Update: After this weekend’s senseless Jovan Belcher murder-suicide, I felt it was time to kick this one to the top and add a video commentary to it.
This just in: Our Constitution has not evolved to reflect the dangers of the world we live in and the realities we now face as a nation. It is time to change it.
We live in a country that is pathologically addicted to guns. Firearm violence now exists on a level that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined and would never have permitted. You can figure that out for yourself just by watching the news about the most recent carnage, the theater assault in Aurora, Colorado that took the lives of twelve innocent people. Or you can check the numbers that we’ve accepted as “normal” for annual gun homicides in this country: 12,632 in 2007, or about 34 a day.
Read that part again. We have gotten used to 34 gun homicides — just shy of three Aurora theater assaults — every single freaking day in this country. If you think that’s what James Madison and Thomas Jefferson had in mind back in 1791, you’re nuts.
That lunatic who went on a rampage in a movie theater last weekend bought every single one of the guns in his arsenal legally. The lunatic who went on a rampage in Arizona last year bought his stuff legally, too. Guess what? Every day, a lunatic near you is buying guns. Legally. That needs to change, and a Constitutional amendment is the only way to change it. What happened in Colorado was not an exception. It was inevitable. It will keep happening, one bullet at a time, every single day. And each time it does, that will be the price some innocent person will pay for us not bringing the Second Amendment up to date. For us not recognizing the obvious: that the society of 1789 is very different from the society of 2012 when it comes to guns. The Framers gave us the power to change the Constitution in these kinds of situations, and we have the responsibility to do that. If that makes you feel paranoid, you can deal with that problem by talking to a good therapist.
In Japan, all guns and all forms of ammunition are illegal for civilians except a narrowly defined group of hunting rifles. The only way you can own one of those hunting rifles is to pass both a psychological exam and a written exam, and then agree to let the police check your home from time to time, in person, to make sure you’ve got the gun locked up properly. There is no gun violence in Japan.
No: We’re not Japan. But the slaughter in Colorado should remind us that we’re not the same country we were in 1791, either. We brought the Constitution up to date when we abolished slavery, when we allowed the Federal government to collect income taxes, and when we gave women the right to vote. We need to do it again, now, to keep innocent people safe from gun violence.
It’s my blog, but your voice. I want to hear you.