Columnist: Common sense calls for repeal of Second Amendment

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SEATTLE — I don’t believe the Second Amendment was ever intended to support the kind of gun craziness we contend with today, but since it’s always used to ward off any common-sense gun reforms, maybe we ought to just fix the Constitution and be done with it.

Yes, I know the odds against that are immense, but maybe we could start by nibbling away at the idea that the Constitution is infallible or that the founders had the answers to everything. They were smart men but neither perfect nor prescient.

One of the ways they showed how smart they were, was that they made a document that could be updated when it needed to be, and today it needs to be on this issue.

We’ve had another of those disturbing clusters of shootings in Seattle the past week, and gun violence continues to injure and kill across the country in public, and frequently private, ways. Most gun deaths are suicides.

But some Americans embrace their guns even more tightly even as the headlines call out for sanity. You know what I’m talking about.

Last week. Georgia’s governor signed into law a “guns everywhere bill” allowing residents of the state to carry guns anywhere in public, schools, churches, bars. You just never know when you’ll need to shoot someone.

We are already plagued by stand-your-ground laws and now this.

The law was deemed necessary partly because some cities and towns ban guns in most public places, which might seem reasonable if you want to cut down on gun violence, but Georgia’s leaders believed the answer was more people with more guns. I don’t even think it’s politics anymore. It’s a religion all its own.

Did you see the story earlier this week about a gun seller being threatened by gun lovers for trying to market a safer handgun? Belinda Padilla is CEO of the U.S. division of German firearms maker Armatix. Her company is marketing a biometric handgun that won’t fire unless it is held by its owner, who has to be wearing a wristwatch that communicates with the gun.

The company wants to sell guns, not ban them, but gun lovers worry elected officials would say, gosh, maybe if every gun was safe like this, there’d be fewer criminals shooting people with stolen guns. Thinking like that might lead to laws making it illegal to sell any other kind of gun, thereby depriving Americans of their accustomed freedom to more easily thwart law enforcement.

I don’t know why gun-rights folks are so worried about certain guns being outlawed, because as things stand it’s easy enough to find the firearm you want.

Seattle Times reporter Mike Carter wrote last week about a gun shop in Skagit County that might have been the worst in the United States when it comes to tracking gun sales. It was flagged for that in 2005, but the federal government took eight more years to take away the shop’s license.

Inspectors from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered that 2,396 guns Kesselring Gun Shop had in stock at one point, were lost, stolen or otherwise unaccounted for.

The business also sold guns to people who couldn’t pass a background check and didn’t alert officials about missing guns.

Why did it take so long to act?

Well, there is this from the story: “The agency is tasked with regulating the gun industry, but members of Congress — under relentless pressure from the powerful gun lobby — have made it almost impossible for the ATF to do so, cutting funding and imposing regulatory restrictions.”

Regulation seems reasonable, but it can’t fight against the gun-lobby tide and win. We need to address gun violence at the root by taking away the appearance of mythic sanction the Second Amendment gives.

The founders struggled to get things right, but they knew what we’ve forgotten, that perfection wasn’t possible. They ditched our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation and started over, then they ensured that the new document would be open to change in the form of amendments.

We ought to respect and honor the document, but realize it is not the last word, that democracy is a living, growing thing that the living must tend. And we must be on guard against people who abuse our reverence for the Constitution for their own political reasons.

We should repeal the Second Amendment.

Jerry Large can be reached at jlarge@seattletimes.com

Comments

bj84711 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe we should throw out free speech also. Then I wouldn't have to read this type of rhetoric.

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wwnative 7 months, 3 weeks ago

And perhaps your right to reply to someone whose right to free speech allows him to speak his mind. Take away Large's free speech, and say goodbye to yours.

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wwnative 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Really. get a new concept. Everytime someone disagrees with the NRA, some one comes up with the stupid "well, maybe, we should outlaw (knives, hammers, pencil sharpeners, milk jugs, c-clamps, anvils) comment. get some imagination. come up with something new.

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wwnative 7 months, 2 weeks ago

No, but use a new tack. The "Gee, now we should outlaw 59 DeSotos, because my brother-in-law was killed by one" retort is unimaginative, and lame.

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barracuda 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Why does one need to use a new "tack" ? When the old one is still as good as ever.... It seems that the NRA is still around, and the gun sales are soaring upwards....

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/6/gun-sales-2013-break-all-records-due-obamas-gun-co/?page=all

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chicoli 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, certainly not knives, but we should regulate nut-crackers which are pacifiers to macho, gun totting guys. Such instruments certainly represent cruel and unusual punishment...and are against the right to bear your testicles.

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namvet60 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment makes as much sense as the letter. Zero.

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namvet60 7 months, 3 weeks ago

First I believe Mr Large that your common sense is lacking. Second if you read the stats you will find that there is not one gun free zone that a criminal does not find enticing to be in especially carrying a gun.

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VampireNinja 7 months, 3 weeks ago

RE Repeal 2A: lol, no

RE Common Sense: Ahahahahha

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SirGemini 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Jerry Large has a weird sense of common sense...but here in America we respect his right to his opinion. My opinion is a wee bit on the other side. Leave the 2nd Amendment alone...punish those who violate the existing gun laws... Chicago is a Gun free Zone... does that prevent gun violence? Nah... Will be interested to see what happens in Georgia... We will never be able to protect us from mentally ill folks whether it's guns or poisons or bombs or knives even hammers etc. It's not the 2nd Amendment that is the problem.....

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barracuda 7 months, 3 weeks ago

With all the talk about new gun legislation,

Please talk about how we can get the guns out of the thugs hands, too.

Otherwise I cant see giving my guns up ever!

If you want true gun safety, you have to about it through education!

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VampireNinja 7 months, 3 weeks ago

(Not @ you barra)

How about our fellow citizens and the federal government stop marginalizing and taking an interest in how people choose to defend themselves and abide by the Bill of Rights and not illegally try to tell us how and what we can and cannot carry when it comes to firearms. It will shock some here but violence in the US has been on a decline for a good deal of years (I must be crazy, you better Google some of these questions... please make sure you find an unbiased source like the CDC or the like so you can prove me wrong). In addition the more people who conceal carry increases the chances that one who is armed will be on the scene when the shinola hits the cooling apparatus and maybe (depending on the circumstances) decide to engage...indeed there may not be any choice but to engage. Also, the fact is that criminals are much more discerning (ie scared) to do their thing when the ratio of totally hidden firearms to all the potential victims they survey begins to drop, You know that annoying motto "More Guns Less Crime"....its total fact...Google is your friend. Oh yeah...Gun Free Zone signs are utterly moronic, gather them up from the whole country and use them for sleds or target practice. Just imagine sticking a couple of 'em on your own lawn and front door and ponder that.................exactly.

I heard of lots of other good ideas other places, but I'll wait to be told I'm totally wrong and heartless before I go on. :D

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PearlY 7 months, 3 weeks ago

This columnist doesn't seem to understand at all why we have a Constitution, and especially, a Bill of Rights (including the 2nd Amendment). Or at least, he doesn't understand at all what the Founders believed about them.

We don't have a right to religious freedom BECAUSE of the 1st Amendment, or a right to keep and bear arms BECAUSE of the 2nd Amendment. It's the other way around: We have the those Amendments to prevent the government from doing what governments inevitably try to do: interfere with our basic human rights, including the right to religious freedom and our right to defend ourselves.

You can repeal the Amendments, but you can't repeal the rights because they inhere in human nature.

Did the enslaved human beings of the South before the 13th Amendment have a right to be free? Of course they did. It just wasn't protected from government as it should have been. (Government didn't own the slaves, but ownership could not have existed without government enforcement of that ownership.)

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Igor 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Well told! At first I thought that the Large editorial was too absurd to even merit a comment. But your comment is very well taken and I agree with you 100%. So long as we can maintain our Bill of Rights we will remain a free people. The fundamental purpose of the Second is to guard against oppressive government. An armed citizenry is and always has been the best defense tyranny, whether at the hands of a left wing or a right wing government. Why some folks don't understand this completely escapes me.

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USCTrojan 7 months, 3 weeks ago

This article should be classified under "complaint" or "whining." Pro or Con 2nd Amendment, this is a poorly researched article that does not consider the thesis at all.

It also shows a shocking lack of knowledge of US History. Jerry Large is certainly encouraged to share his opinion... though an rather sloppy one it is. Something akin to a High School Debate presentation. "The Founding Fathers are not perfect... Guns Kill People... The Founding Fathers could not possibly have understood this... Bad People do Bad Things... We should repeal the Second Amendment."

As another Commenter said, why not get rid of the 1St Amendment as well... sloppy logic (and sloppy common-sense) dictates as much.

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PeggyJoy 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You ALL sound like a bunch of children! Listen to yourselves. Adults complaining about someone is going to take their "toys" (guns) away from them. Because you WON'T use any common sense, this country has citizens that should not even be in the same room with a gun, much less own one. I'm 70 years old, and I was raised in a family, that loved to hunt. Deer, elk, pheasant, quail, etc. And the ONLY time they ever had a gun in hand was when it was hunting season. NOW we have idiots, that want a gun with them at all times! "Lets take it to church, restaurants, schools, etc. etc." It is out and out lunacy! GROW UP! You don't need to have a gun with you 24/7, and your sure don't need more than one. And while your at it..............quit bitching about this country, and they are trying to take your rights away.

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barracuda 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I will ask you the question I asked earlier....directly to you PeggyJoy....

With all your talk about common sense and new gun legislation, please tell us how you plan to get the many thousands of guns out of the thugs hands? The guns that are already illegal for them to own. The ones that the law prohibits them from carrying and possibly doing harm to my family and yours?

And then I will be willing to concede and to accept the new standards! It seems to me that some people don't want to see where the problems lye, just pass some types of laws that will make the public feel better...... No new law is going to change the fact that thugs are not worried about laws.... They get their already illegal guns through crime.

If you want true gun safety, you have to about it through education!

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chicoli 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Peggy, the only way to understand this unreasonable fear to be without a gun is through a subconscious Freudian, Oedipal fear of castration.

I'm amazed how reasonably intelligent people come up with the most outrageous rationalizations to argue against the most simple and sensible ideas to make this country safer from the misuse of weapons.

The latest idiotic rationalization is the NRA leadership fighting agains the CDC ( Center for Disease Control) doing research in gun related injuries and their prevent, under the pretext of such studies being against the Constitution! . Simple incomprehensible.

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VampireNinja 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The current administration ordered the CDC, to prepare for another salvo on the 2A and hoping to ride on the emotion of the shootings months before, to end the moratorium on firearms related violence. The study was completed mid-2013 (I think) yet unless you looked specifically for their results...or even the fact that the CDC did investigate at all, you wouldn't see word one about the findings. If you do some research online with this in mind you might find glean some interesting information.

Oh PS, really? Had to go Freudian? Nice. Anyway, most of what Freud contributed is mostly his methodology and celebrity....the practical application of his work and theories proved harmful. At least just call someone a f$!^#&@D, its just cooler.

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chicoli 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Vampire, you're beyond reasonably intelligent and just proved my point, my friend. Don't you realize you're doing the gun industry establishment's bidding?

As for Freud and his Oedipal theory, it's just a theory for formulating a possible developmental human understanding. That's all! In the end everybody keep their balls...and their guns...so, no harm done, my friend!

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PearlY 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought it was against the psychiatrists' code of ethics to diagnose people you've never met, much less a whole population of them.

As I've already demonstrated on another thread, this law has no reasonable chance of making "this country safer from the misuse of weapons." Therefore, its ideas, while certainly simplistic, are far from sensible.

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chicoli 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, the Oedipal complex is a universal concept, more of a Psychology 101 type of knowledge and not a diagnosis per se. The same concept in ladies is known as the Electra complex. Again, these psychoanalytical constructs are theoretical tools for Psychiatrist to formulate a plan for counseling or communication at a deeper level of human emotions or behaviors when applicable.

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VampireNinja 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wait...what point? Gun industry's bidding? I'm beyond reasonably intelligent? You are going to need to explain those a teensy bit, they sound crazy.

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wwnative 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wait...You call yourself VampireNinja and use skull and crossbones as your avatar, and you call other people's comments crazy? Wow.

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chicoli 7 months, 2 weeks ago

OK Vampire, I change my mind! You're not beyond reasonably intelligent. Sorry I offended you!

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VampireNinja 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Lol, I figured VampireNinjaPirate was too gauche.

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VampireNinja 7 months, 2 weeks ago

That's better, buddy...now excuse me I'm late for my Prometheus Society convention.

EDIT: My browser isn't placing my posts under the replies they are for, but I'm sure you can figure where they go.

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