Walter Shapiro Attacks The Bill Of Rightsby Doug Mataconis
Today at Salon, Walter Shapiro calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment, which has been part of the Constitution for 216 years:
April 18, 2007 | WASHINGTON — Fifteen unambiguous words are all that would be required to quell the American-as-apple-pie cycle of gun violence that has now tearfully enshrined Virginia Tech in the record book of mass murder. Here are the 15 words that would deliver a mortal wound to our bang-bang culture of death: “The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.”
Let’s address the practical aspects of this first. First, it’s unlikely that a Constitutional Amendment to repeal the Second Amendment would ever make its way through the 38 states needed to ratify and amendment to the Constitution. Maybe it would succeed in the Northeast and the Pacific Coast states (principally California), but there’s simply no way it would make it through any state South of the Mason-Dixon line, or any of the states in the Far West. Second, Shapiro’s assertion that more gun control could’ve stopped the Virginia Tech massacre isn’t supported by the evidence; just look at New York City and Washington, D.C. — both have very strict gun control laws, and both still have high rates of gun crime. Heck, on the same day that we were mourning the massacre in Blacksburg, the mayor of a Japanese city was shot dead, and Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Criminals always have and always will find a way to get guns.
What’s interesting is that, in Shapiro, we finally have an intellectual honest opponent of the Right to Keep And Bear Arms. For years, gun control advocates have tried to ignore the Second Amendment, or to argue that it merely protects the right of states to have a militia like the National Guard.
All of these arguments are, of course, nonsense. The history of the American Revolution and the drafting of the Constitution make it clear that the Second Amendment was intended to protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. For a long time, that right was not fully recognized by the Courts. Now, though, thanks to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Parker v. District of Columbia, we seem to be on the verge of what would clearly be a monumental change in Second Amendment case law.
And Shapiro at least recognizes it. Thanks to Parker, gun controlÂ advocates know that the Second Amendment stands in the way of their efforts to disarm the American public. And that is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended.