Section 1: The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. Private ownership of all firearms is prohibited in the United States. All firearms within the United States and territories shall be the property of the federal government upon passage of this amendment to this Constitution.
Section 2: Congress shall have sole authority to legislate the collection of firearms in the United States and territories. Congress shall have sole authority to establish rules for use of firearms by all law enforcement officers within the United States and territories.
Lawmakers need to give nation a chance at real liberty
by Timothy Villareal
Philando Castile, the 32-year-old Minnesotan shot dead last week by a police officer, was lawfully carrying a gun. He had a concealed weapons permit. Now he’s dead.
To avenge the killings of black men by police, Micah Johnson shot 12 Dallas police officers, killing five. He too had no criminal record and lawfully owned the guns that were used to kill the officers.
Two-thirds of the American people do not own guns, and yet we have a two-party system in which both parties vigorously defend the moral stain on our founding document: the Second Amendment. Why are both parties so invested in a constitutional right that has turned our nation into a war zone?
An emotionally-searing testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013 may yield some insight.
The testimony was given by Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son, Jesse, was one of the twenty children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. The chair of the hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who knows how handguns, not just assault rifles, can take human life, struggled to hold back her tears. Feinstein discovered the bodies of her colleagues, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, both killed by a revolver. In the witness chair was a Sandy Hook father grieving the loss of his son, supporting the senator’s proposed legislation, even as he firmly supported the Second Amendment.
Feinstein’s assault weapons ban would have allowed the Sandy Hook shooter legal access to the same weapons that killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone. The ultimate political appeal of the hearing went like this: Please, N.R.A., help us to lower the killing capacity of the people who want to shoot our nation’s children.
The moral logic being foisted upon us by those defending the Second Amendment requires urgent attention. We are living under a two-party system in which both parties have imposed the ethics of warfare – the cost-benefit battlefield analysis of human lives saved or killed – to our everyday civilian life.
Debates still rage over whether Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan ultimately saved more human lives or not. Regardless of one’s position, the debate is within the brackets of reason: Japan and the Allies were at war. The American people, theoretically, are not supposed to be at war with their neighbors, and yet our gun policy debate is framed as though we are.
If it is not reason that is guiding the gun debate in this country what then could be?
Arguably, it is the experience of personal resilience on the part of the shattered. Dianne Feinstein herself had a crash course in resilience with the Moscone-Milk assassinations. Resilience is the key to our survival, our ability to function, and our guard against depression.
Yet just like the question of whether a person is operating from authentic faith or mere blind faith, none of us has a right to judge whether our fellows are operating under authentic resilience, which never abandons reason, or mere blind resilience, which does by rote. That is between them and God.
What we have a social obligation to judge, however, is whether the policy output that flows from that resilience produces reason.
When we are asked to invest in piecemeal legislative efforts, like assault weapons bans, to merely lower kill counts, we are being asked to ratify a de facto state of domestic war: a war that has no single political objective, but empowers grievance killers to engage in battle at the time and place of their choosing. We are likely to hear more arguments from gun control politicians that the Dallas shooter, who passed background checks, should have only had access to a handgun, not a long-gun. Perhaps two or three Dallas police officers would have been killed, instead of five, so the irrational thinking goes.
The Second Amendment is an engine of domestic war and instability and must be repealed. Defending it has no basis in reason. All civilian firearms, including for routine police patrols, should be banned.
If we can send robots to Mars, surely we can come up with technology to create a new class of non-lethal weapons that would allow Americans to safeguard their homes by disabling intruders long enough for police to arrive.
Making a legislative investment in personal defense technology would marry our resilience in the midst of these horrors to actual reason. It would enable us to demand real liberty from our politicians, rather than ratifying their acceptance of domestic warfare.