As a student of American history, I have been struck by the parallels between the debate over gun control and the debate over slavery in the 19th century.
The slave lobby used its economic power to control Congress and proclaim that fundamental rights were at stake. They made it illegal to even discuss slavery in Congress. Today, the gun lobby has attempted to muzzle pediatricians from discussing the dangers of guns in the home and prohibit the Centers for Disease Control from gathering statistics on gun deaths. Then and now, the effort was to suppress knowledge and information.
The gun lobby continues to see any attempt to enact reasonable gun laws as a cause for hysterical posturing, similar to the reactions of slave owners in Congress to any criticism of their “peculiar institution.”
I hope that most Americans do not support unlimited access to any and all types of guns and do support innovations like “smart guns.” The loudest voices do not represent the majority. Just as Americans had to reach the conclusion that the founders got it wrong on slavery, I think it is time to acknowledge that the Second Amendment, at least as currently interpreted, is hurting our country.
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