19 kids are shot every day in the United States.
I start from the view that the 2nd Amendment should be interpreted liberally, just like the 1st, 4th, 5th, or any amendment in the Bill of Rights should be. On the other hand, the 2nd Amendment is unique in that it has an explanatory, and thus perhaps limiting clause (“A well-regulated millitia…”), and I am also committed to the view that the Constitution is short enough that we should labor mightily to avoid surplussage. But on the gripping hand, the Supreme Court has made it clear that it cares not about the latter.
Certainly if I were advising a candidate for office today, I would not suggest making gun control a big issue beyond banning assault weapons or the like, as I doubt much narrower limits would stand up in court.
If we want meaningful gun control it would require a constitutional amendment. And I’m not sure I want to open the floodgates to undermining any part of the Bill of Rights, because who knows what would be next.
All that said, shooting 19 kids/day seems a very high price to pay for our liberties, even in a country of 320+ million people.
It puts me in mind of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” — although this deadly lottery is rigged: “9 out of 10 children who get shot in the United States are between the ages of 12 and 17”; 8 out of 10 are boys; and, more than half of the child gun victims are nonwhite.
Incidentally, of those 19 kids shot per day about 3.5/day die from their wounds. 3.5 per day.
I’d probably share your apprehension about amending the Bill of Rights But it does sound a bit like a slippery slope argument, and a wise man once told me that a slippery slope is just not doing the right thing now for fear of having to do the right thing later.
In any event, it’s difficult for me to imagine any statistic heartbreaking enough to effect any change in that direction, much less a constitutional amendment, when Sandy Hook wasn’t enough.
I don’t think this is a slippery slope argument. It’s a fear-of-what-others-will-do-if-we-break-the-taboo argument, not one about where logic could lead.
Can you imagine losing your right to free speech, due process, or search and seizure if you are convicted of a felony. Well felons cannot own guns after they are freed so here is an example of the second amendment being interpreted differently than every other amendment. I never understood how this works (I am sure there is a case that discusses it…)
It’s certainly not unique, consider felon disenfranchisement.