Let’s be clear: Thomas Jefferson believed that, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” In modern terms, Tom thought a little revolution every now and then is good for democracy.
Today we call people intent on overthrowing our government “terrorists.” The fact that we have gone over 150 years without a Civil War is why we are the shining beacon of hope and opportunity in the world. Jefferson was wrong. Stability is what has made our republic strong and kept us free.
The Second Amendment is not about hunting or self protection. It was about political power that today would equate to citizens owning Apache Helicopters, Stealth Bombers, drones and nuclear submarines.
I doubt many NRA members would support that.
We need to regulate guns like we regulate other things that kill. Like automobiles, we should require registration and insurance. Like drugs, we need to know why you’re buying it. How can anyone think marijuana is more dangerous than a Glock? No one should ever be allowed to purchase any gun for any reason without a serious waiting period.
Let’s pass on this self-protection argument, as it was never the framers’ intent. It’s absurd to believe, as some wingnuts do, that if the principal and teachers were armed this wouldn’t have happened. The first victim, Adam Lanza’s mother, had many, many guns, and now she’s dead. More guns are not the answer to the problem of violence in our nation.
Look at the ridiculous laws championed by the NRA and gun advocates:
• Guns on campus: When I was in college you couldn’t have a microwave.
• Conceal and carry: If guns are supposed to deter violence, why conceal it? Holster it up, cowboy!
• Guns on Amtrak: I guess they’re worried about a Billy the Kid copycat, or maybe they are watching bad Steven Seagal movies from the ’90s.
Here’s the rub: Unless these measures are in place to help Americans overthrow their government, they are not covered by the Second Amendment. And if you’re pushing for measures to overthrow the government, maybe you shouldn’t have a gun. Next time you see a member of Congress pushing a pro-gun agenda, ask them why they feel the U.S. government needs to be overthrown. Ask them why they support terrorism. The Second Amendment has been voided by history and was never in place for any of the reasons the NRA, or any senator or member of Congress, has given as a reason for opposing sensible gun regulation since Reconstruction.
I’m not opposed to hunting, shooting sports or honest people owning guns. However, if you own a gun it should be registered and you should have to consent to a background check that exposes any mental irregularities. Assault weapons and high capacity rounds are good for one purpose only and should be forever banned. If you need an assault weapon to make you feel like more of a man, you have problems big enough to keep you from owning one.
Christopher Hahn is a Democratic political analyst. Follow @christopherhahn.