A father who lost his 6-year-old son in the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was actually heckled by gun advocates. Heckled! How on earth do you dredge up enough yuck from your soul to be able to heckle a guy who lost his child in the most horrific manner possible? Well, some gun lovers managed. Because they love their guns more than their humanity. When Neil Heslin, who lost his son Jesse in the Newtown killings, testified before a local hearing on gun control, he asked a simple, reasonable question: WHY does anyone need an assault rifle? You'd think gun lovers would have a good answer for this. You'd think they would have researched, prepared, passionately and intelligently reasoned for why assault weapons are a necessary thing for your average person. But instead they heckled.
So what did they heckle? When Neil asked why people need assault weapons, the brilliant (sarcasm) gun enthusiasts yelled, "Second Amendment! Second Amendment!" drowning out the devastated dad.
Neil stayed classy and replied: "We're all entitled to our own opinions and I respect their opinions and their thoughts. But I wish they'd respect mine and give it a little bit of thought."
I don't expect Second Amendment buffs to be able to think rationally or critically about this matter, but here's the truth. Amendments get altered, changed, even repealed. Just because it's an amendment doesn't make it sacred. Let's see ... ever hear of the 16th Amendment? That allows the government to collect income tax. But guess what? There are seven states that don't collect income tax! Shocker.
Ever hear of the 18th Amendment? That abolishes the sale of alcohol. But lo! That unpopular Amendment was repealed entirely by something called the 21st Amendment.
There's the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment." Yet I'm willing to bet a lot of these Second Amendment lovers are just fine with strapping someone down and administering a lethal injection into their veins. The 15th Amendment established suffrage for men of different races. But conveniently left out women. That didn't happen for another 50 years.
Additionally, other Amendments, such as the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, isn't a sweeping, anything-goes, black-and-white rule. You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded place when there's no fire just because you have freedom of speech. Try yelling "Bomb!" on a plane and then standing behind the First Amendment. It won't get you very far.
So an Amendment is not sacred, my friends. The right to bear arms doesn't necessarily mean the right to bear an AK-47 any more than it means you can stock a nuclear weapon or a cannon. Deal with it.
What do you think about the Second Amendment? Do you think the crowd should have heckled?
Image via Ahisgett/Flickr