A friend (Donnie) asked me to respond to an article comparing and contrasting gun control in the UK and the US but I had to think about it for a bit before replying. The article was pretty good, by the way, (see below) and seemed evenhanded and fair in its assessment. It didn’t really result in any kind of prediction or assessment but instead let the questions themselves serve as an answer. Kind of a pussies way out but ultimately it served its purpose.
So my response? As a Libertarian I am all for the go-to response (which is “Less government. More freedom.”) because that’s the basic premise that I view the world with but in this case I actually have an easier answer.
If it is so utterly important and so vital that we, as a country, control guns (I’m lumping all of them together, handguns, rifles, shotguns, etc.) for our safety and the safety of our families then it should be utterly important and vital enough to organize the masses and get together and CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION (just like we’ve done 27 times) to alter the 2nd amendment. The amendment can be reworded to specify what kind of guns we can own or who specifically can own them or whatever we want and, in fact, it can even be nullified, effectively removing it from the document. All of these changes would then explicitly alter the law and allow the precise control of the weapons. The thing that people seems to be yelling about.
The problem is that there are not nearly enough people in the US who want to change the constitution.
It’s not even close.
To change the constitution you need first to write the amendment (itself a daunting task) and then, before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention (known as an Article V convention) called by two-thirds of the states, and ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions (the method of ratification being determined by Congress at the time of proposal).
That’s a shitload of folks all agreeing to the same thing—the removal or nullification of gun ownership—and, as said earlier, those people just don’t seem to exist at the scale required. What does exist is just a few, very vocal, very loud people (media attention kind of loud) who want the rest of the masses to do what they say…
…because apparently those few know much better what is good for the massively larger opposition. Get where I’m going with this?
Anyway, like I said, “less government, more freedom” but I do understand that we are a nation of laws and those laws must be predicated on something and that something is the constitution of the United States so…want to change the laws?
Change the constitution.