Michael Moore has posted on Facebook the proposed wording of his new 28th Amendment to the Constitution – and it’s a doozy. (Moore goes Professor Bob Englehart of Eastern Connecticut State University one better. As Ben Bowles recorded this morning, Englehart only wants to repeal the 2A.)
The Second Amendment comes in at an elegant 26 words:
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Moore’s proposed language requires a decidedly inelegant 63:
A well regulated State National Guard, being helpful to the safety and security of a State in times of need, along with the strictly regulated right of the people to keep and bear a limited number of non-automatic Arms for sport and hunting, with respect to the primary right of all people to be free from gun violence, this shall not be infringed.
But beyond the absurdly aspirational, non-executable, downright anti-legal language in his proposed “amendment,” Moore expands enthusiastically on all the ways states can then regulate the purchase and ownership of firearms. This passage goes on to the tune of 749 words, which certainly doesn’t get us anywhere near Obamacare territory, but does convey nicely how in-your-shorts Moore wants to be, restricting-your-gun-ownership-wise.
There’s no way to parse out all the foolishness here – or, let’s say, there’s a way, but I’d be here typing until Catalonia and Spain have settled their hash sometime between now and Christmas, and who has time for that? Here is Moore’s opening manifesto:
I, Michael Moore, along with all who support an end to this epidemic of gun violence, propose a new Amendment to our Constitution that repeals the ancient and outdated 2nd Amendment (which was written before bullets and revolvers were even invented), and replaces it with a new 28th Amendment that guarantees States can have State militias (a.k.a. State National Guards which are made up of citizen-soldiers who are called upon in times of natural disasters or other State emergencies), allows individuals to use guns for sport and gathering food, and guarantees everyone the right to be free of, and protected from, gun violence (i.e., the public’s safety comes ahead of an individual’s right to own and fire a gun).
The state militia is not, in fact, the same thing as the “State National Guard,” just for starters. But ultimately, this is a whole lot of blather that is stopped cold by reality if you have even one sane synapse in your body.
The vast majority of gun-involved felonies are not committed with the guns Moore wants to ban, and that includes mass shootings. European gun laws look much more like Moore’s ideal than ours do, and that hasn’t stopped mass shootings. That’s because draconian gun laws don’t prevent criminals from obtaining guns.
A writer for FiveThirtyEight, published this week in the Washington Post, concluded that and more about the types of measures Moore advocates. The statistical information on gun banning and buyback programs abroad simply doesn’t support optimistic conclusions about how such programs will affect gun-involved homicides. (Side note: in light of this, it’s somewhat humorous to see all the Aussies chiming in at Moore’s Facebook post claiming major success for their program. The Australian gun-removal program is one of the efforts assessed in the study Leah Libresco wrote up.)
Libresco also discovered what she didn’t know before: that two thirds of the gun-involved deaths included in the official count are suicides.
At any rate, Moore goes on to enumerate ways in which he just wants to see things be very different – regardless of the impossibility of enforcing laws, in any rational or rule-of-law sense, to make that happen.
He’d like the new 28th Amendment to usher in laws like this, for example:
- As over 90% of gun violence is committed by men, in order for a man to purchase a gun, he must first get a waiver from his current wife, plus his most recent ex-wife, or any woman with whom he is currently in a relationship (if he’s gay, he must get the waiver from his male spouse/partner). This law has greatly reduced most spousal/domestic gun murders in Canada. …
- To activate a gun for it to be used, the trigger must recognize the fingerprint of its registered owner. This will eliminate most crimes committed with a gun as 80% of these crimes are done with a stolen gun.
- One’s guns must be stored at a licensed gun club or government-regulated gun storage facility. Believing that having a gun in your home provides you with protection is an American myth. People who die from a home invasion make up a sad but minuscule .04% of all gun murders in the US. And over a third of them are killed by their own gun that the criminal has either stolen or wrestled from them. …
- As nearly half of all gun deaths are suicides, mental health care must become a top national health priority and must be properly funded. And by making it more difficult to purchase a gun – and requiring its storage outside the home – easy access during a suicidal moment is denied.
A number of Moore’s claims are simply false, such as his statement that restrictions on the CDC “prohibit them from studying the gun violence epidemic in the US.” The CDC is not prohibited from studying gun violence, and in fact continues to do so.
Congress cut the funding line that was being used by ideologues at the CDC to advocate for anti-gun laws and restrictions, pointing out that such political advocacy was not for the CDC to engage in or control definitions about, on the taxpayer’s dime.
Congress is right: proclaiming that firearms are a public health issue is not in the province of scientific researchers. It’s inherently a political issue because it’s inherently about human motivation and our moral principles for human life. Congress, in fact, is exactly where those concerns are ironed out for the purposes of public policy. And it is well within Congress’ purview to refuse funding from the taxpayers to researchers who insist otherwise.
Moore himself makes the case against his own demand for the CDC, although apparently he doesn’t realize it.
Science will then be free to find out why we are ALONE among nations in killing each other at such a massive rate (hint: It’s not just the guns – it’s us as Americans).
Of course it’s not the guns. It’s the people. And mass killings have hardly been limited to either America or to gun-involved attacks. In July 2016, in Nice, a terrorist killed 86 people with a truck. This was after ISIS-linked terrorists slaughtered 130 people in Paris in November 2015, using illegal semiautomatic rifles (some fitted, gruesomely, and illegally, with bayonets). See that last link for links to other statistics on mass killings outside the United States (along with Ben Bowles’ link from today at the top). We’re not, in fact, the singularly big culprit.
But Moore does have one thing right. It’s the people. It’s not the guns. (Matt Walsh has a take rather different from Michael Moore’s on what would make a difference to the incidence of mass attacks in recent years.)