[Originally published as a comment in response to someone who announced publicly on Google+ that he sincerely believed that, as radical as it may sound, part of the Bill of Rights should be repealed. The post below isn’t a complete case against ignorant, opportunistic statists with an irrational fear of guns, but it highlights a number of inconvenient facts and devastating arguments for their position.]
The idea of repealing the 2nd Amendment is not that radical really. It’s just further down the road this country is already on — toward a full-on police-surveillance state. What’s truly radical these days is any defense of liberty and property.
You know that gun control has a racist history in America, right? And that it disproportionately harms women, minorities (particularly blacks), and the poor? Gun control doesn’t work. It just disarms potential crime victims.
Gun control laws were used to make blacks less dangerous, more vulnerable targets of (racially motivated) police abuse and private crime. Even now they are used to incarcerate blacks who haven’t committed any real crimes. Lacking evidence for anything else, the state puts them away on weapons charges (and/or drug charges, but the Drug War’s another unjust racist policy we don’t need to get into).
Women use guns to defend themselves from would-be rapists, domestic abusers, and the like. Guns are an equalizer, giving them a way to protect themselves from bigger, stronger men. You would deny them this? Police protection is a joke; they usually don’t arrive in time.
As I mentioned above, gun control doesn’t work, especially in America. There are already so many guns in private hands here that any new restrictions or bans will have no appreciable effect. Any politically feasible new laws will not involve confiscating these existing guns and will not ban private secondhand sales. Criminals are not wont to respect “gun free zones” and other gun laws in any case. They’ll just purchase their guns on the black market or steal them (as Adam Lanza did).
The Clinton AWB did not reduce gun crimes. A new one won’t either. Connecticut essentially still has a state-level AWB; Lanza’s (mother’s) Bushmaster was CT AWB compliant. So-called “assault weapons” aren’t even the most powerful civilian firearms (many hunting rifle calibers are more powerful); AWBs typically only ban cosmetic “scary” features that don’t affect the lethality of the firearm (like a collapsible stock); and banning high-capacity magazines won’t slow down shooters much (it only takes a second to reload even if you’re not very skilled).
And gun control laws treat people as guilty until proven innocent. They violate the rights of peaceful people to liberty and property. I can see no justification for violating the rights of innocent people just because some bad guys use firearms to murder other innocent people, occasionally a large number of them at once. I get as saddened and outraged as anyone in the anti-gun crowd when these things happen, but two wrongs don’t make a right.
Bottom line: New stricter gun control laws won’t make anyone safer. They won’t stop these mass shootings. They’ll probably contribute to making them worse if we see any change at all (there actually isn’t upward trend in these shootings over the past 30 years and crime is generally down in the US). Government will just have more power and the people less freedom and less security. If you do manage to repeal the 2nd Amendment and confiscate all/most privately-owned firearms in the United States, what are you going to do when the nutcases start using homemade explosives?
Meanwhile, I don’t see any of the anti-gun crowd shedding any tears for the many children Obama has murdered overseas with his drone strikes. He’s a mass murderer many times worse than Adam Lanza (as was Bush), yet these people voted him back into office and turn a blind eye to his crimes and hypocrisy. What happened to the anti-war left that harangued Bush? Is it really saving human lives that motivates you? Or is it just an unacknowledged lust to control that which you fear, hate, and don’t understand?