Letter: If the Second Amendment keeps us in this hell on earth, then let us cut it off and throw it away

FILE - A man carries his weapon during a Second Amendment gun rally at Utah State Capitol on Feb. 8, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

“If your hand or your foot should be your downfall, cut it off and throw it away: it is better for you to enter into life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.” (Matthew 18:8)

Hmm. Maybe this is how we should feel about the Second Amendment? It seems to be doing us no good at all. Put aside for now the problem that the Second Amendment was designed to give the slave power a legal militia to keep Black people in servitude. And let’s not divert from knowing right and wrong by according District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, any dignity for conjuring up an individual right to bear arms.

Let’s just admit that the Second Amendment is preventing us from protecting our people. Clearly, we are unable to protect school children in Texas, in Colorado, in Florida, in Connecticut, anywhere. We are unable to protect people at worship, anywhere. We are unable to protect outdoor music audiences in Las Vegas, or in Florida clubs, or anywhere. We are unable to protect grocery shoppers in Boulder, or Buffalo, or anywhere. This is because lobbyists have distorted the meaning of the Second Amendment to profit arms manufacturers and we let them. Our political leaders, largely Republican, have falsified the right to bear arms, fastened onto it an illusory value, and given it priority over life (the lives of fourth-graders), liberty (the freedom to exist), and the pursuit of happiness (worshiping, attending public events, buying food).

If our choice is to blindly adhere to a mendacious interpretation of the Second Amendment and suffer unending deaths, or change the Second Amendment and preserve the lives of our school children and ourselves, what shall it be? If the Second Amendment keeps us in this hell on earth, then let us cut it off and throw it away. Give us leaders who know the difference between good and evil. We need them now.

Robert C. Steiner, Salt Lake City

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