The reason our science fiction writers invented the "wormhole" in space is because travelers could not traverse the universe by any imaginable other means -- even at the speed of light. We cannot get to "reasonable" or "sensible" gun regulation except by creating a Constitutional wormhole, i.e., by repealing the Second Amendment outright!
We cannot otherwise revive the war on guns. This nonsense about "starting a conversation" is as insane as the shooter in Newton.
The gun lobby has won a FINAL victory. Under the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment, as guaranteeing a personal right to keep and bear arms, if a man is driving along a public roadway, in a populated area, carrying a fully loaded weapon, we must presume his sole intention is to put a venison steak on his family's dinner table. Justice Clarence Thomas has turned the Second Amendment into a license to commit premeditated murder.
There are some matters democracy cannot successfully address. Most Americans who lived during the second third of the Nineteenth Century opposed slavery and wanted it ended. Rather than face this eventuality, the South seceded and the Civil War ensued.
While the numbers vary widely, most surveys show that the American people want effective gun control. When I say the numbers vary widely, I mean from 60% to 80% of those questioned -- about assault weapons and oversized ammunition drums and magazines -- not just guns for sport or protection. Nevertheless, if there is the slightest light between candidates, a determined minority will vote for the laissez-faire gun proponent, even if that means sacrificing their other interests and the interests of their families, their communities, their states and their nation. That is how someone like Sarah Palin gets to be a Governor.
The reason democracy cannot work on this issue is that this decided minority views any form of gun control as the equivalent of castration.
If the gun lovers just killed themselves and each other, and if their children also just killed themselves and each other, we could all just sit back and enjoy the show. But these are hard times, and the gunmen are killing the rest of us. When Justice Sotomayor was first nominated to the Supreme Court, President Obama praised her capacity for empathy. That word was mightily derided by the know-nothing right. Today, more than ever, we can recognize the absence of the Court's empathy in declaring that the Second Amendment guarantees a PERSONAL right to keep and bear arms: empathy for law enforcement officers whose every peaceable encounter with civilians runs the risk of turning violent; where fathers who feel they cannot provide adequately for their families no longer abscond, but rather, buy guns and ammunition and kill their wives, their children and themselves, and where moviegoers must watch their families gunned down by a young man who has persuaded himself that he has a brilliant sense of humor.
The specious notion that background checks can deter murder evidences an ignorance of the dynamics of psychotic decompensation, which eludes record keeping.
Moreover, since Justice Thomas has now converted the Second Amendment into a license to kill, that SUBSUMES other forms of violence, including knives, grenades, other explosives, and even blunt objects.
We must REPEAL the Second Amendment. So as not to leave a gap in the Bill of Rights, I propose a new Second Amendment guaranteeing every person the right to health and mental health care. Life for death.
And the only way to repeal the Second Amendment is to stop the special pleading for hunters. The frontier has been closed for a century. In our urban, megaloptic existence, hunting is too dangerous to be sustained as a pastime. Let the rurals learn the joys of Canasta; the gambling hazards of Mah Jongg, and the thrills of sky diving. But hunting by private citizens is just too fraught with risk to tolerate as anyone's hobby -- like duelling. Besides, we need to get rid of this talking point that serves as an apologia for murder.
Yes, NRA members, your gun IS your penis, and I MEAN to cut it off!
Harvard Hollenberg is a writer and an appeals attorney in New York City.
New York Appeals and Family Law Attorney