Giving the right wing the benefit of its claim that the Constitution precludes rational gun regulation, the editors argue the only solution left to control gun violence is to repeal the Second Amendment. They base their conclusion on the terrible toll which gun violence exacts:
The murder of 20 elementary school children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., in December was merely the latest in a string of mass shootings: Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson, Aurora, Oak Creek. In the last 30 years, there have been 62 mass shootings (each leaving at least four people dead) in the United States. Since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colo., there have been 130 shootings at schools; nearly half involved multiple deaths or injuries.
They cite empirical evidence that reduction of access to guns reduces the numbers of gun-related homicides. They deftly use the cliches and arguments of the gun lobby to debunk its arguments for unrestricted access to guns:
True, guns do not kill people; people kill people. In the United States, however, people kill people by using guns.
The culture of violence in America has spawned a deadly syllogism: Guns solve problems; we have problems; therefore, we need guns. . . . (I)s this really the kind of world we want to live in, a world in which lethal power can be unleashed at any moment at any corner, in any home, in any school?
The editors acknowledge the gravity of their proposal, but argue that while we "should be wary of amending the Bill of Rights. We should also be wary of idolizing it." The authors do not believe that the repeal of the Second Amendment will improve human nature, but they do believe it will create a safer world.
The editors observe, ""The human cost is intolerable." I concur. Repeal of the Second Amendment must become part of the national conversation on guns. I congratulate the editors of "America" for their courage in talking about the elephant in the room.
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