The 2nd Amendment and the Oregon Shooting.

Another mass shooting in America, yes it almost seems like routine now doesn’t it? Nine people dead. And then the circus begins. POTUS comes out and bemoans the loss. He realizes that he has expressed his condolences more than a few times to scores of families.

Democrats start clamouring for action, Republicans get defensive and decry any action. And then the din dies down till someone else picks up guns and mows down another bunch of people. Amidst all of this, the 2nd amendment gets bandied about.

This Amendment was submitted for ratification on September 25th, 1789 and was ratified on December 15th, 1791. This was 224 years ago! It is such a surprise that people will talk about a right that was writ into the constitution 224 years ago.

How does the world we live in today resemble the world back then? There was a good reason people in that era wanted this right and probably deserved to have it. There were a few ideas that were prevalent in those times which are shunned today.

Militias existed, smallpox was a scourge that killed with abandon, British goods were boycotted, there were limitations on an individual’s right to vote based on property, religious grounds and even gender, things that are unheard of today, let alone ideas that are accepted. Slavery was a part of life and women were treated as second class citizens.

Through the course of these 224 years, much has changed. The country isn’t anything like what it used to be, so why this penchant for the 2nd amendment which seems to a relic from a bygone era. Guns are a lot different than what they used to be during those times, today they wreak mass destruction, this could not have been the intention of the founding fathers?

The recent militarization of the local police forces can be directly blamed on this illogical support for the 2nd amendment. Powerful weapons in the hands of citizens means that the police force entrusted with law and order needs to use bigger, better and faster weapons. They need to react faster in situations of perceived threat, which will often mean fatally wounding a person who might be unarmed.

It is time for American society to wake up and smell the tea leaves. These shootings are not going to stop, they are going to get worse. They need to begin a dialog on how to deal with this. Just pointing to the 2nd amendment and treating it as words that have been written in stone and must be enshrined in practice for all eternity is foolish and preposterous.

What confuses me about political arguments on either side is double standards. Hear this clip featuring Jeb Bush for example:

He professes the right to bear arms is an individual right, a basic right and shouldn’t be infringed upon by any level of government, he says more government isn’t the answer and when “stuff happens” the impulse is to do something and it isn’t the right thing to do! Wow, where does this strong defence of individual rights and government non-interference disappear when talking about abortion or gay people? Aren’t those individual rights where the government has absolutely no business going?

That last paragraph probably went sideways, but that is because on those issues, his stand by extension should be the same as his defence a 224 year old law which today is just a safety issue for the American population!

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