If we have matured as a people and culture, then we need to act responsibly and either delete or seriously revise the second amendment. Amendments serve several purposes but they retain the label “amendment.” It represents an adjustment from a previous way of living. We apparently needed an amendment to complete the process of abolishing slavery. We added one for income tax. We added and deleted one on prohibition. Our second amendment traces it roots back to the 18th century. Clearly, the removal or change of an amendment will not endanger our freedoms – but it might redefine our privileges. The conditions which made the second amendment necessary in the 18th century no longer exist today.
The U.S. does not expect all free adult males to serve in a local militia. Granted, if you serve in the National Guard you are issued a weapon – but you are also severely punished for any misuse or abuse of that privilege. We have no frontiers where individuals may have to protect themselves from Native Americans or foreign powers. We don’t need to hunt for our food. We have courts to replace the “OK Corral” and police officers to maintain the peace. If you live in a community where you believe you need a gun to be safe, you might consider moving.
Guns seriously threaten our basic rights as human beings. First, guns do not add to our quality of life. Guns are instruments designed for killing. Second, within the context of sports, they serve no purpose. Historically, of course, there were few guns in Athens when the Olympics began. Third, average human beings respond poorly to extreme stress and putting guns in their hands could easily have lethal consequences. Consider the LA riots back in early 1992, thousands of formerly law-biding citizens went into the streets openly brandishing their fire-arms and discharging them from time to time. A few weeks earlier, the local news had revealed concern over the illegal circulation of thousands of Chinese-made AK-47s. Law enforcement became virtually impossible. Local stores – to their credit – removed remaining fire-arms from the shelves along with any ammunition. Overall, we were simply damn lucky the event did not turn into a mass killing. Without the easy circulation of guns – legal and illegal – the escalation of the violence in south-central LA could have been more quickly curtailed. When individual citizens believe they must possess and make the decision to employ fire arms in a political or social crisis, then they are declaring themselves to be a law unto themselves. Under such conditions, there are no rights to preserve or protect.