Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting a Hand on Gun Control in America

The subject of gun control in America draws a lot of attention. When attacking the National Rifle Assosiction (NRA) on Huffington Post I am certain that I will get more abusive mail than for almost any other topic and there is a reason for this. The NRA is a thinly disguised front for the arms manufacturers of America and that should raise a huge red flag. The most often quoted reason for not allowing anyone to think about abolishing weapons in America is the faded and pathetic Second Amendment to the Constitution adopted on December 15, 1791 which states:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
This seminal piece of imbecility was passed and approved by our founding fathers at a time when America faced threats from within and threats from outside. They had a very small standing army and the natives were restless. They also had a budding arms industry that needed the business the former colonists could provide. As a matter of historical fact, Hamilton, in 1783, proposed that the United States start producing their own weapons.

This is not unlike the move to overcome ecological concerns by drilling for oil everywhere. He also invoked the issue of national security and independence from foreign concerns. That original idea became the second amendment in 1791 when Hamilton published a seminal study on the production of weapons in the US called "Report on Manufactures". It is interesting to note the PR coup for the budding industry that allowed the Continental Congress to pass an act that supported one thin slice of industry in order to encourage gun manufacturers to make profits. They could just as well have decided to protect the manufacture of plows, surely a more useful device than that old blunderbuss.

With that in mind, it is clear that the key to getting rid of guns in this country is to repeal the Second Amendment and allow ownership of gun laws to revert to the state and city level where they really belong. Could the argument that no other industry in the United States is actually protected by an Amendment be reason enough to have it repealed? Maybe, if you consider that the last time an amendment was written with a specific industry in mind, alcohol, that amendment had to be repealed because it was functionally untenable.

After all, by repealing the amendment we are in no way banning guns from all those cold dead hands the NRA likes to promote, what we are doing is telling people that the well regulated militia story was a scam in 1791 and the protection of a free state does not belong in the hands of marauding bands of criminals who take any excuse to open fire on innocent people. Without the second it will be possible for our citizens to really get to work in creating real laws designed for real life situations and not phony visions of the Minuteman firmly holding Old Betsy as the redcoats and redskins invade the settlers stockade.