Here’s What We Need To Do …

Well, folks, another mass shooting mars the landscape, this one at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, an affluent subdivision of Chicago, Illinois.  No surprise … we could have and did predict it.  Six people dead, a few dozen injured.  Ho hum … just another day here in paradise, eh?  Well, maybe not to the victims and the families of the victims, but hey … the rest of us can just get on with our lives … until it happens to one of our loved ones, eh?  After all, just hours after that gunman opened fire in Highland Park, Illinois state Senator Darren Bailey, a Republican, called for people to “move on and… celebrate.”  Oh, and our illustrious members of Congress will do their part by sending those totally useless ‘thoughts & prayers’.

You all know that I am very much against private gun ownership, that I don’t think the average John Doe has the need nor ‘right’, even under the wording of the 2nd Amendment, to own a gun, and particularly not a military-style assault weapon.  Why?  Because I think that we average people ought to have the right to walk down the street, go to the grocery store, send our children to school, and be safe in doing so.  But, our Congress and Supreme Court think differently because our lives are meaningless to them.  A fetus is far more important to them than a living, breathing human being.

Last month, in the wake of the Buffalo shooting that killed 10, and the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 children and 2 teachers, one of my favourite journalists, Bill Press, wrote the following column that was published in CNN.  For the record, I am completely in agreement with Mr. Press … 100%!

There’s no way to fix the Second Amendment. Let’s just get rid of it

Who says history doesn’t repeat itself? It sure does when it comes to the aftermath of mass shootings.

After Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Margery Stoneman Douglas, El Paso, Buffalo, Uvalde and so many others, it’s always the same.

First, shock. Then, grief. Then, a demand for action. Then, the phony claim: Too bad, but we can’t do anything about guns because of the Second Amendment. And then, nothing is done to prevent the next attack.

This time, could things be different? After the senseless assassination of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, senators of both parties are actually talking about a compromise on guns.

But don’t hold your breath. No matter what they come up with, chances are still slim that there will be 10 Republicans willing to override the filibuster. (A total of 60 votes are needed to end a filibuster in the evenly-divided US Senate.)

Anything they agree on will probably just nibble around the edges of the gun issue. Sen. John Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator, has already vetoed one of the most sensible proposals: raising the legal age for buying an assault weapon from 18 to 21 years.

There’s no way, especially in this election year, that Republicans will let anything out of the Senate that would ruffle the feathers of the National Rifle Association.

President Joe Biden’s proposals come close to what’s really needed, with his bold call for universal background checks, eliminating ghost guns and renewing the ban on assault weapons. But even that’s not enough to convince some conservative Americans that the Second Amendment is not an open license to arm themselves, even with weapons that belong on the battlefield.

Let’s face it. The way many judges and conservatives interpret the Second Amendment is a total con job. And, as wildly misinterpreted today, it is, for all intents and purposes, a license to kill as many people as you want with as many guns as you want.

The only effective way to deal with the Second Amendment is to repeal it — and then replace it with something that makes sense in a civilized society.

I’m hardly the first person to say that the Second Amendment has been a disaster for this country. In fact, two Supreme Court justices — justices appointed by Republican presidents — have said as much.

In a March 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times, former Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by then-President Gerald Ford, wrote that Americans protesting the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

He explained: “A constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the NRA’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”

And decades earlier, in 1991, former Chief Justice Warren Burger, appointed by President Richard Nixon, told the PBS Newshour: “If I were writing the Bill of Rights now, there wouldn’t be any such thing as the Second Amendment.

Burger called the Second Amendment “one of the greatest pieces of fraud — I repeat the word ‘fraud’ — on the American people by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Indeed, you only have to read the Second Amendment to see what a fraud it’s become. Here it is, all 27 words: “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.”

Read it again. There’s no way you can logically leap from those 27 words about the existence of a state militia to the unfettered right of any citizen to buy as many guns — and any kind of gun — that they want, without the government being able to do anything about it.

It’s clear from the wording of the Second Amendment itself that it has nothing to do with individual gun ownership; nothing to do with self-defense; and nothing to do with assault weapons. The amendment speaks, not to the rights of well-armed individual citizens, but only to citizens as members of a group, a “well regulated militia.”

And its history is well-known. The founders saw no need to mention guns in the original Constitution. As many constitutional scholars and American historians have shown, the Second Amendment was added later by James Madison as part of a deal to secure the support of Patrick Henry and other White racist Virginians for confirmation of the Constitution. Noted academic Carol Anderson, for one, describes the “anti-Blackness” that lies at the heart of the Second Amendment in her book “The Second,” as well as its “architecture of repression.”

As such, it was not about self-defense. It was, in the opinion of these historians, about reassuring White plantation owners that the new federal government would not interfere with their practice of forming White militias to patrol the South, ready to put down rebellion by disgruntled Black slaves or chase down slaves who tried to flee.

And again, the amendment has nothing to do with self-defense or allowing ownership of any kind of gun. As Stevens noted in his New York Times op-ed: “For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation.”

Two things changed that. First, a band of gun extremists took over the NRA at its 1977 annual convention in Cincinnati and changed its mission from championing the Second Amendment as the right of hunters to giving every American the right to own a gun for self-defense. The NRA proceeded, successfully, to sell that unfounded idea of self-defense to politicians and the general public.

Second, in 2008, former Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which — again for the first time in over 200 years — established the right of every American under the Second Amendment to own a gun for self-defense. And he rounded up four other votes.

However, it’s important to note that even in Heller, Scalia took pains to argue that as with other rights, those granted under the Second Amendment are not unlimited — and that governments retain the power to regulate what kind of guns, or how many, people may own.

Of course, those provisions of Heller are conveniently ignored by gun worshippers like Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who uphold the Second Amendment as reinterpreted by Scalia. That flawed reasoning allowed a Texas teenager to buy two AR-15’s on his 18th birthday, walk into an elementary school and mow down 19 students and two teachers.

We are a sick nation indeed, if we allow that idiocy to stand.

Of course, it won’t be easy to repeal the Second Amendment. It would require a constitutional amendment, passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-quarter of the states. Or a constitutional convention, called by two-thirds of the states, with any proposed changes approved by three-quarters of the states. But, difficult or not, it’s still the right thing to do.

We are condemned to more and more mass killings until we do the right thing: Stop arguing about the Second Amendment — and just get rid of it.

41 thoughts on “Here’s What We Need To Do …

  1. Pingback: HERE’S WHAT WE NEED TO DO. | | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  2. What we need to do is to stop ruminating about getting the guns under control. As long as there is a radical element to the Republican Party there is never going to be gun control. What we need to get rid of in this country is not guns. What we need to get rid of in this country is the Republican Party. But if we wait too long it will be too late because right now, they are setting the stage through the Supreme Court and the local legislatures and the judiciary at all levels to grab permanent and complete control of the government and of every facet of American Life and turn us all into an oppressive Orwellian nightmare.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m curious how you would propose to eliminate an entire political party, when it was never up to the ppl in the first place? The most we can do is vote one party over another, and guess how far we got with that plan….. hmmm?


    • I fully agree that we need to get rid of the Republican Party, for it has long since lost any illusion of having value. I keep thinking the party is eating itself from within and will soon simply fall apart, then a few with consciences will rebuild from the ashes, but … it seems they have enough money and blind followers to keep on promoting their message of bigotry and hatred. Orwellian, indeed. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, my thoughts may have been like yours once the sad news of the mass shooting in Highland Park was announced. What an appropriate way to celebrate what America is with another mass shooting on July 4th of all days. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly … what a way to ruin the holiday for an entire community, and yet the gun nuts will continue to declare that it is their ‘right’. I read earlier today some guy who asked why a mass shooting in Chicago should mean they ‘take away my fun’. So … what … guns are “FUN” now? 🙄 Somebody please by these people a good book or even a handheld video game! Sigh.


  4. This post states clearly the irreconcilable divide in the once United States of America:

    1. The Progressives hate the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights because it limits the power of government.
    2. American patriots love the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights because it limits the power of government.

    In nearly of his works, Plato uses the principle of opposites to ferret out the truth. Thus, any argument that contains opposites collapses due to self-contradiction.

    A nation, local community, family, or the individual, will collapse due to self-contradiction.

    Liked by 2 people

      • My last association with the NRA was over 50 years ago when they trained me to be a rifle sharp shooter. I used my expert skills on a squirrel once, because my dad didn’t like the way it was tormenting his dogs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Silence of Mind, i respectfully disagree with your premise that self-contradiction will necessarily lead to mutual destruction or collapse.
      Our collective reality as we perceive it is like a function of complimentary polarity. Your example of dueling parties is sorta like a dialectic illusion, a clever mind game constructed to offer an appearance of choice.
      Whatever you may say about the Republican or Democratic party, they’re the only game in town… why hasn’t there been a viable third party in American politics since the Civil War?
      Why are independent candidates automatically marginalized?
      Seems like US politics trumps Plato’s logic. The 2-party system very much depend on each other to keep the election game going, to perpetually feed from the gov’t trough that they create and control.
      The entity known as “gov’t” never worked for nor represent the common folk for a very long time, if ever. Can you say the fix is in?


    • I’m not sure we can lump people into those two categories. What, after all, is a ‘Progressive’ and what is a ‘Patriot’? The definitions seem to morph over the years. I am neither … I am merely a humanitarian who wants the law to work FOR the people … the average people, not necessarily the wealthy bastards who look down their noses at the rest of us. I want to be safe going to the grocery store or library. I want to be able to afford to feed my family, pay my rent, and still have $10 left over to donate to a homeless shelter. So, what does that make me?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Even then, they don’t seem to learn. Congressman Steve Scalise was shot by a gunman in 2017 at a congressional baseball game, but do you think that gave him pause, made him stop and re-think his stance on unlimited guns? Hell no! Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

        • A school shooting in the school their own kid attends, maybe. Nope, methinks there will be no nice clean ‘happily ever after’ ending, and I am convinced it will get worse — far worse — before it gets better.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Um … Roger? Just what have you been smoking? Yeah, it would be nice if it all just settled down, disappeared, but … we both know it ain’t gonna happen! Have you heard about Shinzo Abe’s shooting? Japan has zero tolerance gun laws, no civilians are allowed guns, so this jackass made a homemade one and shot the former Prime Minister. Sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Well apart from writing ‘quiet’ instead of ‘quite’….. No smokin’. Just trying to go against my basic feelings on the subject, (and not convincing myself).
                Yes Shinzo Abe’s shooting is breaking this UK morning. If the guy hadn’t had a gun, he would have used a blade. There is a history in Japan of assassinations and assassination attempts.
                How the guy got that close begs questions of competency of the security detail.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I thought perhaps quiet was a “Freudian slip” … 😉 No, this is one time you couldn’t even convince me, and usually you can. I wish we could both be wrong, but I think the world isn’t finished turning topsy-turvy yet … maybe in a few more years.

                  Indeed, I wondered about the security detail as well, and when it first happened, there were strangely conflicting versions … but then, that may have only been the chaos of the moment. But several venues said at first that the gunshots weren’t near Abe, that he hadn’t been hit … I stayed with the live updates for a couple of hours, but nothing new was forthcoming, so I finally went to bed around 4:00, waking to hear he had been declared dead, which was no surprise since last night they kept saying he had no vital signs but was alive … a conflicting statement if ever I heard one. Sigh. Another good man killed, while the likes of Trump seem to be teflon-coated.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • God forbid that Trump should be assassinated. He does not deserve martyrdom, which the Right would ensure. Imagine.
                    It was bad enough here when Thatcher died, every tory and their pet dog were on the media bewailing her loss. And arguably she was due praise as a constructive professional politician……If you had that point of view that is.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Ah yes … I keep forgetting that he would become a martyr of the first order and likely one of his sons could then have an easy path to the Oval Office.

                      I’m betting I know at least one person who wasn’t bewailing the death of Ms. Thatcher!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The odd thing was, when the news broke both Sheila and myself said ‘Ohh,’ in a genuine way.
                      She’d lost her husband Dennis, who was her rock, she may have been in the very early stages of dementia and as is always the case in the Conservative Party when a PM stumbles gently exiled with a title. Maybe we were both being very British about it.
                      It was the period of lamentations, full official funeral and implied national mourning that got me.
                      There were areas where the news was greeted with joy and with a few, literal dancing in the streets. Much to the embarrassment of most Music programmes ‘Ding-Dong The Witch Is Dead’ was a streaming hit.
                      We even got the DVD of the film ‘The Iron Lady’….Meryl Streep was, as always amazing…. We didn’t keep it though🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I never realized how hated she was until a few years ago when meeting you and other UK friends through my blog. The “Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead” thing speaks volumes, doesn’t it? I’ve never seen that film … might have to check and see if it’s available on Amazon Prime!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The film is very, very good. It’s Thatcher in her final years, memory flash backs and the ‘ghost’ of Dennis (The guy was her rock, and skilfully handled the media by playing the slight eccentric ‘gent’ card- which always goes down well in The UK).
                      At least she was a professional who knew when it was time to quit; which says a great deal about these days.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Now I want to see it more than ever! It’s not available at the moment on Amazon Prime, but I might bite the bullet and pay the $3.99 to rent it one evening when I have time to watch it. Wow, Roger … this is the first time I ever heard you say something positive about her. I guess everything is relative, right?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Sometimes you have to separate the policies from the person to keep your own Humanity.
                      When David Amess (conservative, right-wing) was murdered by an extremist. More than a few on the Left said in seriousness ‘Aww too bad. Sympathies to his family and constituency.’ Another wing wouldn’t let go of his voting record, but tried to code it up by saying they had ‘a right to be angry’ . Which was eerily similar to some of the ‘rights’ touted by MAGA. It was rather tawdry and ugly. The fellow was hardly Farage material.
                      That said there are some folk who deserve a kicking even when they are down.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • True enough … it’s as I’ve said about many here, you cannot let their mistakes completely erase their accomplishments. I won’t be saying that about Trump and his ilk, though, for they had no accomplishments, only mistakes.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Here’s What We Need To Do … | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  6. ALAS, Too many Americans are too stupid to realize their fervour for guns is going to do them or their loved ones in one day! Mass shootings are becoming the “in thing” for anyone with a grudge against a group of people, any group of people. The group does not even have to be definable in real life, only in the shooter’s mind.
    Along with repealing the 2nd Amendment, the biggest thing needed in the USA is shutting down every weapon-producing manufacturer. Producing or selling weapons are not necessary businesses in our world. Aside from the fact there are already more guns than citizens in the USA, there are probably more weapons manufactured in a dsy than there are babies born. What is the need of all these weapons? To make men with little penises feel powerful! Or to make women who want penises to feel like men! Guns can help none of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed … stupidity is not a word I toss around lightly, but yes … there seems to be a lot of it in the U.S. today. It’s not only lack of proper education, but lack of the ability to reason, to think, to follow a train of thought to its logical conclusion. I’ve said before and I say again … every ‘right’ is accompanied by responsibility. The gun nuts want their right to own the biggest, nastiest gun they can find, but do not want the responsibility of registering that gun, keeping it under lock and key when not in use, having a license that must be renewed periodically, and taking annual gun safety training classes. To me, that is the very LEAST that should be required in order to own a lethal weapon. We the People are no longer safe anywhere … largely because of gun nuts who insist on carrying one wherever they go.


      • It is a sad commentary on American society, saddest being it is true. I am about resdy to give up, though I know I won’t. My batteries need recharging. I cannot find a charger anywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

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