We mouse around the edges of gun laws. We legislate the size of magazines or raise the age to legally buy a lethal military assault rifle from 18 to 21. We debate mental health issues. The NRA will loudly proclaim that crazy people should not be allowed to buy guns. Thus, the issue becomes mental health, not gun availability. Some states allow “open carry,” while others have strict gun laws. What piecemeal nonsense. We must deal with this issue as a national crisis, not blue states vs. red states or rural vs urban.
Let’s stop dancing around this issue and just take it out of the Constitution altogether. Last week, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a New York Times op-ed suggesting just that.
The NRA spent $31M to defeat Clinton and elect Trump. Hundreds of thousands of high school students demonstrating across the country won’t make a dent in that kind of influence.
Yes, they are passionate. Yes, they are articulate. Yes, they are getting media coverage. Yes, they will vote soon. Yes, Emma Gonzalez is amazing and no, sorry to say, the march of the children will change nothing.
So what CAN change our culture of gun violence?
1) Publication of police photos of dead children, their guts splattered against classroom walls.
2) Children and grandchildren of members of Congress getting slaughtered in their classrooms by “second amendment” gun-wielding, young, white, male (mostly) sons-of-bitches. (And BTW, let’s stop calling these homicidal bastards “shooters” which sounds so goddamn hip. They are cold-blooded killers, or murderers, or gunmen.)
3) NRA offices getting attacked.
4) Politicians with A+ NRA ratings getting run out of office in the November elections.
When enough people get fed up with this constant slaughter, the cultural acceptance of gun violence can be changed. Australia did it with a massive gun buy-back program. So can we. BTW, it is NOT just military assault rifles that should be banned. The major source of gun death in the U.S. is hand guns like the famous “Saturday-night specials.”
Politicians like Marco Rubio like to say this is too big a problem to change, and that change is not possible since the Constitution specifically allows gun ownership. But wait, the Constitution can be changed. It has been amended 17 times since 1791. Amendments can be added and removed; think, prohibition.
Cultural norms change. Think, attitudes about smoking, acceptance of gay marriage, use of marijuana, death with dignity, the decline of religion, etc.
If there ever was a time to get rid of an amendment that was created at a time in history when the most lethal weapon was a muzzle-loading musket, this is it. The pro-gun people use the Second Amendment to justify the killing of our fellow citizens at the rate of 30,000+ per year. They are the best-armed mass murderers in world history.
Time for a change.