My Idealistic Ideas For Progress With Gun Control And Choice: Two Additional Constitutional Amendments Would Help. Otherwise, Few Improvements Likely!

By Donald A. Collins | 25 November 2022
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Somehow the mass shooting events pile up with daily bloodshed and the wailing of devastated families and endless comments from politicians about how terrible these attacks are, but not many actions from authorities that will fix the problem.

Here is just one of many heartbreaking stories.

Looking for models in other countries, we know the UK has long led in successful gun control.

Read here its status:

Underlying every planetary problem is the growth of human numbers which now has reached levels that undermine every aspect of human life and form of governance including our democracy. Here is a recent report on how we got to 8 billion homo sapiens.

Why? Because with disease control people stopped dying as population kept doubling! Chemical fertilizer helped add food supplies too.

Now our unique and enduring 1791 Constitution with its Bill of Rights which includes the 2nd Amendment brings gun control into urgent need of reform. Just to remind you, here is what the 2nd Amendment states about the right to bear arms.

The spate of gun deaths will not stop under present laws, so how to fix this? Lots of ideas have emerged as you can read here.

But getting new laws is not simple as for example giving women the right to vote with the 19th Constitutional amendment 1920. A national right like Roe was before June 24th and the Dobbs decision!

Now my main point: We need two national amendments to our Constitution that reflect our secular rights not religious dogmas or presumed state’s rights!

I am keenly aware that is a very dramatic and realistic statement which will likely not be endorsed by enough to gain enaction now.

But dream a little and read on!!

We are coming after Trump to a better understanding that our fragile democracy to succeed must ultimately adopt the views of most of its citizens or fall into the kind of authoritarian dictatorships which have historically dominated most of human history even now.

Perfect example? Before Trump’s religiously radicalized Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe on June 24th we had a model for a moderate national solution for women’s abortion rights, although certainly not perfect as perfect would have kept governance completely out of a woman’s right to decide when to abort an unintended pregnancy.

Fixing this abortion rights problem would from a legal POV not now be complex at all, just as in 1920 giving women the right to vote. Okay that took women from 1848, but it got done. We can’t afford that time schedule for gun safety and choice.

But it will take a new look at states’ rights interfering with many voters’ opinions and which has been too long debated in a secular government, not a religious autocracy. Here are key arguments for and against states’ rights.

Worried are those hard right conservatives who want to retain their biases against all of us! Any literate citizen among us now knows that serious action is required in a nation with more unregulated guns in citizens’ possession than the number of our 340 million human population.

First what about states’ rights? Now the so-called claimed equity of states’ rights solutions so often comes into play as with the Dobbs decision. Was it states’ rights that allowed slavery and caused the Civil War? States’ rights have long been a contentious issue. In brief when is broad Federal power to be used for national laws which override states’ rights?

We now know as in the case of abortion rights that the abuse of States’ rights’ biggest effect was to enable religious opinion and outright racism as in the case of women’s abortion rights tyranny and racial equity.

But fixing gun control vs abortion rights is far more complex. How about a national gun control law that outlaws MR-15 type weapons altogether and restricted gun sales to anyone under 25?

Sadly, our loggerheaded Congress hasn’t hastened to show cooperation on any imaginative gun reform legislation so we can continue to observe frequent mass shootings.

In short who knows when you or your family members or friends are next shopping, or your kids are going to school whether you are now essentially playing Russian roulette without knowing it?

National laws on gun control could start us toward sanity as we grope toward overcoming the disaster caused by killing Roe which backers claimed was needed to test a very unworkable states’ rights solution!

In a functioning democracy there must ultimately be a way to allow the majority to prevail particularly on controversial issues such as abortion choice and gun control.

Are enough of us on board with the either gun control or choice to pass national statutes? Or are we going to continue to play states’ rights so Russian roulette with guns will continue even as most of us citizens want action?

Just wait. As more and more pricey upper crust locations where people of wealth hang out are attacked, will that move those folks of influence into action?

Gun control is coming so why not start now? 20 percent of our population are now ages 19 to 34 and that younger number is growing. They are going to change this intransigent behavior! After all our school children (and their parents) know the need now for a national gun control law is mandatory!

There should be no right to bear arms unless authorized by Federal government. Rules could follow the UK model. Can’t you hear the screams of the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers?

Well, we choice advocates screamed when Roe was taken away. And those favoring gun legislation outnumber the progun folks.

So, even by Constitutional Amendment giving the Federal government the right to take away guns, many firearms will be kept secretly, but people without proper authority for permitted restricted use would understand that if used without permission the penalties would be severe.

As for choice, there will sooner than expected be enough people in Congress to pass another national Roe, unless the GOP has a death wish for losing future elections.

So, these solutions are simple, but of course they are not likely to be easily enacted. Read here the mechanics of how to get an Amendment enacted.

Recall we tried prohibition from 1920 to 1933 which supposedly caused more drinking. Would gun control cause more killing? Don’t think so.

Thus, we will continue to stumble along in our self-inflicted purgatory indefinitely. Still for me, an idealist with no law degree, stating the truth of what needs doing is at least personally edifying.

And by the way, have we made considerable improvements in racial justice since Bull Conners, George Wallace and countless other bigots tried stop racial progress? The list of racial equity heroes is long and impressive.

Folks, I bet most of my readers agree it is far past time to pass these two new Constitutional Amendments, numbers 28 and 29 to our aged Constitution.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

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