They’re Called A-Mend-ments For a Reason

It’s time to put an end to the whole gun control debate.  It seems to me it’s time for an amendment.  Let’s review.  The right to bear arms was established at a time when colonists were living mostly in the unknown.  We were barely a country.  In fact, the country was mostly undiscovered and we were only thirteen states.  There really wasn’t a viable national military and state militias were made up of citizens who brought their own guns. 

And what about those guns they were bearing?  They were single-shot muskets.  The owner had to spend a fair amount of time priming and loading it and then had one shot.  Then another few minutes were spent reloading.  That’s why battles were fought with several lines of troops.  The first line fired.  Then they kneeled and reloaded while the second line fired, and the third and so on. 

So, our forefathers knew people needed guns to hunt and to protect themselves from attacks from animals, Indians (although we pretty much took care of that later by killing many Indians and moving the rest to reservations) or foreign invaders.  It was a rough and tumble time with very few law enforcements and virtually no army or militia. 

A Few Hundred Years Later

Now people get to openly (in some states) carry guns.  Guns have metastisized into devices that have immense killing power.  Machine pistols, machine guns, guns that rapid fire a whole bunch of bullets in a few seconds.  And despite gun licensing legislation that varies widely from state to state, it’s alarmingly easy for anyone to get a gun. 

I’m pretty sure the forefathers did not have these types of arms in mind when they wrote the 2nd amendment.  And speaking of a-mend-ments, remember the key syllable:  mend.  It means to fix something that is broken.  We’ve done it before when we put in amendments to let blacks and women vote; prior legislation had omitted those pesky details.  And the 21st amendment fixed a huge wrong by repealing prohibition.  I’ll drink a beer to that. 

So, here’s my suggestion for the 28th amendment.

Citizens have the right to bear single-shot arms.  Simple.  You can have a gun that only fires one shot at a time.  No automatics.  No semiautomatics.  No clips that hold 30 bullets.  The guns are incapable of firing a second shot without manually reloading. 

This should make everybody happy.  The NRA doesn’t have to spend all that money lobbying Congress.  Their job is done, so they are done.  Gun manufacturers will be happy because they will roll out all new models — meaning new revenue streams.  Hunting will actually be fairer because the elk, deer, bear, ducks et. al. have a chance because they can move around while the hunters are reloading.   The people who are afraid that terrorists are lurking in their backyard can still protect themselves.  And the haters, crazies and criminals will just have to make do with a single shot. Of course, we will have much stronger gun licensing laws too. Right?

I think this makes a lot of sense.  Everybody who wants a gun gets to have a gun.  We get rid of all the guns that are not single shot.   We make one of  most contentious amendments relevant and aligned with the spirit of our forefathers.

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