In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, the usual suspects are engaging in virtuous one-upmanship regarding gun control … but many stop short of what they really want: A total ban on guns.
That’s why you have to give University of Pennsylvania student James Lee credit — he’s not avoiding that issue. He openly questions the continuing need for the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
In a Daily Pennsylvanian op-ed, Lee writes
As the outpour of information and reactions continued [about the Las Vegas mass shooting], I read Nicholas Kristof’s article in The New York Times urging Americans to action to prevent future incidents like this. Kristof lists eight steps for gun reform. While I agreed with most of these proposals, I couldn’t help but again feel despair and some anger, for I felt that all of this was missing the point, that we were lacking the conversation that we actually needed.
“When is the last time that we’ve heard from a politician or a public figure challenging the legitimacy of the Second Amendment itself?” he then asks.
The answer is “hardly ever.” And it’s not difficult to figure out why.
First, the logistics: Article V of the US Constitution says an amendment must have two-thirds support from both houses of the legislature (or two-thirds of state legislatures), followed then by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
To wit: This is not going to happen anytime soon.
Even if Democrats regain control of the House and Senate, it’s highly unlikely they’ll have two-thirds majorities. And, if they did, there’s no guarantee they’d get unified support for a 2nd Amendment repeal.
But let’s say they got that two-thirds. The GOP currently controls two-thirds of all state legislatures. Democrats control a paltry 28%. Even granting some shifts in the 2018 and 2020 elections, it’s doubtful the shift would be what’s needed to get a repeal passed.
Second, why would any reasonably in-the-know centrist or conservative be willing to support a repeal of the 2nd Amendment when progressives across the land have turned, and continue to turn, a blind eye to groups like Antifa, and have even endorsed their actions? Why would centrists/conservatives surrender the very means to defend themselves from the party/political ideology (Democrats/progressive) which supports repeal … and yet supports progressive political violence?
Third, why would progressives, who comprise the membership of groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, even want firearms to be the exclusive realm of law enforcement and the government? Cops at war with black and brown Americans? Trump is literally Hitler? Let’s make sure they’re the only ones with guns!!
Lee also brings up the popular progressive talking point that allowing private ownership of guns to guard against government tyranny is “laughable” as if the people “could resist if the government or military actually wanted to strike against its own citizens.”
While this ultimately would turn out accurate if a determined US government/military wanted to battle its own citizens, in reality it’s quite likely there would be a sizable percentage of those in government and military who would be reticent about firing on their brothers and sisters, particularly if the issue was about defending the right to bear arms.
Instead of penalizing law-abiding citizens by taking away the right to protect themselves and their loved ones, Mr. Lee, why not consider upping the penalties for committing crimes with guns? Like, how about mandatory jail time if you’re even caught in possession of an illegal weapon?
Ah, but you see, therein lies yet another conundrum for left: They’re all about empathy … taking into consideration a person’s life circumstances and granting second chances, etc. If we increased gun crime punishments, imagine the progressive yammering about things like the “prison-industrial complex” and racial “disproportionality.”
So, sorry, Mr. Lee– considering how liberals treat crime and general misbehavior on the whole, I and many others would rather a solution be tailored to the problem, and not to your average law-abiding Joe Six-Pack who owns a handgun for personal and family protection.
Because, to coin a cliché, if you take away his gun, the bad guys will always manage to get theirs.