The madness of senseless violence we’ve seen this past year is disturbing and unacceptable. In each event, we are left to wonder why this happened and how we can stop it. There is no simple solution. The “gun culture” in America permeates us and has taken root like crabgrass in our lawns. And no one is blameless. We’ve grown up with TV shows like Have Gun, Will Travel, The Rifleman, and Gunsmoke. We ban children from R-rated movies like Bonnie and Clyde, Terminator, and Scarface, and then offer them as DVDs on Amazon and eBay. We watch nightly news programs that show us gang violence, drug cartel wars, and international terrorists living among us. And now we have video games with names like Mortal Kombat, Assassin’s Creed, Halo, and Medal of Honor that blend realistic weapons with fantasy.
Those “olde, white guys” in Philadelphia back in the middle of the 18th century were pretty sharp. They crafted a government that still works after more than 200 years. They built in safeguards to protect us from an oppressive and despotic government. And they built in some safeguards to protect us from ourselves. “Gun control”—like abortion and gay marriage—is an emotional and thorny issue. Every form of media will wrap itself in First Amendment rights and defend its product. In order to deal effectively with our violent society, I submit we need to discuss modifying (or “tinkering with”) the First Amendment.
What? You don’t like that idea? Why not? You’re talking about doing it with the Second.