|By reliable estimate, there is at least one gun per person in the United States. Of course, the guns aren’t evenly distributed. Many people have none, and some people have many. Mass shooters come disproportionately from those who have many, and among that group, a disproportionate number of mass murderers acquire multiple guns shortly before they kill people.
I’ve long thought the Second Amendment is a pernicious archaism that should be repealed. Doing so is a very long-term and possibly dangerous project, but some people are stepping up to meet the challenge now. If you want to be one of them, you can sign a petition sponsored by MoveOn to repeal the Second Amendment.
In the near term, the rate of mass killing can be substantially reduced by passing new laws that don’t run afoul of the Second Amendment. In part, the amendment says “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Note that it says nothing about the right of the people to acquire arms, though it could easily have done so. Second Amendment supremacists will say that acquiring guns is a right derived from the right to keep them. However, many of the same people, conservative textualists, deny that the right to privacy can legitimately be derived from the personal protections in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments.
It all depends on who does the interpreting, and that all depends on who holds power. Currently the extreme right wing of the Republican Party holds too much of it, and to make progress, we have to wrest it away from them.
Doing so, as always, comes down to winning elections. We have to elect more liberals and progressives to office at all levels of government, and failing that, to elect more moderates. The emerging “youth” cohort — voters aged 18 to 35 — will become dominant in one or two decades, turning politics in a progressive direction. Until then, we can move the process along by involvement in political activities such as protesting and canvassing for votes.
In the process, we should hit Republicans where they are weakest — in their obstinate support of outrageous positions such anti-abortion policies and the supposed constitutional right of demented people to buy AK-47s with which to kill school children.