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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

About The Second Amendment Of The United States

Most of our American friends and also long-time readers know my opinion of the 2.amendment of the US Constitution and that I believe that there are way too many weapons carelessly stored in American households. There is NO OTHER COUNTRY in the western civilized world where mass shootings and vile acts of murder and crime are more present than in the United States.

Strangely, it seems that every violent happening involving guns are triggering another boost of gun sales. This very phenomenon occurred again after the San Bernadino massacre. The argument we always hear is that American citizens like to be able to defend themselves in case of an attack. Seems to be a valid point --- that is until one looks into past violent episodes. Where were the defenders at Sandy Hook, at the Colorado shooting, heck- where have they been when crazy service members gone wild on United States Forces Bases, where were they in San Bernadino?

Now, according to the US Constitution, American citizens have the right to bear arms or at least own them. But it is a long time ago since the crafting of the 2.Amendment. And maybe, just maybe there are a few things that have changed. For instance we’ve got automatic and semi automatic guns which were invented for fighting a war. They were not intended to perforate a burglar or be carried around on a shopping tour to Walmart to shoot a shop lifter. And interestingly, the 2.amendment has been restricted in many public places like post offices and government offices. Try to walk into a school with an AK47 and you might get talked to.

I’m a bit sarcastic here as you may notice, but you get my drift, I’m sure. Here are a few 2015 numbers of existing gun use in the US: (Source www.gunviolencearchive.org)

  • Total Number of Incidents 49,074
  • Number of Deaths1 12,424
  • Number of Injuries1 25,094
  • Number of Children (age 0-11) Killed/Injured1 650
  • Number of Teens (age 12-17) Killed/Injured1 2,455
  • Mass Shooting2 312
  • Officer Involved Incident2 4,097
  • Home Invasion2 2,116
  • Defensive Use2 1,154
  • Accidental Shooting2 1,778

Over 12,000 deaths this year only. There was a National outrage when over 3000 were killed in an act of terrorism on 9-11. 2001.  If this year’s number is not increasing we are looking at over 120,000 over 10 years and 600,000 over 50 years.

Interesting, indeed.

Why am I again writing about tis topic? Well, I came across a statement of US Supreme Court Ruth Ginsburg, and I think she’s got a good point, even though it will probably be lost on many Americans.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg on the Second Amendment
"The Second Amendment has a preamble about the need for a militia...Historically, the new government had no money to pay for an army, so they relied on the state militias. And the states required men to have certain weapons and they specified in the law what weapons these people had to keep in their home so that when they were called to do service as militiamen, they would have them. That was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment."
But, Justice Ginsburg explains, "When we no longer need people to keep muskets in their home, then the Second Amendment has no function, its function is to enable the young nation to have people who will fight for it to have weapons that those soldiers will own. So I view the Second Amendment as rooted in the time totally allied to the need to support a militia. So...the Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete."
As for the Heller case, decided by the Court in 2008, Justice Ginsburg says, "If the Court had properly interpreted the Second Amendment, the Court would have said that amendment was very important when the nation was new; it gave a qualified right to keep and bear arms, but it was for one purpose only—and that was the purpose of having militiamen who were able to fight to preserve the nation."

End od citation

There are still militias in the United States, most of them are made up of a bunch of extreme paranoia-style right-wing nutcases. There numbers are moderate and their function is non-existent as US law-enforcement agencies have taken over.

Gun- control will be coming in the United States, simply because it has to, but it might take another 50 years and half a million lost lives.

1 comment:

  1. Good summary Peter and I especially agree with Justice Ginsburg. Each of our states have a national guard, which I consider to be our militia. They are, in fact, called upon in crisis situations in their state. If the Second Amendment would be correctly interpreted, an "armed" state militia would be consistent. Not everyone having a constitutional right to an AK-47 or Uzi.

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