Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Obsolete Amendment

Title: Arms | Date: 12/31/2007 | Photographer: Hrs | This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Friday night, around 9 p.m. PST, 22 year old Elliot Rodger stabbed his three roommates in their shared apartment, then drove five blocks to a sorority house to kill the women inside. When they didn't open the door, he marched around the corner and opened fire at a random group of students, killing two sorority members and injuring a third.

When a grieving father, Richard Martinez, blamed his  son’s death on “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA,” conservative pundits argued,
"if we pass gun control laws we should ban knives and machetes too, since Rodger killed three people with a blade."

The blade comparison doesn't hold water.  According to FBI Homicide data, if you break the U.S. homicide numbers down, for one year, by weapon type, and you get the following: Guns 68% (8,583), Knives 13%(1,646), Blunt objects 4%, Personal weapons (hands, feet) 6%, Other 9%  1,646 doesn't come close to comparing to 8,583. 

Additionally, if one combines the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia, one would get a population roughly the size of the United States. We had approximately 30,000 gun deaths (8,583 of which were murders) in 2011, they had 112 gun deaths total. Should we believe this difference is the result of Americans being more homicidal by nature, or could it be because the rest of the civilized world has gun control laws?

GOP mascot, Joe the Plumber, addressed the issue writing, “Mr. Martinez and anyone calling for more restrictions on American’s rights need to back off and stop playing into the hands of the folks who merely capitalize on these horrific events for their own political ends. We still have the Right to Bear Arms and I intend to continue to speak out for that right, and against those who would restrict it — even in the face of this horrible incident by this sad and insane individual.”

The statement's as ignorant as it is insensitive.  Private citizens only have a right to bear arms if we omit some words from the Constitution.  The 2nd Amendment says, "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."  Since we have a standing army these days, can't we agree it's an obsolete amendment, and catch up to the rest of the world?

1 comment:

  1. Right on. If people want to use their rights to own guns, they can join the National Guard. When their unit gets called up to serve their country in some part of the world, they can use their guns to defend their country.