Op-Ed: Don’t believe ‘no one wants to get rid of the Second Amendment’(Peretz Partensky/Flickr) Gun
A New York-based artist named Joshua Smith is proposing a “Gun Violence Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution that would – in theory – repeal the Second Amendment and the use of firearms in the United States.
In addition to repealing the Second Amendment, this amendment seeks to prohibit the “manufacturing, transportation or importation in or into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of pump-action, semi-automatic or automatic firearms.”
Not content with the current efforts of the gun control lobby, Smith decided to take actions into his own hands.
“Conservative pundits are quick to cite what I think of as a straw man — that there’s some kind of leftist boogeyman coming to take away the Second Amendment, and to my knowledge, there never has actually been one,” Smith told Art News. “So I like the idea of inhabiting that space.”
Smith argues that thousands of gun deaths are the result from the “simple access” to these types of firearms.
But unfortunately for Smith, this amendment is not based in reality. Any reality.
And while there are many glaring mistakes in his proposal, it’s the ban on firearms that’s most laughable.
First, it appears that Smith is grossly unaware of different types of firearms – since, under this amendment, bolt and lever actions guns would still be allowed.
Second, Smith appears not to be aware of the National Firearms Act, which heavily regulates automatic firearms, resulting in a de facto ban on them for most citizens.
Third, Smith must not understand how many firearms there are in America. It has been argued that there’s more than 600 million firearms in the United States. That’s roughly two per person. A ban on these guns would be ignored by criminals, just as criminals currently circumvent firearm bans and other gun control measures.
Another unfortunate reality for Smith is that there has been a “leftist boogeyman” that literally tried to take away the Second Amendment. The late New York Congressmen Major Owens attempted twice to amend the Constitution to repeal the Second Amendment.
But the reality is this: even if the Second Amendment was repealed, gun violence wouldn’t simply stop. Criminals do not check gun laws before committing their crimes.
Perhaps the saddest thing that Smith does not realize is that even if there was no Second Amendment, Americans would still have the right to self defense through keeping and bearing arms for self defense. What Smith fails to understand is that the Second Amendment does not “give” the right to keep and bear arms, it simply protects a God-given, pre-existing right. The American Founders believed that rights came from the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” – not a government document.
It’s obvious that Smith’s proposal is not based in reality, nor will it ever accomplish its mission. But it is a sad reminder of the reality of the gun control lobby’s end goal to eradicate the Second Amendment.
Jordan Stein is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America (GOA), a grassroots organization representing more than 1.5 million gun owners. He can be followed on Twitter at @jordankstein
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