[Update: I'll write more about this when some work deadlines are over, but a quick note for now is in order. For weeks, the poll below reflected that about 70% of DailyKos members support repeal or amendment of 2A, tapering off with a vote around 245 in favor, out of 350 total votes cast. Suddenly, around Jan 6, this diary caught the attention of dozens of right-wing gun-nut websites, tweeters, and email lists (some of which I subscribe to). They encouraged their members to 'freep' the poll. ("Freep, verb, 1) To cheat an online poll by repeatedly voting [clearing cookies, using proxies]. 2) To subject to a mass internet or email assault aimed at pushing a particular point of view.") Google this diary's URL, and you'll see the kinds of sites that did this, and their flagrant appeal to their members to vote multiple times. The sites are places like GunBroker.com -- "I just voted 20 times," "LMAO!!! You can vote as many times as you want!". Or ar15.com -- named after the AR-15 assault rifle, like the Bushmaster XM-15 used at Sandy Hook. On ar15.com find calls for a "firemission" against this diary and its poll. "Anyone can vote, you don't have to sign up for communist DailyKos." '1776x2.com' -- get it? Time for a second '1776' US revolution, because Obama. SurvivalMonkey.com -- a 'prepper'/survivalist forum. @SacBlackRifle, "Sacramento's home for all of your black rifle needs. You can order from our secure web site..." Etc. It seems we've struck a nerve. ;-) Perhaps they recognize how paper-thin is the veneer that for the past 3 decades has prevented meaningful gun-violence measures from being implemented.]
For too many decades the NRA, GOA, SAF and other groups which house right-wing gun-nuts have increasingly used the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as an inviolable cloak, that protects their crazy agenda from any meaningful reform.
That time is over. We invite you to join and contribute to our DailyKos group, "Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment" (RASA): http://www.dailykos.com/... . Please share your own ideas for achieving the goal of reducing gun-violence, in diaries and comments.
It is time for Progressives to seize the bull by the horns, stand up to the NRA bullies, and state outright: "The Second Amendment needs to be reinterpreted, repealed or amended."
Do so, raise this prospect in a calm, rational and reasoned way, and the curtain gets pulled back on their 'wizardry'. They're scared to death of this, they know that open support for reinterpeting/repealing/amending the Second Amendment (2A) is their kryptonite -- if too many people start doing it, their whole house of cards comes crumbling down. It shifts the Constitutional burden onto them.
Do you own or like guns? No worries! Private American citizens will still own guns. Always. Even if the Second Amendment were repealed/amended. Private gun ownership will not end. US citizens will always have the 'right to keep and bear arms', even when it's no longer in the US Constitution. (It still is, in 32 states' constitutions.) Really, truly, honestly, and forever. Look at every other Western nation. Their citizens go hunting with private arms, shoot targets with private arms, join gun clubs, have shooting competitions, etc. -- all without a constitutional amendment guaranteeing this right. (They also drive cars, without a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to keep and drive cars. Remarkable!) Furthermore, the US will always have more of a gun-tolerance than other countries -- that's how history works.
What debating reinterpeting, repealing or amending 2A will do is open the doors for rational policies, to help limit gun-violence in America.
How long will it take, to achieve this goal? Decades. That's the bad news. Maybe 20-30 years, a long, slow process of organizing, discussing, rejecting red-herrings and distractions, overcoming infighting (much of it deliberately planted by opponents), forming coalitions and alliances, building institutions, working with each other, encouraging the spread of small, local groups, helping them coalesce, lobbying, letter-writing, social-media networking, campaigning, fighting back, countering attacks on our message-carriers, working towards consensus (repeal? amend? to what?), working on 'message', viral campaigns, fund-raising, mass-media strategies, free media, protests, creativity, doggedness, determination, real-life networking, conferences, referenda, conventions, deal-making, politics, campaigns, elections, myriad local initiatives (ammo tax? insurance requirements? licensing? training? registration?), legal strategies, legal challenges, legal defenses, etc. etc. etc.
None of us can see how this process will unfold, at this point. The challenge is to keep at it, to learn from other episodes in US history (and other countries -- like Australia), to learn from our own mistakes (and others') and to keep going, and to get other people to get other people to get other people to work towards the end goal. It will take a big tent.
Getting a progressive majority in the US Supreme Court who rejects Scalia's (mis-)interpretation of the Second Amendment is by far the easiest, nearest-term, least-disruptive, and most accessible policy measure. And even that will require incredibly hard work, and is far from a sure thing. It emphasizes the importance of winning the presidency and keeping a Democratic majority in the US Senate to ratify SCOTUS nominations.
Outright amending the Constitution would require a 2/3 vote in both House and Senate to formally propose it in a Joint Resolution (or 2/3 of the state legislatures must demand a national convention to propose it -- this has never happened); and then 3/4 of the States (38 states' legislatures) must ratify it. This is an ambitious -- an audacious goal. It will likely not happen within the lifetime of most of us. Maintaining a civil discourse will help.
Just to speculate, as an example, one could add four words to the end of 2A: "shall not be infringed by the Federal government." This opens the door to proper regulation by state and local governments. See? Note: this isn't necessarily the right way to go (many people prefer a Federal policy, that's an open debate), just an illustration, but if it went this direction then suddenly our coalition partners could include some "states' rights" conservatives. 38 states' votes are needed; Obama carried only 28 states in 2008 and 26 in 2012; Reagan carried 49. Among those people who advocate a states' rights approach to gun-violence? Our friend, the good Doctor, Gov. Howard Dean. "Carrying a deer-hunting rifle in Vermont is not the same thing as carrying a semi-automatic pistol in NYC" -- that's Howard Dean's line. Politics will always involve some compromise, as well as standing up for one's principles -- that's what makes it challenging.
Or, it could be a simple repeal: “The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.” -- as Walter Shapiro urged in Salon in 2007, after the Virginia Tech killings, and as Seattle's former Police Chief, Norm Stamper, urges now.
What approach to reinterpreting/repealing/amending 2A do you think will work best? What goals <-- strategies <-- tactics, when, by whom, how? What role would you like this DailyKos working-group to play, and what will you do to "make it so"? How would you like the group structured/organized, and how will you help achieve this? What existing groups and individuals in them should we form ties with, and will you invite them to contribute here on RASA-DailyKos? What lessons can we learn from e.g., the failure to pass the ERA? How should we proceed?
Come, join us, take the lead for us -- we're depending on you. Our children and grandchildren depend on you.