Raskin Takes On The 2nd Amendment

(3:48) Listen as Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland explains the 2nd amendment to Radical Republicans:

The 2nd amendment was put in the constitution mostly so that the country would not have to have a standing army. Standing armies in Europe became trouble when heads of state would use them for nefarious reasons, often against citizens. 

That is why the 2nd amendment has two clauses. The first clause establishes the need for “well regulated militias.” These militia were to be under control of the government and would be ready to take up arms against enemies Thus we did not need a standing army.

The second clause of the second amendment then basically says that if you are in a “well regulated militia” you will need a gun. Remember in those day of powder and packing and flintlocks is was hard to get off even a few shots. When the so-called “originalists” go into their cross-century mind reading act they never seem to take into account things like equipment change.

Seriously, folks, do you really think that the founders of our country wanted to put an amendment in constitution that would set things up so that citizens could overthrow the very government they had just started? No. That is why mechanisms were established to make changes peacefully.

Do you think the founders envisioned a society where grievances were settled with bloodshed daily? I can’t imagine anyone believes that. Yet for some reason the radically right wing Republican Party in cahoots with a greedy gun industry and an extremist media have worked to change the horror of murder into just another news item in the daily litany of horrors.

Do you want your children to be just another statistic in America’s unnatural love of guns? Do you want to fear going to eat in a restaurant, going to the grocery store, going to a campground or a movie because someone with a gun has decided they have a score to settle?

We seem to be living in an out of control old western shoot-‘em-up. But this is reality and those with a grievance have highly sophisticated weapons that should not be available to citizens. These are weapons of war. 

The radical right, the gun makers and the far right media have come up with all sorts reasons why so many Americans are shot, but the honest underlying reason is that guns are so easy to get. There is no logical reason why guns should be so easy to get. That is not the way the second amendment was written.

Remember that not all victims of gunshot die. Many live agonizing years beyond their wounding. Some may be paralyzed, some many have severe medical complications, many will lose jobs.

Also remember that if you want to support police and other law enforcement agencies, there is nothing better we could do for them than to get all the guns off the street.

So far the radical right’s response to our national slaughter is to push for more guns. That is like fighting a fire with gasoline. This fall Iowa will be voting on a constitutional amendment to keep and bear arms. It is not needed. Iowans need to send a message to the merchants of death and their enablers that morgues and more guns is not the answer in a civilized  society.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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