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What If The Supreme Court Is Wrong About Guns?
Thousands of gunshot victims – including 8,000 so far this year – would still be alive. Since 2016, willful, malicious and accidental deaths by guns have totaled between 15-21 thousand annually.
If the Supreme Court had not opened the gates to unrestricted guns (390 million at last count) and the resulting gun violence, the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution would have been restored, and we would live in a much more peaceful country.
Instead, peaceful families have been torn apart by unnecessary killings by police. Since 1980, more than 31,000, mainly Black people, have died due to unwanted encounters with police officers. According to Rolling Stone magazine, only about one-half of those have been reported by the federal watchdog database.
Police killings, as horrendous as they are, represent only a small fraction of total deaths by guns. Mass shootings kill even more people on average, 19,000 since 2015, which includes 647 shootings and 859 dead, last year. Who is shooting crowds of people at one time? Not surprisingly, it’s 98 percent men. Since there are far more cops who are male, it’s likely they are the ones who are mostly pulling the trigger.
But if you really are concerned that someone is likely to pull the trigger on you, then run for your life. Your assassin is an acquaintance, girlfriend, boyfriend wife, son, father, mother, daughter, brother, neighbor, husband, or in-law. They are the real killers. You’re not going to be rubbed out by the Mafia, a serial killer, Freddy Krueger, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Jason, Dirty Harry, a mass shooter, the CIA, or even a cop. No, if you’re on the wrong end of a Glock, the person on the other end is likely to be someone you know very, very well.
Happiness is Not a Warm Gun
The gun-lovers propaganda that the 2nd Amendment is all about the right to have a gun or multiple guns, is all-pervasive. In fact, neither the 2nd Amendment nor any other part of the Constitution mandates the ownership of guns.
Yet, we have been told over and over that the 2nd Amendment protects your gun, because the Supreme Court is infallible, like God.
The issue of guns is no longer whether they should be legal. Now we’re arguing only about what limitations, if any, should be placed on the weapons.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
As with most propaganda, we are not getting the full story.
A CNN Poll, released on May 26, did not ask if guns should be banned – that would be going too far – but it did ask if there should be stricter gun control laws. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said yes.
Support for tighter gun control has wavered between 51 and 70 percent since the polling began in 1989. Among the restrictions on guns that most of the public is ready for right now, include 59 percent who favored “a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of rifles capable of semi-automatic fire, such as the AR-15.”
When it comes to allowing convicted felons, or people with mental health problems, to own guns, 94 percent said no. It could be argued that many people with undiagnosed mental health problems already own guns. That seems to be the case with about 30 percent of mass shooters.
Eighty percent of people are ready to ban all guns to minors, under 21. Many scientists say that a human’s brain is not fully formed until age 25. Others might say that humanity’s recent behavior shows that our brains are never fully formed.
The CNN poll reflects the answers from a variety of Americans, who are 29 percent Democrats, 30 percent Republicans and 41 percent who are independents or members of a third party.
The Problem with the 2nd Amendment
The 2nd Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The 2nd Amendment became the Law of the Land in 1791. That was quite a while ago to still be valid. On top of that, it was poorly written and had dueling clauses.
If only we knew what the Framers meant by the convoluted language. Here is one of the few commentaries on the 2nd. It was written by St. George Tucker, a noted author of Blackstones Commentaries (on the Constitution and federal laws). He stated that the 2nd Amendment provided states with the ability “…to thwart and oppose the general (federal) government.”
The 2nd did this by giving the states some military might by which to oppose the federal government. If the states were to have a credible threat, they must, of course, have guns. The states had this right, but not the Feds. The federal government could only raise a standing army in case of invasion or other dire threats to the country. The colonists had just fought a revolution against Great Britain’s standing army, and they didn’t want a Napoleon in their own country.
Perhaps the most important reason the colonists wanted language that gave the states the right to a well-regulated militia was that it was frequently used against slaves (whether in revolt or not) and to enforce Jim Crow laws, the indigenous people of North America who experienced genocide at the barrel of a gun, and later, striking union members seemed to always give governors a reason, real or not, to call out the militia. At Ludlow, Colorado, the militia attacked 1,200 miners and their families, leaving 21 dead. And many of us still remember when the Guard was called out for a student strike at Kent State, and proceeded to kill four protestors (listen to Four Dead in Ohio).
(Note: Even though the military force used at Kent State was called the “National Guard,” it was under the control of Ohio Governor James Rhodes.)
And so it rested until 2008.
In 2008, the conservatives had captured the Supreme Court. Judges Scalia, Thomas, et.al. agreed to hear a lawsuit against the 117-year-old 2nd Amendment. In District of Columbia vs. Heller, they decided by a 5-4 majority that people in US territories and districts had a right, by virtue of the 2nd Amendment, to keep and bear arms.
Just two years later, in McDonald vs City of Chicago, they decided, again by a 5-4 majority that people in all states had the same right.
Of course, people have had guns forever, but McDonald made it difficult for states and cities to put “infringements” on the right of the people to keep and use Arms. You know the rest of the story if you’ve been paying attention during the last 13 years.