Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Arms Bared....for a Second

I'm just wondering.... When does this cease to become about the Second Amendment, and become about sensible gun law? Why is gun control such a dirty couple of words? It's bad enough we can't make sure that they don't get into the hands of the mentally ill or the adolescent, but to now find out we're the major supplier of choice to Mexican druglords, and our gun laws are considered "lax?" Nice. I'm no lawyer, but I honestly feel we have to go back and look at the sentiment and the context of the Constititution - not just the words around it, but the mindset of the framers as well. Notice they said we had the right to bear arms. They did not include the most high-powered weaponry known to that day, which - I'm assuming, would be something like a cannon. Everyone knew they meant a gun. A gun you could defend yourself with, if needed, and hunt with. I really think that if they knew there was a gun out there capable of rendering Bambi into sausage prior to leaving the forest, they probably would've been alarmed. Yes, I think the revolutionary firebrands that said marched out phrases like "Don't Tread on Me," and "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death," would've said that that kind of gun shouldn't be readily available unless you have a demonstrable need for one, and even then, within limits. There are entire nations whose citizenry don't own guns. They don't die. Did you know that? What makes America great is not the ability to own a gun. It's a perk, perhaps, but it's not what makes it great. We've re-examined again and again what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, for instance. Does death constitute it? Does it not? What kind of death - hanging or lethal injection? Or is it worse to fry them? Clearly, the Constitution is meant to be a fluid thing, a living, breathing document that adapts to the nation it protects. So why is the Second Amendment so sacred that adapting it to address very real needs must be such a fight?