In a recent article for Slate, Doug Pennington attempts to Solve the problem of mass shootings with his simple proposal “Two Guns per Owner”. Not two guns per month as proposed by other gun banners – but two per owner. Some how this would have stopped the Las Vegas shooter. “How” is never really discussed in the article. Recently, it has been suggested to truly restrict “gun rights”, one would need to repeal the 2nd amendment. Repealing the 2nd amendment would be a long and very hard fight for gun banners. Pennington’s real objective in this article is to remove the meaning of the 2nd Amendment without repealing the 2nd Amendment.
Repealing the 2nd amendment would be a long and very hard fight for gun banners
Mr. Pennington correctly counts the number of words in the 2nd Amendment during the article. However, his ability to understand the words is lacking. It may be a poor education, but my guess is its environmental – he was employed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
his ability to understand the words is lacking
The author cites Justice Antonin Scalia’s writings on the Heller decision as evidence the 2nd Amendment is not an unrestricted right. He goes onto draw an analogy between “marriage equality” and a failure to include a clear right to marriage in the constitution as proof the constitution is open to modern interpretation. Therefore, he can restrict citizen’s rights without the need for explicit constitutional permission. He argues there is no need to repeal the 2nd Amendment to restrict citizens rights.
restrict citizen’s rights
It is not clear “how” or “why” restricting gun owners to two guns would effect gun violence. The Slate article cites the Las Vegas shooter had purchased 33 firearms in the last 12 months, most of which were rifles. Did he use all 33 rifles during his murderous spree in Las Vegas? No, the author is implying that owning a large number of guns is evidence of an impending desire to commit a crime. Something contradicted by all impartial study and the common knowledge of all gun owners. Further, Mr. Pennington implies no one needs more than two guns to defends one’s home. How many guns were employed to defend the victims in Las Vegas from the shooter on that night? Certainly more than two. Two is an arbitrary number selected so that the idea pretends to be “reasonable”.
How many guns were employed to defend the victims in Las Vegas from the shooter on that night? Certainly more than two.
The 2nd Amendment is in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights are part of the Constitution. They are what the government of the United States was established to protect as its core mission. When one restricts a right enumerated in the Bill of Rights – you are diminishing the legitimacy of the government itself. This is why all restriction on enumerated rights are hotly debated and contested before courts. “Congress shall make no law”, and “Shall not be infringed” has a significant meaning and should never be taken so lightly. These phrases are powerful because they restrict government power, not rights – and they are not diminished by the number of letters in them.
“Congress shall make no law”, and “Shall not be infringed” has a significant meaning
The author’s analogy to the 14th amendments “Equal protection” justifying a modern definition of marriage fails for a number of reasons. The most obvious failure is expanding an existing right is different to restricting an enumerated right. Dan Pennington simply does not like guns, does not want you to own any guns, and knows that repealing is needed because the 2nd amendment protects a right to own an unlimited number of guns that can be commonly defined as a “gun”.
The 2nd amendment protects a right to own an unlimited number of guns that can be commonly defined as a “gun”