Dingus of the Week: The Second Amendment
Who needs it?
We made it to another Friday. And that means, it’s time for another dingus. The weekly dingus is the Friday newsletter where I make fun of someone or something in the news, share a drink recipe, and links. Sometimes the dingus is the constitution, sometimes it’s spiders. If you love your weekly dingus, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is short:
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.
Even if you don’t follow politics or history closely, you are already familiar with the Second Amendment because it’s killing us.
I’d love it if the decaying feet of the founding fathers would step off our collective necks and let us live.
The amendment has been used not only to protect the right of citizens to own guns but to justify the purchase and ownership of weapons like the AR-15, whose sole design is to murder. It’s also the tiny cloak that politicians try to hide behind when Americans, who have grieved mass murder after mass murder, cry out for reform.
“Look,” they say, “our founders wanted people to have guns.” Well, look, our founders could have been wrong. Our founders didn’t believe Black people and women to be equal to men. Our founders had some well-documented problems. And to be honest, I’d love it if the decaying feet of the founding fathers would step off our collective necks and let us live. They are dead. And we are alive and we are trying to stay alive and keep our children alive.
Conservative justices think they are justified in suborning violence in this nation because of an interpretation of the Second Amendment the NRA invented in the 1970s. For most of American history, gun regulation and the Second Amendment were not in conflict. As many people know, “well regulated militia” is right in the text of the amendment, suggesting that regulation is a key concept in the right to bear arms. But the NRA invented a reading of the amendment that called for nearly unfettered access to weapons for dudebros who only feel manly when shooting at black people or Bambi’s mom, and the Republicans and their judges ran with it.
In 2019, Mystal argued for repealing and replacing the Second Amendment, noting:,
The Second Amendment is why we have a generation of young people that is scarred or missing from gun violence. And the Second Amendment is why I had to tell my 6-year-old last night to act like Scaredy Squirrel and “play dead” if an “active shooter” storms his classroom, thereby mangling the whole moral of the books.
Maybe the founding fathers couldn’t have predicted this world. Maybe they could have. I actually don’t care. What I want to do is drop my kids off at school without being terrified that that is the last time I will see them. But according to the Second Amendment, that’s asking for too much.
Community pick: Over in the Discord community, it was mostly unanimous. Everyone is sick of journalist Matt Ygelesias, who, moments after the news of the shooting broke, was posting contrarian takes in opposition to people’s grief and lament. I’d write more about it, but Parker Molloy already did that brilliantly.
My runner-up pick: Monkeypox. NOT NOW, MONKEYPOX!!! We don’t have time for you. Can’t you see we are trying to survive the collapse of an empire?
What I Am Reading:
I finished Katie Runde’s book The Shore. And it’s a wonderful novel about family and grief and the summer and love. Join me on June 3 for an event with Katie in Iowa City! It’s a fundraiser for the Iowa City Public Library.