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June 9, 2014

In Your Opinion: The Second Amendment needs amending

The Daily Star

---- — Government owes its people protections, one of which is the profound human need for safety. For example, government does well monitoring motor vehicles through registration, driver licensing, traffic regulations, insurance, annual inspections, transfer of ownership documentation, and so on. Why do we not question these governmental controls over our use of vehicles? We realize these regulations protect our safety and without them the traffic death rates would soar.

When it comes to another potential death-dealer (guns and ammunition ownership), however, many people, abetted by the NRA, see protective controls in a different light. They see ownership of guns and ammunition as a right intended by our Constitution for as long as this country endures. 

Though we are near the top of countries with high death rates by firearms and tragic mass shootings, great numbers of our people continue to insist that our Constitution protects their ownership of lethal weapons and stores of ammunition, the only purpose of which is to kill. They insist this right is holy writ and is essential to our freedom as citizens. 

I do not believe the writers of our Constitution anticipated the dangers to our society that the Second Amendment affords. The intent was to enable citizens to form militias after the Revolutionary War, not to enable citizens to kill each other more easily. The Second Amendment needs amending.

Sadly, our government is not a model of restraint of violence. In recent decades, we are unleashing wars abroad not for our security — as we declare — but to extend our world dominance and our access to resources. We as a nation can’t teach and promote what we don’t practice. Is that why our elected government keeps its head in the sand about this issue?

Samuel Wilcox