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.
We need an American version of Greta Thunberg to call out the blah, blah, blah, blah on the issue of guns in America. A child, who will sit quietly on the lawn outside a school or in a town square, cut through the bullshit and speak truth to power with a sign saying, THE SECOND AMENDMENT MUST BE REPEALED. This amendment, a profoundly egregious error, among many made by our Founding Fathers, (the moms were, unfortunately, home making dinner,) was a sop to the southern states, especially Virginia, who wanted to ensure that their slave patrols could operate with impunity… and with arms. In a January, 2013 article by Thom Hartmann in Truthout (The Second Amendment Was Ratified To Preserve Slavery), Hartmann states:
“The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says “State” instead of “Country” (the framers knew the difference — see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason and James Madison were totally clear on that… and we all should be too.”
So what keeps us from thoughtfully questioning the existence of the Second Amendment? Nothing in the Constitution is written in stone, although some seem to revel in a sclerotic concept of the document. Why then would those who wrote the document have included Article V?
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”
In fact, there is no reason for which the Constitution of the United States cannot be replaced in its entirety. The process may be onerous, but a process does exist. Given that the original was brought into existence by a group of white male landowners, a small fraction of the population at the time, can we really argue for its legitimacy? Nobody invited Mrs. Franklin to step up and sign the document. Had she been part of the Founding Parents, I am sure John Hancock would have, out of politeness, ceded the first signature to her and we would be putting our Deborah Franklins on our documents instead of our John Hancocks. Martha Washington was probably home having tea. And all the slaves and Native Americans? Nobody thought to ask what these “other Americans” wanted, or if anyone thought of it, they kept their mouths firmly shut.
Moreover, what happened to all that visionary thinking of the Founding Fathers? Looks like they gazed no farther than the end of their noses and certainly not 250 years in the future. But it is, for the moment, our Constitution until we declare that it isn't, and Nathan Robinson makes a pretty good argument for starting over with a “new Constitution” in his article, “I Don’t Know Why I Should Care What the Constitution Says.” From Robinson:
“We have never set up a binding constitution, because we have never passed a democratically legitimate one. Until the early 20th century, the female half of the population was completely disenfranchised. Black people did not get the franchise fully guaranteed until the 1960s, which let us remember is within the lifetimes of people who are alive today. (And since not everyone is allowed to vote today, arguably we still cannot call ourselves a democracy.)”
How would the Constitution look if we considered the words of Massasoit, the sachem (chief) of the Wampanoag Confederacy? He, unfortunately, aided the pilgrims to the detriment of all who followed. But he was also the one who famously stated:
“What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth. For the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish, and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs to him only?”
The Constitution and the laws that flow from it are replete with rules about property. What if we considered a new Constitution that adopts Massasoit's concept of property?
It is the 21st Century, but we are trying to operate according to 18th Century thought, however enlightened in its time. It is as if I were trying to run this two year old Dell XPS PC I am using by looking for guidance in the instructions for a Wang 2200 computer from 1973. Luckily, my modern computer has modern instructions and so should our country be instructed and informed by a modern document.
Now, we the people can complicate all this by saying that it would be impossible to do, or that the nation is too divided, or that civil war would erupt, or blah, blah, blah, blah… For starters, we must not be afraid to talk about rethinking and rewriting the Constitution. And we surely then must not be afraid to talk about repeal of the Second Amendment. Gun advocates will scream bloody murder but that is to be expected. What is not at all helpful is the so-called proponents of gun control who speak to laws on firearms that may or may not actually control much of anything. Unfortunately, in the next sentence these advocates of gun laws, among whom I include the so-called faux liberal nooze like MSNBC, CNN, NPR, limit their own arguments by saying they are supporters of the Second Amendment, that they have a gun at home, that they grew up hunting, that target shooting is a “sport” …and blah, blah, blah, blah.