Amend­ment out­dated

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Dec. 15, 1791: That’s the date the Sec­ond Amend­ment be­came law. Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton was serv­ing his first term as Amer­ica’s first pres­i­dent. At that spe­cific mo­ment in his­tory, the Ken­tucky long ri­fle was about the most so­phis­ti­cated “fir­ing” weapon avail­able for mil­i­tary or hunt­ing pur­poses. How many of you knew that?

The Sec­ond Amend­ment was a time-sen­si­tive, his­tor­i­cally pro­voked amend­ment en­acted just 15 years af­ter our coun­try con­fronted a Bri­tish army whose goal was to use deadly force to kill our frag­ile, young demo­cratic ex­per­i­ment. In 1791, the Sec­ond Amend­ment was crit­i­cally im­por­tant. It was timely, rel­e­vant and es­sen­tial to this coun­try’s sur­vival.

That was 227 years ago.

I be­lieve the ex­i­gent cir­cum­stances that pro­voked the writ­ing and adop­tion of the Sec­ond Amend­ment are the only cir­cum­stances that ex­plain and jus­tify why we have the Sec­ond Amend­ment in the first place. Times have changed. Cir­cum­stances have changed. Jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and any rea­son­able de­fense for our Sec­ond Amend­ment be­came out­dated a long time ago along with the Ken­tucky long ri­fle. It’s ob­vi­ous the Sec­ond Amend­ment was writ­ten and adopted to sup­port one’s right of self-de­fense within the his­tor­i­cal con­text of one’s right to re­sist op­pres­sion.

(For the record: My wife and I own hand­guns [no long ri­fles] and we have carry per­mits. We are not NRA mem­bers and never will be for a mul­ti­tude of rea­sons, all of which are best ar­tic­u­lated by the new, young ad­vo­cates for gun con­trol ris­ing like a tsunami na­tion­wide fol­low­ing the Park­land, Fla., mas­sacre.)

Unchecked and un­mod­ern­ized, the ex­is­tence of the Sec­ond Amend­ment at this mo­ment in his­tory is tan­ta­mount to be­stow­ing upon all Amer­i­cans the right of in­sur­rec­tion, an­ar­chy and mass mur­der. HARRY HERGET

Lit­tle Rock

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