This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Second Amendment is dead a victim of its own making. It has been killed over and over again. It's been dying since the mass murders at the University of Texas Clock Tower, 101 California in San Francisco, McDonalds in San Diego, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Trolley Square, Fort Hood Army Base, and now Aurora, Colo. It only remains to be declared DOA and repealed plain and simple.
If we add up all the sorrow, injury, disability, terror, and death caused by guns in this country, compared with the good that personally owned guns have proven to be since 1776, there cannot be any other conclusion. On this one, the Founding Fathers might have had an initial idea, based on their active revolt from the British, and the need for everyone to have a single-shot, barrel-loaded gun at the ready, just in case.
But this gradually disappeared, as a need for the populace to grab a gun and overthrow the oppressors became no longer valid. The chances of this type of "defense of freedom" uprising happening today is not only slim but none. The Communists, North Koreans, Nazis, and various comic-book villains, are not coming for us.
Two hundred years of experiencing this constitutional mistake should be enough to end this death-causing, not freedom-protecting, clause. The self-protection aspect of this thing is incredibly weak just ask Trayvon Williams in Florida. In the past month alone, we saw two infants shoot themselves in the head and die from guns owned by their grandfather and father, respectively.
Just count up these never-ending tragedies, and then tell me that we have saved more lives by having guns, than are killed accidentally, or inappropriately, by these guns. Compared with the mayhem, any "saving of lives" by packing is a myth.
And that doesn't even remotely consider the other millions of sentient beings on Earth wounded, crippled, and killed innocent animals. Our lives don't actually hang in the balance anymore with shooting our dinner. There's a Greek proverb: "Boys throw stones at frogs in jest. However, the frogs do not die in jest, but in earnest."
And these aren't the guns of our forefathers. Even a Civil War Gatling gun didn't shoot bullets much quicker than a modern assault rifle and it was much harder to carry and point a Gatling gun or World War II 50-caliber machine gun.
But, hey, John Dillinger's machine gun is still technically illegal, yet a 2012-crafted assault rifle, that every Tom, Dick, and Harry can easily purchase multiples of, including all the rounds needed to kill an entire school district of kids, is not only legal, but just fine to obtain under this flawed, and obsolete Amendment.
The tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, caused by millions of unnecessary guns, so the average man can supposedly "save the country," or kill something, need to be stopped.
Canada, the country we are the most like, is a great example of gun rationality. In 2009, gun homicides totaled 173 way up from 168 in 1995. In 2009, we Americans had 11,127. Are we stupid?
What happened in Aurora, just 12 miles from another incomprehensible gun tragedy, Columbine High School, will happen again, and again, and again, until we repeal this failed part of an otherwise decent Constitution.
Given the weird scenario at this theater, where the most recent outrage involving guns and/or nuts played out, this tragedy is also ironic even Batman doesn't use guns. I can only hope the next sequel is called "The Dark Knight Gets Even NRA Committed to Arkham Asylum."
Jeff Clawson is a Salt Lake City physician and inventor of the international 911 Medical Priority Dispatch Protocol used in 43 countries. First adopted in Salt Lake City, it includes the Stab/Gunshot/Penetrating Trauma Protocol 27.