A familiar quote, often attributed to Winston Churchill and later appropriated by the leftist, radical, Saul Alinsky goes, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Whoever originally coined the concept, the anti-Second Amendment crowd is certainly taking it to heart. In the last 48 hours, we have seen two horrific mass shootings. The blame game has ensued. Yet, lost in the impending storm of side taking is the recognition of the actual world we live in, and any ultimately fruitless assault on Americans' Second Amendment freedoms plainly ignores reality.
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. Like it or not, it is engraved in our national freedoms and thus, the only such way to remove it is through a Constitutional Amendment. The U.S. Constitution was drafted 232 years ago. In that time there have been exactly 27 successful attempts to amend it, of which, 10 were the Bill of Rights, three required a Civil War, and one repealed another. There will never be a successful attempt to repeal the Second Amendment, and nor should there be. Pandora’s Box has been opened and guns exist, therefore each and every American should have the right to choose how to defend themselves. History is filled with failed attempts to dictate such a morality.
For all of recorded history humans have had the requisite knowledge to produce alcohol. Churches and religious groups have often frowned upon its use, yet those who chose to consume alcohol did. Then Americans chose to ratify the 18th Amendment (prohibition). Did Americans no longer drink through the roaring '20s? Of course, they did. Canadian whiskey was illegally imported. Bath-tub gin killed thousands. And Americans continued to illegally consume alcohol because they had the knowledge to create it and the means to procure it. Pandora’s Box had been opened. Who benefitted from prohibition? Al Capone, bootleggers, and the rise of the American mafia. Americans had the will, they had the knowledge, so they found the way.
A government cannot dictate morality. To say or imply otherwise would ignore the realties of back ally abortions, drug trafficking and the current opioid crisis. When humans have a desire coupled with the knowledge and ability to achieve such an end, inevitably, they will achieve such an end. Now, the gun debate and the Second Amendment debate rages on in defiance of this well-established principle.
Humans have the knowledge and ability to make and obtain firearms. A simple internet search can teach someone to make their own. China, Russia, Italy, and countless other countries produce guns. Are we to assume, in defiance of the lessons of prohibition, abortion, and the drug trade, that the simple criminalizing of self defense will somehow prevent the natural human desire for such? All that would ensue would be an international arms circuit, run by cartels, serving only to arm the very criminals that defy our laws to begin with.
And how would any such prohibition be enforced? By the politicians that run, say, sanctuary cities and states? By local law enforcement that passionately refuse to work with federal officers and agencies to enforce existing laws with which they disagree? Such a proposition is ludicrous on its face. One could fairly submit that, in such an environment, the government would choose to enforce firearm prohibitions on some while tacitly ignoring it on others. Prohibition taught us that.
It is impossible to ignore the tragedies of this past weekend, and many before it. Mental health issues, criminals, both organized and otherwise, and civil discourse must be addressed. Yet the solution cannot be to repeat the mistakes of the past.
As long as Pandora’s Box has been opened and the knowledge and ability to create firearms exist, the Second Amendment is the law of the land and it is not negotiable, nor is the right of every American to defend themselves how and when they need.