It is an interesting thing that a call for commonsense gun laws tumbles into the echo chamber of the National Rifle Association and turns into "They're coming for our guns." It is sad that a friend or family member of a victim of gun violence is immediately turned into a level one threat on the Constitutionally Guaranteed Right To Bear Arms. As I have pointed out here a few times before, it is interesting that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness did not make the cut when it came time to make the Bill of Rights.
Quick: How many of the first ten amendments can you name? In order?*
How about the ten commandments?**
There was quite a dustup in the constitutional community recently when former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times in which he suggested that the Second Amendment be repealed. Not just the common sense restrictions on automatic weapons or raising the age limit to purchase guns from eighteen to twenty-one. He wants to dump number two completely.
Them, as they say, are fighting words. And while it is important to note that this is yet another moment of battling amendments, number one versus number two, the one that seems to stir the most fuss is the suggestion that unfettered access to unlimited firepower be restricted gets a great big noise started. Until those who don't like guns are shouted down by those who do. So much so that contributions to the NRA have tripled since the Parkland shooting. Any perceived threat is turned back by shouting and large wads of cash. Which doesn't mean that the other side doesn't see their share of donations to further their agenda of limiting the access to instruments of death.
All of which makes that tired refrain of waiting a respectful amount of time before discussing the matter which has been splattered all across our headlines rings so hollow. It will take lifetimes for the healing to be complete in Parkland. In Aurora. In Newtown. And every other community that experiences one of ninety-three deaths by gun violence ever single day in America. There is no time to wait.
So let the war of words rage on. Be glad that this battle is being fought with facts and rhetoric and sarcasm and rants. And not bullets.
*Bill of Rights