A Note on Guns In Our Politics

In the wake of another mass shooting in America, the same arguments are being trotted out on both sides of the gun debate. Gun rights advocates are using the scare tactic that people who are in favor of limits on gun ownership ultimately want to repeal the Second Amendment.

Without the Sacred Second, they say, you’d have absolutely no right to own a weapon for hunting or for self-protection, and so, if you like to hunt or want to own a handgun for your own peace of mind, you must oppose any attempt at gun regulation.

When other countries are cited as examples of ways we could curtail the number of guns in this country, gun rights defenders tell us that those countries don’t have a constitution like we do, and more relevantly, they don’t have the Second Amendment.  And so, it’s concluded, because of our unique legal constraints there’s really nothing we can do about guns in the US.

But we’ve had the Second Amendment since the beginning of our country’s history, and we’ve only had a serious problem with gun violence since about 1980. Coincidentally, that happens to be about the same time as the National Rifle Association began to have major influence on our political process. Do you think the two things are related? Continue reading “A Note on Guns In Our Politics”