Buffalo. Laguna Woods. Uvalde. Tulsa. The recent mass shootings I’ve heard about on the news over the past few weeks have been…a lot. And I know I am far from the only person who feels this way.
What simultaneously angers, upsets, and grieves me is the fact that some of our politicians are absolutely tone-deaf to all of this. Just days after a mass shooting in Texas, some top politicians went to a convention for the National Rifle Association (NRA)—the entity arguably most responsible for the fact that our country does little to nothing after every single mass shooting—in, of all places, Texas.
We ask ourselves why America is the only country that keeps on having these mass shootings. There are many theories, but I think a part of it may be because too many of our politicians refuse to do anything of substance after the mass shootings. Other countries have taken significant measures after mass shootings, and in at least one of those cases (Australia) and arguably another of those cases (the United Kingdom), those measures were effective in curbing gun violence. And then in a third such case (New Zealand), it is simply too early to tell.
So if we know that there are other countries that have successfully made attempts to reduce gun violence, then why can’t we have the same in the United States? I think a part of it is because too many politicians at the national level don’t have the courage to break ranks with the NRA and its supporters in order to do anything of substance. And because of that, it seems like the votes likely aren’t there for substantive gun control.
But even if the votes for needed gun control measures were there in Congress, the current Supreme Court seems to have an appetite for, if anything, expanding gun rights through a rather expansive view of what the Second Amendment (the amendment used when it comes to gun rights) means.
So what should be done?
The first thing I will suggest may be extremely controversial, but if the courts are going to interpret the Second Amendment in ways that will keep states or the federal government from making any gun control measures stick—even ones that have worked in other countries—we need to repeal the Second Amendment. If the way we use the Second Amendment is as an excuse to do nothing about who owns a gun, or as a means of striking down any gun control laws, even in the wake of mass shootings, it’s time to repeal the amendment that provides this excuse.
Now, just to be clear, if the Second Amendment were to be repealed (and I would wager that I have a better chance of becoming a billionaire than I do of seeing a repeal of the Second Amendment), this doesn’t mean that nobody will be able to own a gun. Instead, what it means is that, as with many other things in life that require registrations and licenses, there are responsibilities that one might be required to meet in order to become a gun owner. Some of the responsibilities that should become a part of gun control legislation should be modeled off of what Australia—a country with a significant hunting culture, I might add—did after its most recent mass shooting decades ago:
- Extensive licensing and registration processes
- A 28-day waiting period for firearm sales
- A severe restriction or even a ban on fully automatic or semi-automatic weapons
- A federal gun buyback program to help people give back guns in a responsible way
I recognize that some of what I am suggesting is not only controversial, but perhaps politically untenable, for many politicians right now—hence why I’m not hearing my suggestion for repealing the Second Amendment coming even come from many liberals. But honestly, given the illness of mass shootings that this country is going through right now, I think everything—and I mean everything—needs to be on the table. And that includes things that may be politically untenable to even some gun control advocates.
 A constitutional amendment can be repealed and was repealed once before. Namely, the 18th Amendment (having to do with alcohol prohibition) was repealed by the 21st Amendment.