksgiving 2015, requests for firearms background checks reached historic proportions with over 185 thousand on this single day.
What will it take for us to cease fighting insanity with insanity? How many more of our precious people of all ages will have their lives cut short under the banner of “freedom to bear arms”? What will it take for us to reverse the unholy alliance between corporate America and powerful pressure groups controlling politicians in the service of firearms manufacturers?
When is enough actually enough?!