Gun safety

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

To the editor,

We will not achieve meaningful gun safety in this country in this country until we amend the Second Amendment. Gun-nuts have been hiding behind a bogus interpretation of the 2A for far too long. What Madison wrote in 1787 was about militias, a fact further supported by his non-Constitution writings. He was trying to balance the need for national defense against the unpopularity of a standing army. Hence citizens “bearing arms,” which had a distinctly more military connotation in Revolutionary times. If you look at the writings of all the Founders concerning the 2A something like 80+ percent referred to it in the military context. Nobody mentioned personal safety. The personal safety clause has no more relevance today than Blacks being 3/5 of a person or Prohibition being a good idea. But the NRA, perhaps the greatest BS factory since Goebbels, engineered a re-interpretation of the 2A in the 70’s. Along the way they grabbed the GOP by the stacking swivel and have never let go. It’s more than a little ironic that Republicans will cling to the “originalist” interpretation on the abortion issue, which isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, and then completely abandon originalism over the 2A, which is in the Bill of Rights. But Republican’s have never had any fealty to the truth.

The 2A probably doesn’t need to be repealed, but it does need to be amended and modernized. It has to state clearly the militia emphasis of the Founders, and reflect the difference between a Brown Bess and an AR-15, between a musket ball and a high velocity .223 round, and between a ramrod and a high-capacity magazine. Until it does, until the seriously deranged among us can no longer hide behind a phony “right,” they will continue to get away with murder. Literally.

Pete Bengeyfield