An amendment to the Second Amendment
Lots of facts and opinion are floating around the cyberwaves re guns, gun-control and the Second Amendment, following the recent mass shooting in Florida. Notice that the guns are called assault rifles or semi-automatics, but not weapons of mass destruction, even though the gunman killed 17 and seriously wounded others.
The Constitution: “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,” is often quoted in the defense of gun ownership, but only the second clause of the Second Amendment, never the first.
Now an amendment to the Second Amendment has been proposed that would ban discrimination. The National Dyslexia Society has claimed the right to arm bears and no discrimination would be allowed. Black bears, brown bears and white bears shall be equal under the law.
Other groups want to ban discrimination in the nature of the weapon. All kinds of weapons would be allowed: muzzle-loaded rifles, semi-automatic assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft guns, cruise missiles and anti-tank guns with depleted uranium shells. Only ICBMs with nuclear explosives are forbidden as being in the domain of the gods. Some gun-control freaks have objected to assault rifles with high-capacity magazines that can fire off up to 32 rounds without reloading. But suppose you were attacked by a herd of mastodons or even a pair of angry wooly rhinos?
Some gun entrepreneurs have been taking free enterprise to a shameful extreme, only a week after the school shooting in Florida, by sending out a mass email inviting respondents to “Qualify to carry concealed—new loophole for U.S. residents to carry a gun legally. Qualify in minutes. Get your concealed-carry license before they take away your rights.”
Maybe Australia did it right. In 1996, there was a terrible mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania. In response, the prime minister drafted the National Firearms Agreement, which established a registry of all guns and a straight-out ban on semi-automatic assault rifles. Another part of the agreement mandated a buy-back program of all banned guns.
The results were remarkable: suicides declined by 57% and homicides by 42%. Nearby South Korea, Japan and New Zealand have seen only the rarest case of a mass shooting. New Zealand police are not routinely armed. They say it would destroy the trust between the police and the people. These nations still look for ways such as comprehensive national registries to diminish the chances for a mass shooting ever to occur. In the U.S., they look for loopholes.
[Mort Malkin is a resident of Milanville, PA.]