Overturn 2nd Amendment(?)

Now we add the blood-splattered walls of an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and the blood-splattered sidewalks of an outdoor fun zone in Dayton, Ohio, to our List of Gun Horrors, which is more accurately the List of White Male Horrors.

What some call “assault weapons”

The alleged shooters in these two cases are white males in their 20s. Shooters in mass incidents — which usually means four or more victims  — usually are white males, and usually younger. 

Mass shooting cases usually involve rifles, often called “military style assault weapons,” and they are horrendous because of the number of victims. The reality, however, is homicide by rifle is a tiny fraction — about 5% (374) in 2016 (the last year for which I found figures) — of the 7,105 deaths by handguns.

That handgun figure is notable when you understand that two-thirds of the 33,000 annual gun deaths are suicides.

It’s much easier to commit suicide with a hand gun rather than a long gun, such as rifle or shotgun. It still counts as a death, but if we filter out suicide, the number of homicides drops to 11,000. 

Over the past decade I have endorsed various gun laws, which are always presented as “common sense,” and “gun safety” rather than gun control. (Sorry, I am a word guy and take note of such usage.) 

I will offer them again, but first here’s the only effective way to reduce the murder rate: Outlaw guns by eliminating the Second Amendment that guarantees the right of Americans to own guns.

It is the Big 2 that stands in the way of any idea to confiscate guns, as has been done in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and elsewhere.  

Eliminating the second item of the Bill of Rights would be extremely difficult, but there is a mechanism for doing it. Two-thirds of both houses of Congress would have to approve, followed by three-quarters of the 50 states. 

It is a very high wall, but it is possible. Knocking down the Second Amendment would make all other gun control moot. All gun ownership could be made illegal.

Talking about guns is a trigger issue (pardon the pun) for some people, and I urge them to devote themselves to overturning Big 2. 

For the rest of us, there are reasonable restrictions, even though none are foolproof and some are questionable. 

Here are six suggestions that play defense, enjoy majority support from Americans, and barely affect the typical gun owner (which includes me, and licensed to carry).

1- Instant background checks for every buyer of every firearm, including gun shows. In 2017, Pew Research reported 85% of Americans approved background checks — 88% of Democrats and 79% of Republicans. 

2- Deny guns to mental patients and those accused of spousal abuse. Rights could be restored after successful treatment.

3- Deny guns to those on a terrorist watch list. If you can’t get on a plane, you can’t have a gun.

4- Age 21 to buy a rifle. Federal law already makes 21 the minimum age for a handgun. 

5- One gun purchase a month. This is designed to slow the straw buyer. 

6- Restrict magazines to holding only 10 bullets. 

No ban on “assault rifles” because they are just rifles with cool attachments and the last time we banned them, for 10 years starting in 1994, the results were not what was hoped for.

Restricting the capacity of the magazine effectively reduces the carnage of that long gun.

The combined effect of my six points, I believe, will reduce, but not end, gun violence because gun violence comes more from a twisted mind than the barrel of a gun.

31 thoughts on “Overturn 2nd Amendment(?)”

  1. I agree with your points with the exception of assault weapons. These and fully automatics need to be banned. There is no reason anyone outside of the military needs one. I had been a life member of the NRA, joining the group in the early 1960s. I resigned about 10 years ago from the NRA due to their stand on assault and fully automatic weapons.

    Training gun handling, etc. helps young people, but it also teaches them how to better use the weapon if they decide to go on a tirade.

  2. Stu I disagree as you’re making a false argument. Guns don’t kill people any more than pencils cause spelling mistakes or forks cause obesity. The issue is violent behavior has become common place and tolerated, particularly in African American communities. Mass shootings by white guys seems more like an issue with overall de-sensitizing to violence. Or maybe limited to those with mental illness who should not be allowed to roam free much less purchase firearms.

    TV, movies, video games, rap music all contribute with unending daily deluge of violence.

    You mentioned the U.K. does not allow guns. They now have a major crisis with stabbing deaths. Are they going to seize all knives next? The new PM wants to hire 20,000 more police. Again that’s a bandaid not a solution.

    The solution requires a different approach

    No excuses, just stop it.

    Ban the violence on TV, movies, etc. You don’t see actors smoking on TV yet it’s ok to show murders every night?

    Repeat

    No more excuses, just stop it!

    1. John, if you read to the end of the column you would see I say it is a people problem, not just a gun problem, but we must do SOMETHING. The points I suggest are not a cure-all. I say that. But they may help around the edges.

      1. So you want to remove the 2nd amendment to help around the edges? Yes! It’s a people problem. It’s a culture problem that makes it OK to kill someone for whatever reason.

        I’d suggest starting with banning violence on TV, in movies, video games and in lyrics.

        Second, all voices need to act in unison to change the culture. If the President, Charles Barkley, CNN, the Inky Editorial board, Mr Obama and others all repeat the same message to stop the violence it will do more than have an unproductive political fight.

        1. I did not endorse overturning Second. What I said was, that is the only thing that will work. That is an opinion, not an endorsement and I would hesitate to “blame” Hollywood or violent video games, although I think each does desensitize revulsion to violence.
          Both free speech and gun rights are double edged swords.
          As to speaking in unison, we pretty much have that, among the people, but the NRA scares enough politicians to block even minor change.

          1. “As to speaking in unison, we pretty much have that, among the people”

            Really? Have you watched the news today, seen all the blame game being played by all sides?

            The violence in TV etc only make it more acceptable as the norm to young kids who turn into teenagers and if they survive, 20 somethings that go on shooting rampages.

  3. Then there’s Beto O’Rourke, who finds strength in exploiting the El Paso shooting by blaming Trump for inspiring the insane.

  4. I you got most of this one right with one exception. I doubt that reducing magazine capacity to 10 rounds would help much. The M2 30 cal. carbine used in WWII had a low capacity magazine by today’s standards. The GIs simply taped two of them together. When one emptied, just hit the magazine release, flip end for end and re insert.

      1. Stu, it has been tried, it has no measurable effect on mass shootings. I is another sounds good bandaid. Some of the magazine capacity trial laws have already been allowed to expire. If we are going to stop firearms killing, we are going to have to change the second amendment. Then comes the question of who is going to hang the bell on the cat. I don’t see much hope that people who won’t obey laws against homicide lining up to obey laws against firearms. Law abiding citizens will probably turn their firearms in. Law enforcement is going to have to go after the rest.

        1. I agree it won’t help much. Overturning the Second would be effective, as I wrote, but there is little chance of that. So we have to see what we can do within its bounds.

  5. HAPPY TUESDAY Pallie !!!
    Stu, you’re on the ball, as always. And naturally, I agree with most of your six steps, but not all. So let me add my two cents.
    1. take it further. Presently, a gun can pass through a family WITHOUT a back ground check. Isn’t this where there’s
    a problem !?!
    4. I don’t know about age restrictions. Out here in the country, the kids are taught respect for all things living. Hunting
    is part of that teaching.
    5. No restrictions on purchases. If you want to blow your paycheck at a gun show, etc, have a ball.
    6. No restrictions on capacity. The loonies will get ( or make) what they need. The sportsman only want things ( for
    the most part ) for target practice. In the old days, we were issued issued Uzzis. But that’s another story .
    Then I’ll add:
    A. BRING BACK THE DEATH SENTENCE – AND USE IT !
    B. Use the laws that we have and introduce harsher tougher laws to coincide with today’s problems. Gov Jim Florio
    introduced a law which basically said that if you commit a crime you will do the time. If you use a weapon, you will
    do the entire sentence! No parole.
    C. Follow the weapon. Everything gets registered and traced to the current owner . Things get lost, stolen, what have
    you.
    D. Records exist for a reason. They should be kept current and very accurate. This would help during investigations.
    E. Illegal gun collections. Show of hands. How many of you Vets ( VietNam ) brought home an AK 47? It was pretty
    easy back then to stick a weapon in your duffle bag and get on a plane. Obviously, a .45 was a lot easier.
    stay well, pallie

  6. Banning is an oversimplification often used as a solution to gun violence. Gun can be made really cheap and if you create a black market for them they will be sold for a lot of profit. There are machine shops in america and overseas that would welcome the opportunity to increase their profits by manufacturing guns. Mass shootings need are one thing, but Chicago had 59 shooting this weekend. Fifty Nine… Now that is a mass shooting….
    You have referred to the “Broken Windows” program often in your blogs. Unfortunately and although it has become politically incorrect, the solution is very stiff sentencing for gun offences. Increase background checks and close the loophole on gun sales. Stop and Frisk was a very significant part of “Broke Windows”. I understand that good, law abiding people were stopped and frisked and that was offensive, but in the end it had a dramatic effect on reducing the amount of people carrying guns. I am singled out almost every time I go to the airport and put through extra security checks. I am ok with that. I know I have nothing to hide. If we want to get serious about stopping gun violence we need to go all in.

  7. The best comment I have read regarding the shootings in El Paso and elsewhere: “How many times to we have to see defenseless people gunned down before we realize being defenseless is not the answer?”
    I fear that a prohibition of guns will result in the same disaster the prohibition of alcohol brought about. It seems that government never learns from its missteps, but rather has a credo: ‘If it doesn’t fit, get a larger hammer.’
    And the proposal to prohibit someone with ‘mental problems’ from buying a gun sounds suspiciously like what the former Soviet Union did when it wanted to remove an undesirable from society: locked them in a psycho ward. Who guards the guards?

  8. Stu,
    I consider you a reasonable, intelligent kind of guy, which is why I’m continually surprised when someone of your caliber doesn’t see to “get it” about the 2nd amendment, and why it was put there in the first place. That amendment is there – and it was done so originally in sequence immediately after the first amendment FOR A REASON. Do you recall what that reason was?

    Let me remind you…the 2nd amendment was put there because the founders (who were still “largely in charge” of things early on) considered it the next-most URGENTLY IMPORTANT thing, after guaranteeing the freedoms of speech and religion to the people, that those same people have within their grasp the means – the instrumentality – to throw off the bonds of a government that had become destructive to their rights and pursuit of happiness. EVERYTHING ELSE fell further down the list of “important things to take care of.

    The 2nd amendment was and remains an insurance policy AGAINST our own government. Count me with those who say “from my cold, dead hands” will you cancel MY insurance policy against the arrival of that sad day when we need to cash in on that insurance policy, because it will be paid in blood – because the only thing worse would be NOT to pay that horrible price (again).

    So, sorry about your concerns about “gun violence” in the interim, but you will not take that right from me.
    Now, if you want to drop the “gun” from talking about what to do to reduce the impulse towards violence of ANY stripe in our population, you will find in me an eager participant in such discussions. (…and to all observers of this, do NOT go the stupid hyperbole route about “handing UZIs out to kids” or such nonsense with me as nobody sane is ever talking about such blatantly stupid things.)

    1. I am a gun owner and licensed to carry. Your “reason” for the Second is not mentioned in the Second. If you want to split hairs, we can have the endless arguments about what a well regulated militia is. EVERY “right’ has limits — the First doesn’t allow me to libel you.
      The Second already has limitations.

      1. Stu,
        I agree with all your points in reply, However, you were discussing _eliminating_ the 2nd amendment – and tat’s a far cry from “limitations” on it.

        1. Discussing it, recommending it to (basically) gun grabbers, but not endorsing it. There is a difference. I can recommend sky diving to you for a thrill, without saying I would do it myself. (But in that cSe, I have.)

      2. Now let me reply further to your contention that there are more nuanced interpretations to the plain meaning of the “well regulated militia” parlance, only I’ll do it in the direct words of the founders who wrote those words.

        (well, regrettably, the direct quotations on this page aren’t copy and paste-able as plain text, so here is the whole page: ) – the words from Jefferson and Madison’s quotations therein are quite clear that their intent matches my summarization – at least close enough for any significant points of discussion.

  9. Tax firearms 300-500% to pay for the repercussions of massacre messes.

    Since making them illegal is borderline impossible tackle the supply.

    If an assault rifle suddenly costs $75,000 – $125,000 and the used ones are worth $50-$60k most dopes on suicide missions will sell theirs and blow the money trying to find happiness. Same with all types of guns.

    Let them be legal just completely disrupt the industry with ungodly taxes that make the supply go way lower.

    We have a supply problem. Guns are too cheap. Granted the dope in Vegas had paper but most shooters are people that would never have $30 grand for a gun.

    1. That is an astonishing idea. Firearms are taxed, so we know that is Constitutional, but that’s a general sales tax. Can you put an outrageous tax on a single item? Philadelphia has a soda tax. To tax guns 500%? That would go to the Supreme Court.

      1. We tax cigarettes higher both in and out too.

        If we make guns cost a lotta money the $50-$100 guns general criminals have will skyrocket in value.

        Most will sell theirs and buy the things they rob and steal for.

        After 5 and 10 years of $12,000 – $20,000 little pistols and $75,000 – $100,000 bigger caliber and high powered rifles the gun dispersement model will be very different.

        These gun company’s have less regulations than getting and maintaining a friggin Discover Card.

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