Fact: America will never solve our gun violence problem as long as the Second Amendment is interpreted literally.
One of the greatest threats to American democracy are those who firmly believe in the Constitution yet are not educated enough to understand how the Constitution works, or even what it says. In fact, it’s a safe estimate that 9 out of 10 times a Conservative says something is either “part of the Constitution” or “is unconstitutional” — they’re generally talking out of their ass. Because most Conservatives aren’t educated enough to know what’s actually in a document to which they’re referring. They still think the moon landing is fake but pro wrestling is legit.
What’s actually the bigger problem here, is the Conservative belief that every single part of the Bill of Rights is up for conditional interpretation — except for the stupid Second Amendment.
They’re fine with ignoring the First Amendment if it’s used to keep a black person from exercising their right to protest peacefully by kneeling during the National Anthem. They’re fine with ignoring the Fourth Amendment if that illegal “stop-and-frisk” search results in a Hispanic person getting busted for a quarter ounce of weed. According to Conservatives, evoking the Fifth Amendment is tantamount to an admission of guilt. Screw the Sixth Amendment too, as long as they’ve browsed the headlines of three articles shared on Facebook and decided a suspect doesn’t deserve a trial and should be executed on site without evidence. The Seventh Amendment doesn’t apply when it comes to Muslim suspects either, apparently. Of course painful, torturous executions by untested lethal injection drugs in no way violates the Eighth Amendment to them. Immigration quotas? Who needs the Ninth Amendment when you have racist rhetoric?
Given the opportunity, they’d happily throw the Third Amendment in the trash if it meant they got to post on Facebook that they have a soldier living in their guest room.
Oh, but that Second Amendment. That one can’t be touched (for white people only, of course.)
In all honesty, the Second Amendment is the one that needs interpretation the most. We’re talking about an amendment that, when written, referred to “keep and bear arms” as “a single shot musket and or dueling pistol.” Not military-grade assault rifles or high-caliber handguns. Not to mention the fact that the Second Amendment is easily the vaguest one of the entire Bill of Rights. The language of it is begging for interpretation.
What Conservatives are unaware of because they skipped Social Studies, is that the Founding Fathers never intended the Constitution to be inflexible. In fact, it was Thomas Jefferson who repeatedly insisted that every 20 years, we should rip up the Constitution and rewrite the thing from scratch.
Times change. The world changes. Never in a million years would the Framers have written the Second Amendment they knew what an AR-15 was. Hell, even a semiautomatic handgun would have scared the piss out of them enough to cross out the entire paragraph.
The fact is that the proliferation of guns in America is out of hand. Americans happily keep multiple guns in their house, perfectly happy with the idea that they might accidentally shoot their curfew-breaking daughter in the face thinking it was a black person coming for their 4k television. The American gun-boner is so raging that gun extremists would rather fortify an elementary school like a gulag, than start reducing the number of guns in existence.
We have too damn many guns in this country, and too many people getting slaughtered by them. When lawmakers and citizens are perfectly happy watching children get murdered in their school, just to avoid changing a 227-year-old document — something is horrifically wrong.
If it is perfectly okay to demand Colin Kaepernick‘s First Amendment rights be infringed upon because it makes you uncomfortable, then it needs to be okay for your Second Amendment rights to be reexamined because people are dying from it.