Friday, March 22, 2013

If we can repeal the 18th amendment, why not repeal the 2nd amendment?

Thomas Jefferson is one of the most admired founders of American liberty, thought, and reason. He carried the Jefferson Bible, which was literally pages of the New Testament he cut and paste making his own mini-bible. He believed that the Constitution was a living document, and it should change as the people change. He understood that the culture two hundred years from now is not the same culture as today. Thomas Jefferson believed that the Constitution should changes as the people change. The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson gives considerable insight into his views, and helps to illustrate the vast gulf between his vision of a free society and totalitarian governments.

The twenty-first Amendment to the American constitution is a perfect example of a changing constitution. It shows that sometimes, certain constitutional amendments simply do not work for the people anymore and must be changed. 

The Twenty-first Amendment (Amendment XXI) to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition on alcohol on January 17, 1920. The Twenty-first amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933. It is unique among the 27 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution for being the only one to repeal a previous Amendment, and for being the only one to have been ratified by the method of the state ratifying convention.

At the beginning of prohibition, Reverend Billy Sunday delivered this quotation during a speech. "The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses. Men will walk upright now, women will smile and children will laugh. Hell will be for rent."

They watched and waited, twiddled their thumbs and realized nothing improved. Not only did things not improve, but they got worse - they got a hell of a lot worse. 

Under prohibition crime rates went through the roof. 

The following are statistics detailing how much worse crime got:
  • Police funding: INCREASED $11.4 Million
  • Arrests for Prohibition Law Violations: INCREASED 102+%
  • Arrests for Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct: INCREASED 41%
  • Arrests of Drunken Drivers: INCREASED 81%
  • Thefts and Burglaries: INCREASED 9%
  • Homicides, Assault, and Battery: INCREASED 13%
  • Number of Federal Convicts: INCREASED 561%
  • Federal Prison Population: INCREASED 366%
  • Total Federal Expenditures on Penal Institutions: INCREASED 1,000%
The twenty-first amendment ratified the eighteenth amendment because the American people realized that the Constitution needed to be changed. The eighteenth Amendment was wrong, harmful, and simply not working anymore.

When we look back at the decision to change the United States Constitution  are we looking at it the same way that Thomas Jefferson would have looked at it? Thomas Jefferson believed that the Constitution should change as the people and culture change.

I am wondering, why can't we apply this same logic to the second amendment?

Children are slaughtered in school, movie theaters  and sometimes while having their diapers changed in the back of a car. We were able to recognize that millions of people were being killed, victims of crimes, or perpetrators of crimes under prohibition. Why can't we see that the second amendment is also causing just as much needless violence, pain and death?

The only argument to be had for the second amendment comes from A. the appeal to tradition and B. a cowboy mentality. We do not need a second amendment anymore. It is my hope, that the second amendment will be given the same place in history as the eighteenth amendment. It is outdated, archaic, and not relevant to modernity. We do not need guns in our society anymore.


  1. The more I see with gun laws and the reaction to it I have wondered if outright change/elimination of the second amendment is one of the better avenues. However, at this point I don't know if any reduction/ban on guns would be successful. There are people who would probably kill or be killed if any serious attempt at such measures were taken.

    I also think that if we as a society truly want to take steps to stop gun violence we need to own and change the other bad things that go along with it.

    I guess the main thing is I wholly agree with the end results I see proposed, but I have yet to see a solid journey to that goal.

  2. I'm not sure where you're getting your arguments for the 2nd amendment, but of all the people I've seen arguing for it I've never seen anyone use either of the arguments you mentioned here.

    The arguments I see most often are:
    1) Ability to defend oneself and others nearby.
    2) Keeping the power of the citizens vs the power of the state balanced.
    3) Prohibiting guns will not eliminate guns; criminals will happily break the law to acquire guns.

    I think the example you gave here is actually a good argument *against* prohibition of guns. The problems that arose were because the government prohibited something that people wanted (alcohol). That suddenly made an entire swathe of industry, trade, and human activity a criminal activity. This pushed that whole constellation of activity underground. It was no longer a legitimate activity, but now a criminal activity, and thus criminals took control of it. With criminals in control of that entire constellation of activity, the crime around it went up significantly. I contend the same thing would likely happen, for the same reasons, if the government prohibited guns.



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