Tuesday, October 03, 2006

School Violence

What the frak is up with the recent school shootings? I don't even know if school violence is an appropriate title....these weren't disgruntled children - they were sick, sick, sick men. I think the recent rash of school shootings should start up the debate on gun violence again.

Here is the second amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I could talk for hours on the second amendment and the extreme misinterpretation of the wording. Shall I start? What people fail to understand is that limitations may be placed upon the amendments. The amendments are not absolute. I am not a strict constructionist. I believe that the US Constitution is a living document. I believe that the Constitution has to be interpreted in conjunction with the Framer's intent and the current world situation.The First Amendment guarantees free speech. Yet, free speech is not absolute. You cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater - it creates a clear and present danger. You cannot threaten the US President - I think that may fall under c&p too...but I'm not sure. You cannot present false or misleading advertising. These are all limitations which the US Supreme Court has placed upon the First Amendment. Now, given that it is the First Amendment, one could reasonably argue, that the Framers intended it to be the most important. Yet, reasonable limitations have been placed upon it.

Now, let's take a look at old number two. Back in 1776, our fore fathers were fighting a revolution for freedom. They were seeking independence from Britain. Britain had the Royal Army? The Thirteen Colonies had nada. As such, a militia was required to fight the Brits. The Framers gave each person the right to bear arms, in order to form a militia which was necessary for the security of a free state.

Now, let's jump to 2006. We have the US Army, the US Navy, the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force. All of which were formed for the security of a free state. So, naturally it begs the question as to whether the right to bear arms is even necessary?I believe that the right to bear arms should be preserved. If we unilaterally eliminated an amendment, it would be bad policy. There is something to say for preserving the Constitution. However, as limits have been placed upon free speech, remember that it's guaranteed by the First Amendment, it is not unreasonable to place limits upon the Second Amendment.Let's be realistic.

Is an AK-47 necessary to home defense? No. Are waiting periods and background checks an unreasonable restriction before a gun can be purchased? No. Is it unreasonable to hold gun manufacturers accountable for their creations? No.So, let's have a serious discussion about the second amendment and discuss the small steps that can be taken to maybe lessen the violence that our children are going up to.

2 comments:

Helen said...

I agree. It's my same argument with the Bible really. It's a living document, written way back, in a different world. Is it unreasonable to expect we might have to amend the Constitution, or to amend our interpretation of the Bible? (in certain cases).

I don't think we need a militia, and I agree that although the right to bear arms should be preserved, it shoudn't be a blanket thing, any more than free speech should be. There should be restrictions (like shouting "Fire" in a theatre, or holding AK47s).

So yeah, what you said ;-)

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