In the wake of a horrendous Chanukah stabbing over the weekend, in a rabbi’s home no less, I learned of the weekend Texas church shooting that claimed three lives, including the gunman. As much as I hate to admit it, news reports on such events have almost become commonplace.
Media reports this morning emphasized the “heroism” of the volunteer church security guards who shot and killed the gunman before he could murder any more people. Repeatedly, the refrain on morning news programs like Today and Good Morning America was “It could have been much worse.”
Good morning, America? Not in the slightest.
I don’t doubt the heroic intensions of the security guards, and their actions undoubtedly saved countless other lives. But we’re missing the mark.
At a Chicago house party just before Christmas, 13 people were shot and wounded. The party was a memorial for someone who’d been shot and killed in April.
Two shooters were described, and it was said that, after a dispute and the firing of initial gunshots in the home, they both shot randomly at partygoers who were fleeing the house.
The victims ranged in age from 16 to 48.
“People deserve to live their lives without fear of someone pulling out a gun,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “Especially in a moment of reflection and remembrance during the holiday season.”
Lightfoot was close, but she didn’t quite hit the mark, either.
“Too many disputes are reconciled by weapons,” Chicago Patrol Chief Fred Waller said. “There are too many weapons on the street.”
“There are too many weapons on the street.”
My heart aches for all families affected by gun violence, and for our youth who we have let down. We have created a world where, during the holidays, someone pulls out a shotgun in a church and shoots two people dead.
We have created a world where we need armed security guards in church. As I was growing up, people referred to the church “sanctuary.” When parishioners are ducking under pews to avoid gunfire, it is far from a sanctuary.
And the best we can do is “it could have been a whole lot worse.”
It could be a whole lot better, too.
So here’s my radical, perhaps oft heard, but not implemented solution to the problem that Waller outlined:
Let’s repeal the 2nd Amendment.
Now, I can hear the NRA folks already, talking about their Constitutional right to bear arms. To that I say carry a bayonet if you want, but we as a society have lost the right to bear arms when our children are being shot and killed in the street.
To the hunters, look Elmer Fudd: you don’t need a semi-automatic weapon to go out into the woods and feed your family, or protect your family from an intruder who, statistically, will never show up.
The 2nd Amendment speaks to a “well regulated militia” with muskets or bayonets, not my half-cocked neighbor with an ax to grind.
All of that said, I fully support the right to bare arms.
The only way to repeal a Constitutional amendment is via the institution of another amendment. These “united” states have been radical with our amendments before. For example, we passed the 13th Amendment which freed enslaved Africans. On paper, anyway.
We gave women the vote via Constitutional amendment, for the love of God. We won’t vote for them, but we’ll let them vote.
So we’ve got the balls to make change when we’re compelled to do it.
We’ve only repealed an amendment once: we reversed the 18th Amendment, which banned alcohol.
So we value getting our drink on, but don’t value removing assault weapons from our streets.
In the wake of years, now, of senseless, completely avoidable shootings and mass shootings in our streets, schools, and now churches, let’s repeal the 2nd Amendment.