I will get straight to the point: I do not support the 2nd Amendment. I think it should be repealed as an obsolete and gravely misused Amendment that is relevant only to the time and place of its ratification in a small, rural, near universal gun ownership culture. In a country of 310 million people and a government that now possesses Abrams Tanks and tactical nuclear weapons I don’t really think the “we must have them to fight a tyrannical government” angle holds much water. Neither do I think that the “we need them for subsistence” rubric is impressive. When was the last time the USA depended upon hunter-gatherers as a primary food source. What are Chicagoans supposed to be hunting, pigeons?
Nor do we need guns for self-defense purposes…At least not fully automatic rifles, sniper rifles, extended clip handgun mags, or semi-automatic shotguns. In the unlikely event that a man with a weapon makes it into your house, and you are awake, and you are able to make it to the gun, and you are able to load it, and you are able to confront the intruder, and he doesn’t kill you first, and your panicked reflexes don’t inhibit your ability to shoot, do your REALLY think you need to put 650 Rounds per minute into the guy with your red-dot scoped AK-74? If you do then either you are make and sell meth for a living or you maaay just be overcompensating. TV shows, local news, and white-majority Home Owners association members may want you to believe that there is a scary cough cough *BLACK* cough cough intruder just waiting to turn your home into a gun range, but the reality is this almost never happens, and when it does I have a feeling that the situation would not be helped by UPPING the number of nervous and adrenaline filled gunmen present. And why is it that we never see black home owners talking about their need to own an assault rifle to keep their family safe? Maybe it is because many African Americans understand first hand what guns can actually do in a community? Just ask the parents of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was shot dead by a white man who just saw him “walking while black” near a gated neighborhood. Because, see, in Florida you are allowed, nay encouraged by the law to stand your ground and confront with potentially lethal force against anyone you believe is threatening you or anyone else.
This happens far to often and comes from real problem with gun ownership as a right, the center of my problem with the 2nd Amendment: it puts owning a gun, and by extension in some areas, using a gun on the same level as speech or religious freedom. Life therefor becomes a secondary concern to the ultimate human right of owning an object designed to end life. This ethos combined with the well cultivated racism and classism of many Southern and Suburban white Americans creates not a right, but a clear and present danger to anyone who by their very existence intimidates panicky white class conscious conservatives. Every angry or scared white person becomes a law enforcement agent wannabe, and uses the expanded and racially motivated threshold of clear and present danger or “resistance”. Being black and male and alone in a “white” neighborhood is a crime in the eyes of the newly empowered racist with his big bad and constitutionally blessed gun.
So what should be the limits of gun ownership, use, and responsibility? The first limit is clear: we must abolish the right to a deadly weapon and the accompanying extension of that right to include the necessity of an armed populace to a Democratic Society. The Second Amendment should be repealed and laws dealing with guns should become just another commerce and regulatory issue that can and should be legislated on. I gun should be a privilege for those who can prove that they will use and treat their firearm with respect for the lives and safety of others and of society. I would further suggest that all automatic weapons be banned for civilian use, along with all scopes and laser sights and extended magazines. No one should be allowed to own more than one semiautomatic handgun, but guns made before the Second World War would be treated as collectors’ items if properly treated and stored. Every gun purchase would also include a federally designed and administered class on use and safety, a trigger lock that must be used whenever the gun is not in use, and a limit on ammo purchases per month and per person.
Classes of gun ownership should be established, classes that do not overlap. Class 1 would be Hunting and Sport and guns purchased within this class would be permissible to use only within the context of hunting or shooting sports. Class 2 would be Personal Protection and these weapons, which can never include shotguns or high powered rifles, and if these weapons are ever discharged there will be an automatic removal of the weapon by the authorities for a full investigation of the circumstances of discharge in concert with local investigating authorities. Class 3 would be Collector Pieces and Antiques and these weapons are never to be discharged unless at a legally owned, licensed and run shooting range. Ammunition would only be available for these weapons at the aforementioned class of shooting range. Class 4 would be Law Enforcement and Military weapons, and these would be regulated by the relevant authorities and departments.
I think it is more than fair to ask potential owners of the most dangerous weapons accessible to the general public to follow these simple regulations and laws. In addition we must stop as a nation encouraging violence as a means to solve all disputes. We must abolish all “stand your ground” or “preemptive defense” laws, and we must also outlaw concealed carrying in public and ban weapons entirely from schools, universities, and places of work. Most people will be able to comply with these simple but serious rules…If they cannot meet these expectations and responsibilities then perhaps they should not be owning or using firearms? The Founding Fathers may have had their own reasons to include the 2nd Amendment on our list of essential right, but that does not mean that we as a evolving and ever changing society cannot reexamine the assumptions and even the failings of our foundation and laws.