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posted on 11 October 2017

The Second Amendment and More

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Another gun massacre in America (At least 59 killed in Las Vegas shooting rampage, more than 500 others injured). Another national mourning (Trump orders flags fly half-staff). But let's not waste the opportunity again. Instead, why not discuss and truly understand the Second Amendment and its implication for today and tomorrow?

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1. America's harsh reality with mass shootings

The image below highlights the harsh reality. For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.

At the center of the harsh reality is the Second Amendment.

2. What is the Second Amendment?

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.[1][2][3][4] The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals,[5][6] while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.[7] State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

In short, the primary purpose of the Second Amendment is for Americans to protect ourselves against tyrannies, domestic or foreign, not for hunting!

3. Discussion of the Second Amendment

Let's discuss it from three perspectives:

  1. A well-regulated militia.
  2. A government of/by/for the people.
  3. American culture.

3.1 A well-regulated militia

Internationally, our military today, unlike 200 years ago, is by far the biggest and strongest on earth. Therefore, it's fair to say for now that America is well protected against hostile foreign forces.

What about domestically? Unfortunately, the military is a part of the government. Can any American possibly defend himself (or herself) against a possible tyrannical government which has the strongest military on earth? No, of course not!

What about the local police? Well, they have been militarized over the past few years, at least! For more, read: Trump lifts ban on military gear to local police forces.

In short, the argument for a "well-regulated militia" is no longer valid.

3.2 A government of/by/for the people

Americans are fond of several ideas (as well as slogans), such as "We the People", freedoms, and self-governing.

In theory, if our government had been truly of/by/for the people, there would have been no need to worry about it being tyrannical, true?

In practice, however, we are no closer today than 200 years ago in terms of building a government that is truly of/by/for the people. What does that say about America, as a country?

As a result, some Americans still believe in the need of arming themselves against a possible tyrannical government. What can be done about it?

In short, let's focus on building a government that is truly of/by/for the people, like the Chinese have been over the past 2,000 years, at least! For more, read: Towards an Ideal Form of Government (Version 3).

3.3 American culture

Guns are dear to Americans like bread and butter are necessary to mankind!

Given the fact that (1) there are some 300 million guns out there in America and (2) all kinds of crimes are committed in America, Americans should own guns for self-protection, at least.

4. Going beyond the Second Amendment

Our Founding Fathers were all wise men. They did their best to form the union at the time, leaving three big things to us:

  1. Some key documents (e.g. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution).
  2. The Constitution is living and breathing document, which can be changed over time via amendments.
  3. Some problems (e.g. slavery).

It's up to us to make the union more perfect over time.

Have we been successful since then? Yes, but regrettably only partially. Since the turn of the 21st century, America has been in a steep decline with no end in sight.

Should we challenge the Founding Fathers in search of the best solution for America? Absolutely! Two examples:

  1. "All men are created equal". False! For more, read: Not All Men Are Created Equal!
  2. "We the People". Over the past 200 some years, we have changed the definition of "the People" from some rich white men (i.e. property owners) to everybody, including women as well as minorities.

As for the Second Amendment, leave it alone for now. Two main reasons:

  1. The problem is not bad enough to warrant any attempt. For more, read: Gun Massacres in America (Version 3).
  2. We must reform our political system, as I have suggested (American Democracy), which is far more fundamental, urgent, and holistic.

5. Closing

Once again, leave the Second Amendment alone for now, and focus on political reforms, as I have suggested (American Democracy).

Now, please sit back and enjoy the video below. It was my live radio interview with Keith Hanson, a conservative radio talk show host. Jump to the 20-minute mark to begin …

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