Friday, February 15, 2013


The Bill of Rights lists natural rights that predated America's founding and should never be subject to repeal. No real progressive would support repealing any part of the Bill of Rights. We can argue the fine points of how to interpret the Constitution's first 10 amendments, but I'm not afraid to fight to the death against their outright revocation. I'm fully aware that I'm following a document written by people who lived over 200 years ago - but my high school principal was probably that old too.

It's a downright falsehood to say the U.S. is the only country where the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. Other countries - including Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, and Guatemala - also enshrine it in their Constitution. Conversely, the right-wing prototype state of Singapore is one of very few countries that completely outlaws individual gun ownership.

While conservative newspapers like the Chicago Tribune and the Harvard Crimson have endorsed repealing the Second Amendment since even before Newtown, such an effort will not be entertained by me. Rescinding parts of the Bill of Rights is the refuge of a statist. Instead, why don't we have police deescalate?

The militarization of America that's heightened over the past 20 years is a threat in ways that aren't always immediately visible. In addition to running roughshod over basic liberty, it encourages an internal arms race. It reminds me of the "Itchy & Scratchy" segment where the title characters keeping whipping out larger and larger pistols until they engulf the Earth.

I understand why cops carry guns. But is it necessary for them to carry military weapons? Some years back, when hollow-point bullets that broke apart in the victim's flesh were introduced, politicians lamented how nobody needs a bullet like that. Apparently, the police think they need it, because Winchester began selling it only to cops. Why would police need ammo that splits apart on impact?

Militarization of society is a form of violence - physical and psychological. It's time for our police to deescalate and move away from military weapons. And it's time for our schools to do the same.

Tyranny is tyranny, and I've seen enough fascism to make me appreciate the Bill of Rights. I fight back.