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At present we are perceived as a crazed state incapable of protecting its citizens from death by gunfire and equally incapable of correcting the situation. But indignation at the Newtown killings and the president's new resolve suggest that we are finally beginning to act. Still, many resist change or feel that internal peace is a lost cause. They must be persuaded otherwise.
A jolt delivered to some historical perceptions might help. Imagine that the framers of our Constitution have miraculously come alive and, in genuine eighteenth-century garb, are visiting today's America.
They observe the following: a drive-by killing, a school massacre, and, remembering their own clumsy and inaccurate weapons, a gun show displaying assault weapons and laser sights. They then note that many are buying guns for private arsenals or for "militias" preparing to overturn any government that displeases them. Finally, they read statistics demonstrating that our misreading of their Second Amendment has made it the most lethal of all their documents.
Can anyone doubt that they would rethink that amendment and clarify beyond question both its purpose and its limits? And can't we all act in the spirit of these men of reason and join the president on the road to sanity?