Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guns. Again.

I started watching Elliot Rodgers' online twisted manifesto about how women ignored, belittled and frustrated him and how, obviously, his only appropriate response was to kill as many as he could, but after two minutes, I had to stop.

This is madness.

We keep asking the same questions. How does a person such as this get legal access to guns and ammunition? Can killings like this be prevented? If the answer is no, then why not? We seem to be able to address, debate or even stop other types of anti-social behavior, but in the present political climate, where the Second Amendment seems more sacrosanct than the First, the answer we keep getting is that no, there's nothing we can do. I can't accept that.

Perhaps the country's tolerance for gun violence and murder has not been tested enough, even with the killing of students in public schools and colleges, and that we need even more killing before we've finally had enough. I can't accept that either. I've had enough. No more.

Maybe we'll get a more liberal Supreme Court that will undo the terrible mischief of the Heller decision that completely obliterated the militia clause in the Second Amendment and made gun rights a personal right. I understand that many gun owners from across the political spectrum believe that this was the correct decision, but a more specific historical analysis shows that the Framers' intent was not to make sure that everyone could have a gun for personal use, but rather so they could join the state militia quickly in case it was necessary for public defense. The Framers distrusted a too-strong national army and put the militia clause in the Second Amendment for a reason. It was there that Mr. Justice Scalia, the high priest of Original Intent, found that the Framers obviously did not mean for it to have legal weight and told us in Heller that we could ignore it. Go buy a gun. It's your personal right.

And so here we are, shrugging our shoulders and repeating the old script that says that guns are not the problem, mental illness is the problem. Or society is the problem. Or anger is the problem. Or the president in the problem. But guns? Access to guns is never the problem.

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