Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
HAVE YOUR DONATION DOUBLED!

If you are able to donate $100 or more for our Annual Fund Drive, your donation will be matched by another generous CounterPuncher! These are tough times. Regardless of the political rhetoric bantered about the airwaves, the recession hasn’t ended for most of us. We know that money is tight for many of you. But we also know that tens of thousands of daily readers of CounterPunch depend on us to slice through the smokescreen and tell it like is. Please, donate if you can!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Eliminate the Second Amendment and Keep Your Guns

by

OK, I confess I fail to see the thrill or need associated with gun ownership and use, but we live in a free country—sort of—and I get why those who hunt need long guns. But I teach, write, and live trying to practice nonviolence between and among humans at least. I’ve had guns pulled on me and fired at me twice and have never ever wanted to shoot anyone. That direct violence is beyond my understanding so I fully acknowledge my bias against guns, especially handguns.

I believe in regulating those things that prove they harm others. No one should be free to harm others—that is not freedom, it is unwarranted arrogated license. The freedom of your hands stops where my nose begins, as they say.

My real point on the Second Amendment is that it effectively blocks sane control of weaponry. Repealing the Second Amendment would not affect anything that most gun owners feel is desirable. But the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supremes does make it possible for the gun industry, through its most powerful lobbyist–the NRA–to claim that laws restricting anything to do with guns are odious and part of an unconstitutional slippery slope. The track record is so clear. The Second Amendment protects the gun manufacturers and sellers at the expense of a lot of lives every year.

Suicide is possible without guns, clearly. What if greatly limiting handguns, or using available technology so only the registered owner could fire it, could save just 1000 of the estimated 21,175 firearm suicides or just 100,000 of the estimated 836,000 ER visits from self-inflicted gun wounds in the most recent CDC data? Would rational Americans perhaps think about that and fix at least part of the gun problem?

Finally, some serious brave NRA members are challenging the wingnut level of gun lobbying by the NRA, including some who flat out quit the group publicly when NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said the two terrorists who shot up San Bernadino, California, killing 14 and wounding 21, should not have been stopped from purchasing their assault rifles. But the politicians who take on the NRA are open to serious retributive electoral pressure and the ones who toe the line for the NRA are richly rewarded by an annual NRA lobbying expenditure of at least $735,000, possibly as much as $3 million. That is a lot of junkets, TV ads, and fat honoraria.

But more Americans are rejecting the politicians who accept big NRA donations—their success rate is falling, and no wonder. Every new mass shooting brings out the most twisted defense of “gun rights” and the most warped disregard for the right to life imaginable by the NRA leadership.

However we get there, we need to stop the massive flow of weaponry into our streets and we need to do it on a large scale. Strict gun laws in one town are nice but when we have a 50-state open border country, guns flow into places like Chicago despite good local efforts to stop the murders and suicides. There are almost 400 million guns out there so it will take a long time to bring down the numbers but we can do it if we get sane and serious about it.

I know no gun opponent who favors disarming the rural hunter putting provender on his or her family table. I can hope that those, in fact, will be some of the voices calling for far greater sensible gun control so they can take a trip into a city and make it back alive—or so they can send their child to college in some town and not fear so much.

More articles by:

Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

October 18, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
Seizing Kirkuk
John Wight
Weinstein as Symptom: Notes From Hollywood
Matthew Hoh
Bowe Bergdahl: Traitor to American Exceptionalism and White Supremacy
Chris Ernesto
Funding for War vs. Natural Disasters
Aidan O'Brien
Where’s Duterte From and Where’s He Going To?
Jon Bailes
Mental Health and Neoliberalism: an Interview with William Davies
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Reason Behind Trump’s Angry Diplomacy in North Korea
Paul Craig Roberts
Washington, Not China, is the Biggest Threat to American Power
Mike Davis
El Diablo in Wine Country
Binoy Kampmark
Trump’s Iran Deal
Lara Merling
Remember Puerto Rico Needs Fair Medicaid Funding Too
Phil Rockstroh
2 or 3 Things I Know About Capitalism
Eoghan O’Suilleabhain
Rambo Wept: Our Commandos Good, Your Terrorists Bad
Dimitris Bellantis
On Catalonia: Debates in the Greek Left
Robert Koehler
The Calm Before the Storm
Mike Hastie
Napalm Sticks to Kids
October 17, 2017
Suzanne Gordon – Ian Hoffmann
Trumpcare for Veterans? VA Outsourcing Will Create Healthcare Industry Bonanza
Patrick Cockburn
The Real Destabilizer in the Middle East is Not Iran But Trump
Jonathan Cook
The Real Reasons Trump is Quitting UNESCO
Murtaza Shibli
My Friend From ISIS in Raqqa
Kathy Kelly
Wrongful Rhetoric and Trump’s Strategy on Iran
David Bonner
Beyond Taking a Knee: Duane Thomas, Where are You When We Need You?
Tom Gill
Austerity, Macron-Style
Liaquat Ali Khan
Pakistan Faces a Life-Threatening Military Coup
Jeff Mackler
Is Trump a ‘Moron?’
Amena Elashkar
If You Work for Justice in Palestine, Why Won’t You Let Palestinians Speak?
John Feffer
Trump’s Unprecedented Right-Turn on Foreign Policy
Ariel Dorfman
Trump’s War on the Mind
Dean Baker
The Republican Tax Plan to Slow Growth
Gerry Brown
The Return of One-Man Rule in China?
Binoy Kampmark
Climate Change Insurgent: Tony Abbott’s Crusade
Kent Paterson
Assassination in Guerrero: the Murder of Ranferi Hernandez Acevedo
Rob Okun
Men and Sexual Assault in the Age of Trump
October 16, 2017
Vijay Prashad
A Tale of Two Islands
Ben Dangl
Profiting from America’s Longest War: Trump Seeks to Exploit Mineral Wealth of Afghanistan
Jan Oberg
Trump is Moving Toward War With Iran
Thomas S. Harrington
The Baseless Myth of the Poor, Propagandized Catalans
Steve Brown
When a Radio Host Interviews a War Criminal, Is It Churlish to Ask About His War Crimes?
Howard Lisnoff
Capturing the Flag
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS is Facing Near Total Defeat, But It Has Been Beaten and Come Back Before
Julian Vigo
The Fall of Harvey Weinstein and the Sexual Blindspot of Misogyny
James Munson
The Rich Can’t Achieve Plurality, But the Poor Can
Amitai Ben-Abba
The NIMPE Critique of Antifa
Robert Fisk
We Will Soon See What the Word “Unity” Means for the Palestinian People
Alice Donovan
Civil War in Venezuela: a US Joint Operation with Colombia?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail