THE BLOG
12/20/2012 10:14 am ET | Updated Feb 19, 2013

Time to Repeal the Second Amendment. Seriously.

AFP

It continues to befuddle my mind that the USA permits its citizens to arm themselves with a personal arsenal. In some states, I understand, it's even legal to carry concealed weapons to work.

After the Aurora shooting, handgun sales in Colorado soared, assisted in no small way by certain politicians claiming that if others had weapons in the cinema they could have taken out the shooter.

Yes. In a dark, smoke-filled theatre full of panicking patrons and gunfire, the solution is for more people to start firing rounds in whatever direction they think the shooter might be.

I have a simple solution for the USA. It might be a tough sell, but I think you're at that point:

Repeal the Second Amendment.

Here's a consciousness-raising exercise: In the year it was ratified, would the Second Amendment have allowed an individual to mount a loaded cannon on the back of a carriage and drive it through town? I predict not. But today's firearms, with increased accuracy, automatic reloading and mega-clips of 50 or 100 bullets, are easily capable of killing as many people as an 18th century cannon and they're substantially easier to aim.

So if the amendment did not intend to permit cannons, then what is the justification for permitting equally powerful weapons today? Merely miniaturisation?

It seems to me that the Founding Fathers made two critical mistakes when drafting the amendment: Firstly, they didn't allow for technological improvement. They had no idea that in the ensuing centuries, we would spend so much time improving our capacity for hand-held destruction. I suggest that it is this modern-day capacity for mass-murder that makes the 18th century amendment unconscionable.

Compounding with the technology, the "right of the people to keep and bear arms," plural, does not suggest a limit on the number of guns an individual can own, carry or conceal. It is incomprehensible to me that the Founding Fathers deliberately endorsed this kind of all-you-can-eat fire-power.

But it seems that case-law on the matter has ignored the proviso of "a well-regulated militia" and erred largely on the side of wanton destruction, so the only way to stop this insanity is to repeal the amendment entirely.

You need 40 states to approve the repeal by a simple majority, yes? So get campaigning! Perhaps start by outing the NRA as the violence-supporting organisation they are. These massacres that seem to be occurring ever-more-frequently in the USA have all been made possible by the NRA's insistence that fully automatic, concealed weapons with armour-piercing rounds are not what kill people.

The Norquist pledge not to increase taxes seems to be taken very seriously. Perhaps a new pledge could be drafted: A pledge by politicians to never accept money from the NRA or NRA-financed super-PACs. A pledge to instigate a referendum on repealing the Second Amendment.

A pledge affirming that, say, children are more important than gun-rights.