As parent, I can’t bring myself to look at the pictures. I can’t imagine the grief all those families in Connecticut are going through tonight; the families with children — kindergartners, first-graders — massacred today by a lunatic with guns, and the parents of those who survived who will live with the scar forever. Can’t imagine any of it, can hardly bear the thought of it.
The one thing I can imagine that might possibly help is to stop all our talking and commit ourselves to something truly serious, lasting, and impervious to challenge — an amendment to the Constitution which explicitly allows the Congress and the states to regulate gun ownership and gun sales as they see fit, and that makes clear the Second Amendment does not grant an explicit, personal right to own a gun. Just as the Constitution doesn’t give us the right to own a car, or a bike, or any number of other things.
When our country really wants to do something serious, to right some wrong and to end some massive injustice, we pass an amendment. Go see “Lincoln” if you haven’t already and you’ll be reminded of that lesson. We did it with slavery (13th amendment), citizenship and due process (14th amendment), the right to vote for women (19th), the voting rights (24th amendment) and right for 18-year-olds to vote.
An amendment to the Constitution would be the clearest, most unambiguous, and most permanent way we could stop this madness. An amendment to the Constitution would allow Congress and the states to take any real, concrete action necessary to stop the scourge of guns. Without such an amendment, we run the risk of wringing our hands for decades to come, of being held hostage by the Supreme Court and the vagaries of the Second Amendment. An amendment would establish the will of the people, and make that clear to legislators and the people like the NRA who seek to intimidate them.
I appreciate Mike Bloomberg being so vocal about his support for gun laws. But, to paraphrase his statement today, we need more than just “statements” about other people’s statements. We need action. He is a wealthy man, and has billions of dollars at his disposal. If he’s really serious, perhaps he might consider championing this cause, doing something bigger, bolder and far more audacious than pleading for more gun control laws.