Libertarian author and feminist Wendy McElroy brought up a question that has also been bugging other libertarians as of late.
With the calls for stricter gun control becoming widely popular all thanks to some of the students who witnessed the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting, McElroy asked whether there has ever been a similarly organized effort to bring down an article in the original Bill of Rights.
While she pointed out that the U.S. Constitution has been under “vigorous” attack in the past and eventually altered, the Bill of Rights has remained intact.
Personally, I couldn’t remember any other occasion in recent history that involved such a massive number of people coming together to demand that a civil right be taken away. While others couldn’t name a similar event either, what I learned instead from this thread was that even if the Second Amendment were to be repealed, gun control advocates would have a hard time dictating gun policy.
Author and intellectual property lawyer Stephan Kinsella was one of the many who replied to McElroy. As he explained, even if the Second Amendment were to be obliterated, the Ninth Amendment would serve as a tool to recognize the individual’s right to own firearms.
“If the first 8 amendments failed to enumerate a right to bear arms, that does not imply that the people don’t have this right, and it doesn’t imply the feds have the power to violate it,” Kinsella told McElroy and her followers. “Even if the [Second Amendment] never existed, the [Federal Government] still has no general legislative power and no enumerated power to regulate guns (the 10th amendment bolsters this interpretation). So removing the [Second Amendment] is not supposed to matter.”
While I’m glad that if the Second Amendment were to be struck down, experts such as Kinsella and a host of others would be ready to fight for an individual’s right to own guns, what caused me great sadness was just how ready people have been to attack civil rights in the name of what they believe that will amount to security.
How many times in history have we seen this happen?
For example, minorities have been treated as less than human before the law because the majority felt insecure. Americans have been forced to surrender their privacy so that the government keeps us safe from terrorists. Individuals have been stripped of their property in warrantless searches and without being charged all in the name of prohibition.
This is the first time in history that Americans have marched en masse to demand that a group of individuals is stripped of their civil rights, but pro-gun advocates and organizations aren’t backing down.
In the days and weeks following the shooting at Parkland, the National Rifle Association saw a significant spike in donations and counter rallies are currently taking place across the country. If anything, there is hope leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. A recent column from Bloomberg reports that the gun-control movement may be headed nowhere because “nothing has changed the fundamental facts of gun politics,” not even the children who are becoming the new face of the movement.