I came of age when the word “drive-by” entered the American lexicon. By high school graduation, I lost one cousin to gun violence and another was incarcerated for a gun crime. I know many harmed by guns and even more who feared the possibility. I always wonder if, but for the Second Amendment, there would be a more radical commitment to compromise and peacefully working through easy and difficult issues.
In writing the Second Amendment, the Framers didn't envision the kind of gun toting that is permitted across this country today.
The process of compromise is exactly what the Framers were engaged in and is exactly what seems absent today. What if terms like “black-on-black crime” were instead “black-on-black reconciliation” or “black-on-black-let’s-talk-this-out-like-the-human-beings-we-have-always-known-ourselves-to-be.”
I am not naïve enough to believe that doing away with the Second Amendment would do away with gun violence, but I know firsthand the impact of guns and gun shots on children. This nation was constructed and reconstructed in the aftermath of violent and bloody conflicts. Still, the Framers believed that not only the Constitution, but also the peaceful way the document was created, would penetrate the Americans' minds and change they engaged. The Constitution would be the only weapon needed unless there was an external enemy.
Despite the Supreme Court’s repetition of outdated mythologies of kings and castles in Heller v. District of Columbia, I am not sure this amendment envisioned the kind of gun toting that is permitted across this country in the last decade. The Second Amendment acknowledged the vulnerability of a nation in its infancy, but could not predict a world where some would move through life feeling more like targets than citizens. Now a mother watching her own fragile creation grow into black manhood, I would worry less if it were more difficult for him to find himself facing a gun held by boys or men who look like him or by those whose job it is to serve and protect.