Among the many liberals calling for more gun control in the wake of the horrendous Las Vegas shooting spree was political cartoonist Bob Englehart, who said it was time for America to repeal (and, we suppose, NOT replace) the Second Amendment. Until we do that, Englehart argued on Facebook, we will be condemned as a country to live out these horrific episodes time and again.
“Get used to it, folks. This will never stop,” he wrote on Monday. “We can only slow it down by repealing the Second Amendment and even then it would take a generation or two. But repealing that cursed amendment would make it easier to control guns with restrictive laws. Right now, there’s a creep out there with a perverted belief system thinking, ‘Fifty-eight? Hell, I can top that.’”
Englehart also echoed the lowest of the low-hanging fruit of social media, where many liberals quipped: “Where were the good guys with guns?”
“Certainly there were people packing in that crowd in Las Vegas,” he wrote. “Open carry for protection? Dream on.”
As though anyone has ever tried to argue that every instance of mass murder could be stopped by “good guys with guns.” This was obviously an anomaly of a situation, with a shooter perched in a hotel across the street, picking off concert-goers at a distance of 500 yards. No, there is no amount of open-carry that could have stopped this attack. And frankly, if it comes to that, we doubt that attendees were allowed to bring their guns onto the premises in the first place. It wouldn’t have mattered either way, and no pro-gun enthusiast is going to say differently. The point isn’t that gun freedom can stop every attack. The point isn’t even that it can stop most attacks. The point is that YOU, as an INDIVIDUAL, should have the right to carry if you so choose. And in fact, you do have that right. It’s in that “cursed” Second Amendment.
Though Englehart does not repeat the other common left-wing talking point – that the Founders could have never envisioned the armed America of the 21st century – it is woven through his argument. To claim that the Second Amendment is functionally obsolete is the only “legitimate” legal stance to take for an advocate of repeal. But while these claims are true in a sense (there was no such thing as a semi-automatic machine gun in the days of the Constitution’s writing, obviously), they are deeply deceptive in another. How? Because by writing the First Amendment at that time, with the weapons then available, the Founders were putting average Americans on par with the military in a way that no American living today could EVER be, no matter how many bump-stock modifications they make to their AR-15s. The Second Amendment is not about hunting, recreation, or even really about personal self-defense. It’s about the right of the people to have the same weapons as The State. It’s about liberty and defense against tyrannical forces.
Looked at through that lens, the Second Amendment not only remains relevant in 2017, one can question if it goes far ENOUGH.