The original link to this post is http://www.battlespecter.com/america-the-warrior-nation/.
I have been wanting to do another one of these for a while, so I decided to go ahead and knock one out. I went online, typed in “Anti-gun” and hit return and found this. Following the Corriea model, my comments will be in BOLD while the original text will be not in BOLD. I left his links in place, partly out of laziness, and partly because they are part of his argument. If you have any comments, or just like this (or hate it because it’s unoriginal, boring, out of date, out of touch, or anything else) go ahead and comment and share. There were a bunch of linked articles that I intend to tackle at a later date, so check back. Enjoy.
Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment (A Virtue Signal)
June 13, 2016
“[It] needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact,” says constitutional law professor (Who? You?)
How can people being armed be a threat to liberty? The founders of the nation recognized the importance of an armed citizenry to ensuring that individual liberties were protected, and in an effort to promote the idea of the citizenry being the more important part of the “Government/people” debate, they codified into our nations laws the idea of “The right to keep and bear arm.” The only threat to liberty are those who wish to extinguish the ability of the average person from owning weapons. An armed populace can retain their rights when the black helicopters come around- you just get to do whatever your benevolent overlords tell you to do whether you like it or not.
This idea that somehow the second amendment is a terrible thing that needs to be done away with has always confused me. There are 300,000,000 guns in our country, owned by 80,000,000 people (or thereabouts). 13,286 people were killed by firearms in 2015 (according to the Gun Violence Archive.) Compare that to 253,000,000 cars owned in the United States, with 38,000 people killed and 4.4 MILLION injured in 2015. Seems driving cars is more of a suicide pact than owning firearms- but what would I know. I’m just a car driving gun owner who happens to see the utility of each item.
I teach the Constitution for a living. I revere the document when it is used to further social justice and make our country a more inclusive one. I admire the Founders for establishing a representative democracy that has survived for over two centuries.
But sometimes we just have to acknowledge that the Founders and the Constitution are wrong. This is one of those times. We need to say loud and clear: The Second Amendment must be repealed.
“I revere the document when it is used to further social justice and make our country a more inclusive one.” And we’re off. I have to ask, what is more socially just than allowing ANY CITIZEN the ability to own weapons to protect themselves from wild animals, to criminals, and tyrannical governments? You, sir, have stated your argument in moral terms, and now you must defend these moral terms. You can’t chalk it up to other moral equivalencies, and the burden of proof is on you.
The founders were very socially advanced for their time. They decided to risk everything they had to promote the idea of freedom and liberty. They fought a war- one that would have seen their personal fortunes and their lives ground to dust if they had lost- on the principle that all men are created equal. Yes, we owned slaves, and yes, they had to write slavery into the laws at the onset, but many knew that the idea of slavery would lead to further tests down the road, and less than a century after the rounding of the nation and our successful bid for independence, America fought a bloody as shit war to END slavery.
When the constitution was written, there were certain things that they had to contend with, chief amongst these were the various colonial governments that controlled the different colonies, and they had to get them all on board or the early United States was doomed. Concessions had to be made with regards to slavery, but with regards to individual ownership of arms, there were no real concessions. Everyone understood that an armed populace was paramount to protect the country not only from invasion from without, but insurrection from within. The role of the militia is to “prevent invasion and put down insurrections” (rough quote, not verbatim). The moral argument FOR militias and an armed citizenry is that governments are composed of people who may get power hungry and that those power hungry people need a check to their power. An armed citizenry does that.
The founders knew it (they had just proved it) and so they ensured that we would have that ability should we ever need it. It’s really easy to understand if you read stuff other than the constitution that these men wrote. But, go on mister “I teach the constitution but only love it when it promotes what I like.” Educate me some more as to why I shouldn’t be allowed to own arms.
As much as we have a culture of reverence for the founding generation (we also have another cultural aspect this guy is ignoring, and I’ll touch on it in a second- keep reading), it’s important to understand that they got it wrong — and got it wrong often. Unfortunately, in many instances, they enshrined those faults in the Constitution. For instance, most people don’t know it now, but under the original document, Mitt Romney would be serving as President Obama’s vice president right now because he was the runner-up in the last presidential election. That part of the Constitution was fixed by the Twelfth Amendment, which set up the system we currently have of the president and vice president running for office together.
Remember that bit I commented after- the “Culture” bit. Ok, here’s what I see, and anyone can add or correct me on it if they feel I’m in error. WE ARE NOT EUROPE. This seems out of left field, but hold on. Our founders threw off the yoke of royalty, and in so doing, created a new culture. An American culture wherein royalty isn’t royal. The individual is. Each man is a king of his home, each woman a queen. Every person is a sovereign. Every person is equal within our eyes. The Queen of England and the hooker on the corner are equal in our eyes under the law (not in outcomes, but that is part of freedom and liberty). Each has dignity, and rights, and that dignity and those rights are the same. Our culture is one that doesn’t appreciate royalty very much. The Bill of Rights isn’t a list of things that citizens can do, but a list of things the government cannot do. They are a list of restrictions on the government based on the rights of each person. That is our cultural base, and perhaps the most compelling argument for any of the BoR I can think of. And personally, I’d have no problem with Mitt having been Obama’s vice president. I think that idea had and has merit, and might even help to bridge the gulf between the two party system we currently have entrenched in the system.
Much more profoundly, the Framers and the Constitution were wildly wrong on race. They enshrined slavery into the Constitution in multiple ways, including taking the extreme step of prohibiting the Constitution from being amended to stop the slave trade in the country’s first 20 years. They also blatantly wrote racism into the Constitution by counting slaves as only 3/5 of a person for purposes of Congressional representation. It took a bloody civil war to fix these constitutional flaws (and then another 150 years, and counting, to try to fix the societal consequences of them).
First off- remember what I said about the early country? Unfortunately slavery was well emplaced in the south before the revolution, and for MANY framers, it was abhorrent to let it stand. Many tried to push laws making slavery illegal during the conventions, but they were forced (to allow the country of survive) to allow them to hold. It was never the intent of the majority of the fathers of our country to allow slavery to survive forever, but to enable the country to survive for even a little while, slavery had to be allowed to keep certain colonies on board. And yes, we fought a war to end slavery (and do some other things), and the good guys won. Slavery lost. And yes, fixing all the problems has taken time, but to be fair, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and many other prominent black people and civil rights leaders OWNED ARMS because they knew the power of them to ensure equality. They utilized their right to possess and carry arms to defend themselves as they took on racist asshats.
Early America had some nasty warts, and we’ve been cutting them off for a while now, bit by bit, making the country better each time. One of the tools we can use to remove a wart should it appear, are the arms owned by the citizens of this nation. How about we let them stay so they can allow us- the people- to keep this land forever and always “a land of the people, by the people, and for the people?”
There are others flaws that have been fixed (such as about voting and Presidential succession), and still other flaws that have not yet been fixed (such as about equal rights for women and land-based representation in the Senate), but the point is the same — there is absolutely nothing permanently sacrosanct about the Founders and the Constitution. They were deeply flawed people, it was and is a flawed document, and when we think about how to make our country a more perfect union, we must operate with those principles in mind.
And yet you want to break the Senate? The Senate acts as the state’s representative body, and the House acts to represent the people. There is a reason each state gets TWO senators. It’s called equality between the states. And name me ONE right women don’t have that I have… I dare you… Yes, the founders were flawed people- but so are you and I. You may be more deeply flawed than me even, and if that’s the case, why on earth would I let you take my arms from me? Because it’ll be better for the kiddos? Guess what- I bought my soon to be six year old daughter her FIRST toy gun yesterday. She’ll get it on her birthday, and I will use it to teach her the fundamentals of using a firearm (and it’s a toy M-4- so there!). My son and I will doubtless go to the range this year, and I will teach him how to shoot my M-forgery. I will pass on how to use these tools to my children, and with it the moral lessons I have learned regarding their use.
But why even mention this? You mention the principles of flawed men/women being in charge (not blatantly, but they are implied) and I know that even though today the government isn’t exactly great, but at least it’s stable and law abiding-ish, that may not always be the case. I fully intend for my children to learn how to protect themselves from thugs- whether they wear ski-masks or BDU’s. Because being a thuggish asshole knows no class, race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and most times they prey on those they have power over. It is my goal that NO ONE has power over my kids except those they allow. The first step- ensuring they always get heard. Second step- ensuring they have the means to back up what they say (with violence if necessary, but hopefully it never comes to that).
In the face of yet another mass shooting, now is the time to acknowledge a profound but obvious truth – the Second Amendment is wrong for this country and needs to be jettisoned. We can do that through a Constitutional amendment. It’s been done before (when the Twenty-First Amendment repealed prohibition in the Eighteenth), and it must be done now.
Using the argument that liberty was restricted by a stupid amendment and then restored with a rational amendment is a great way to argue restricting liberties in a sensible amendment with the inclusion of a stupid one. Well played…
The Second Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact. When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, there were no weapons remotely like the AR-15 (That isn’t a news story, that is propaganda) assault rifle and many of the advances of modern weaponry were long from being invented or popularized.
The First Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact. When the First Amendment was adopted in 1791, there were no printing presses remotely like those used by the Times, and many of the advances of modern communication were long from being invented or popularized. Pretty stupid, right? This is a fallacious argument in and of itself. Might as well stop researching shit because the scientists of old never could have dreamed of nuclear weapons. God, you’re backwards…
Sure, the Founders knew that the world evolved and that technology changed, but the weapons of today that are easily accessible are vastly different than anything that existed in 1791. When the Second Amendment was written, the Founders didn’t have to weigh the risks of one man killing 49 and injuring 53 all by himself. Now we do, and the risk-benefit analysis of 1791 is flatly irrelevant to the risk-benefit analysis of today.
I agree. The founders never had to worry about a rogue government with weapons capable of destroying the entire world, or terrorist groups with the capability of getting their hands on those weapons. They also didn’t have to worry about military forces that had weapons like Mk-19’s, M-2 .50 caliber machine guns, laser guided munitions, artillery systems that can hit targets thirty miles away, rocket systems that can eradicate a square kilometer in ONE volley, or aircraft that can take off from LA at noon, drop bombs in Washington dinner, and be ready to do it again by midnight. They never thought of ships at sea with enough firepower to take on Great Britain single handedly.
If they HAD known this shit was coming along, I am going to reason that they wouldn’t be too worried about civilians owning even full auto rifles. The damage that could conceivably be done by a single madman at the helm of our military machine would doubtless make them desire each American male to own if not an AR-15, quite possibly a machine gun, body armor, AP rounds, grenades, and other assorted demo. You worry about a single mad man in a club or theater or school, we worry about a single mad government in a nation (remember the Nazis, or the Chicoms, or the Soviets?). The second amendment is meant to prevent something like that (as are the oaths we take as service members, but oaths can be changed, and in a single generation, the military can be altered from what it currently is). You may read “The Hunger Games” and think how you would fight for the good guys side. We read the same book and hope to hell we can PREVENT that reality from ever occurring. Here’s a hint- you don’t prevent it by getting rid of privately owned guns.
Gun-rights advocates like to make this all about liberty, insisting that their freedom to bear arms is of utmost importance and that restricting their freedom would be a violation of basic rights.
It is, just like by restricting your right o belch- I mean, speak- would be equally bad. But- here comes your “I have a right to feel safe” argument.
But liberty is not a one way street. It also includes the liberty to enjoy a night out with friends, loving who you want to love, dancing how you want to dance, in a club that has historically provided a refuge from the hate and fear that surrounds you. It also includes the liberty to go to and send your kids to kindergarten and first grade so that they can begin to be infused with a love of learning. It includes the liberty to go to a movie, to your religious house of worship, to college, to work, to an abortion clinic, go to a hair salon, to a community center, to the supermarket, to go anywhere and feel that you are free to do to so without having to weigh the risk of being gunned down by someone wielding a weapon that can easily kill you and countless others.
The liberty of some to own guns cannot take precedence over the liberty of everyone to live their lives free from the risk of being easily murdered. It has for too long, and we must now say no more.
See! Read you like a freaking book. This argument is the very essence of the word “retarded.” You seem to think that you can somehow elevate your “right” to the illusion of safety beyond my “right” to protect myself and my family and my fellow Americans in the best, most unfair manner possible. To me, the idea of restricting freedoms to increase the happiness of some tender hearted cry baby isn’t even a choice. Liberty has a good side and a bad side, but that good side is FAR better than the bad side. I will ALWAYS err on the side of liberty.
Rights can only be revoked to a single person at a time, and only in situations wherein the individual in question has, through their own volition, brought about great harm or suffering to others. We see this idea played out when a gun wielding madman is put down like a rabid dog by police in a shootout, or when a terrorist asshole is plugged by a Marine in a distant land, or when a violent criminal is put in prison for the rest of his life for raping an elderly woman. Those are all revocations of natural human rights, and they are all done on an individual basis, and done as a response to the individual’s actions in accordance with the law.
What you propose is a mass revocation of the people’s rights on the premise (unfounded premise, mind you) that revoking that right will save lives. I’m sure the people slaughtered in the Paris Theater attacks would agree with you. Or the countless people butchered by ISIS, or the MILLIONS of people cut down by their own governments through starvation, or blatant government sanctioned executions. They would probably usher your idea forward into a new revolution of utopian ideals. Except they are all DEAD. Really, really dead. <Shakes head> But, you obviously know better than me.
Finally, if we take the gun-rights lobby at their word, the Second Amendment is a suicide pact. As they say over and over, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. In other words, please the gun manufacturers by arming even the vast majority of Americans who do not own a gun.
Just think of what would have happened in the Orlando night-club Saturday night if there had been many others armed. In a crowded, dark, loud dance club, after the shooter began firing, imagine if others took out their guns and started firing back. Yes, maybe they would have killed the shooter, but how would anyone else have known what exactly was going on? How would it not have devolved into mass confusion and fear followed by a large-scale shootout without anyone knowing who was the good guy with a gun, who was the bad guy with a gun, and who was just caught in the middle? The death toll could have been much higher if more people were armed.
You really distrust people, don’t you? Maybe- MAYBE, there would have been a blue on blue. But I really doubt there would have been 102 blue on blues. I’ve witnessed blue on blue in training and combat, and generally, even with poor communication AND excessive confusion, it sorts itself out REAL quick. You figure out who the enemy is, and then your heart sinks into your nut sack, and shame stops that booger hook from squeezing the bang switch when you realize what you’ve done. I’ve never shot a friendly in combat (thank fucking God) but I have in training (twice) and it felt terrible. In training, you learn a valuable lesson about combat. In reality, you learn a hard fought lesson about war. Yeah, maybe a couple good guys with guns would get killed, some people injured. But no one would have been shot dead in a shitter stall five minutes later by an unopposed radical Islamic fundamentalist. That I can assure you.
The gun-rights lobby’s mantra that more people need guns will lead to an obvious result — more people will be killed. (Hasn’t happened. Gun sales were at an all-time high under Obama, and the 80+ million armed people didn’t go murder their neighbors. I just think you don’t trust people…) We’d be walking down a road in which blood baths are a common occurrence, all because the Second Amendment allows them to be.
See Chicago and Detroit, then lecture me on gun control saving lives.
At this point, bickering about the niceties of textual interpretation, whether the history of the amendment supports this view or that, and how legislators can solve this problem within the confines of the constitution is useless drivel that will lead to more of the same. (Sooo… The intent and reason of the founders means jack? Well, ain’t that an interesting thing for you to say.) We need a mass movement of those who are fed up with the long-dead Founders’ view of the world ruling current day politics (WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!!). A mass movement of those who will stand up and say that our founding document was wrong and needs to be changed. A mass movement of those who will thumb their nose at the NRA, an organization that is nothing more than the political wing of the country’s gun manufacturers, and say enough is enough.
You know, normal Americans pay dues to the NRA… Kinda like Union Dues… Only it’s by choice all of the time, and not some of the time… Just sayin…
The Second Amendment must be repealed, and it is the essence of American democracy to say so.
It is the essence of our nation to say so. That is what the first amendment covers. And with my first amendment rights still intact, I will say that your idea is backwards, and lacking a logical base from which to launch itself forward. All you have is the emotional argument. You don’t have the moral one, or the rational, or even the superior philosophical one. All you have is “feels before reals.”
You make this push- even get the government to say, “yes.” Then what? You wanna come to my house and take them from me? How about my friends’ houses- take theirs? I know a lot of people- good upstanding people- who will go to the mat on this. Many of them are currently serving in the armed forces, many are veterans themselves. There are many who would have to do the house calls who are on my side. You really want to take a chance at even 1% of the 80,000,000 people in the nation with arms fighting back violently to this?
“But Australia.” But nothing. Australia isn’t America. Our culture is very different. We are a warrior nation, founded in blood (twice) and tested in fire many times over. When Americans arrive anywhere in the world, those we face may fight, but they know they are in for a hell of an ordeal. We’ll be remembered in the future as such. A warrior nation, armed to the teeth, and ready to rumble at the drop of a hat. Morally upright, and willing to blunt ourselves to protect the innocent. Being armed is distinctly American- like a bacon cheese burger and fries, or apple pie. By that metric, you are Anti-American.