Greg Gibson: Taking Back The 2nd Amendment.

The Second Amendment is truly remarkable. We alone among nations have, not only the unfettered right to keep and bear arms, but an access to guns that is unequaled by any other stable society in the world. This constitutional right bespeaks a deep faith in the civility, wisdom, and maturity of all Americans – a fundamental trust in the average citizen that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

2nd amendmentPeople talk about American exceptionalism, and we ARE exceptional as a nation, in part because of our right to keep and bear arms, and the ways in which this right has become a part of our heritage. It is more than a privilege, more than an custom. It is a unique and glorious right.

And look what we’ve done with it. Just open the paper, turn on the TV, take out your phone.

Guns falling into the hands of madmen, domestic abusers, and teenagers with still-developing brains. Guns to keep people safe from people with guns. Guns on night stands. Guns in pockets and purses. Guns in shopping malls, on college campuses. 300 million guns.

35,000 gun deaths a year. 125,000 injured. Hundreds of thousands suffering the grief, trauma, and displacement that trail in the wake of gun violence. Whole communities turned into vengeful, dysfunctional battlegrounds.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

We’ve defiled this right. Through our own inaction and inattention we’ve let custody of the Second Amendment slide into the hands of ideologues, profiteers, and fear-mongerers, overseen by a cowardly Congress unable to act on the will of the people.

Don’t you think it’s time we reclaimed our Second Amendment?

Sensible people like you and me. Gun owners and non-gun owners. Red people. Blue people. Plain, unassuming, reasonable men and women, standing millions strong, facing down fanatics of every stripe.

We’re here for our Second Amendment, guys. We want our amendment back… NOW!

 

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9 thoughts on “Greg Gibson: Taking Back The 2nd Amendment.

  1. Whole neighborhoods have been turned into dysfunctional battlegrounds not because of the 2A, but because they have been abandoned to decay. Guns, of course, are to gang members and drug dealers like a lunch box was to my UAW machinist old man. But the problems go deeper than guns.

    That said, I agree in one sense. Having a 2A means having a society that can live up to civic responsibilities. That applies to all of them there enumerated rights.

  2. If you look in Amazon you can find a book by this author on gun violence meaning the loss of a son. I downloaded a sample and reading just a little makes me think it is a ‘must read’ book for people interested in gun violence regardless of whether I end up agreeing with his conclusions. The title is ‘Gone Boy’.

    The article above reminds me of someone I know who watches Fox News and talks about taking back our country which I can never quite understand the meaning of.

  3. To me there’s a common sense/sanity issue. The amendment was for organizing militias to fight whatever… the British, indian attacks, a foe, and those foes were specific to that time. No one then would have imagined semi-automatic weapons in every neighborhood, to any nut who wants one. The sheer numbers of dead and wounded referenced in this article should be fodder enough (ha, ha) to REPEAL the 2nd amendment. However, we are a “sensible” and polite society, willing to negotiate several sides of an issue. I have many friends who are responsible hunters, target shooters, cops, vets, what have you. Gun clubs seem to be bonding youth organizations that keep the kids occupied after school. Yet, common sense things like licensing, background checks, even parents keeping their guns under lock and key seem to be beyond the ability of gun “fundamentalists” to comprehend. Somehow, the NRA magically backs complete nonsense favoring abstract gun sales, and egging these “fundamentalists” further into insanity, without putting the numbers together to reflect, to see that it is no longer an institution that benefits our society, but rather is a liability to our society.

    …and just this last weekend… and most other weekends. In ghettos, in middle class neighborhoods… insanity. Please….Choose sanity.

  4. “No one then would have imagined semi-automatic weapons in every neighborhood, to any nut who wants one.” That can be applied to modern communications as well, i.e. no one then could imagine that someone half a world away could put the recipe for an easy to build IED that you can make at home on the Internet, to be read around the world and put into practice in places like Boston.

    Its certainly possible to amend or repeal the 2A, at least in theory. Or for that matter, the 1A. In practice its a non-starter. But as Winkler suggests in Gunfight, gun control is also part of the American experience, and completely compatible with the 2A.

    In a recent post, Mike notes the lack of evidence that UBCs have any credible effect on gun crime. Indeed, the populations of those who routinely misuse guns and the average gun owner is pretty exclusionary. Designing policies that work is not as simple as trotting out the usual list of Moms (Demand Action) suggestions. Shoving Mom’s Best Solutions down the throat of your average gun owner generally results in a little bit of heartburn.

    Then again, if guns were rare, shootings might be a lot rarer. Like any other universally available hazardous device, it exacts its share of victims.

  5. The Second Amendment exists because the fledgling country didn’t have a standing army. It would have been politically impossible at that time to have established such an army (states rights versus federal powers was an even greater issue for the Founders than it is today). In the absence of such an army, security could be safeguarded only by allowing private individuals to own guns so that a defence force could quickly be assembled, if needed.

    2A is specific to the early days. Things have changed and the rationale for 2A is no longer there. With apologies to my many American friends, the rest of the world thinks you are nuts on this one. American exceptionalism indeed. Yes, there is only one country that has this built into to its constitution. This recalls to mind the proud mother watching the children marching and proclaiming that everyone was out of step except her child.

  6. Greg and I will discuss this further at a book fair in the near future. But, here is a recent personal example of why it is difficult to determine who is a “nut” and should not own a gun. One of my clients, age 76, and a Republican who has never owned a gun was recently held for 72 hours for a psychological issue by a doctor. The police had seen him first and did not want to hold him, but after five days in a hospital, a doctor put a 72 hour hold on him, now he can never own a gun, if he ever wanted to. No police officer, no attorney, no court….just a doctor has taken away one of his rights.

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