National Review, one of America’s leading conservative publications, published an in house editorial on the Newton massacre saying that mass killings are the price a free society has to pay to have the second amendment. The article was not written as a cautionary tale. The editors of National Review believe that Americans who cherish the freedom to own guns have to accept that sometimes you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet.
The op-ed featured on the National Review homepage said:
“The practical consequence of living for nearly two-and-a-half centuries under the almost universally benevolent protection of the Second Amendment is a society in which there are hundreds of millions of guns…Those upset with the order of things are welcome to try, and doomed to fail, to repeal the Second Amendment via the constitutional process. But the guns of America aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and generic calls to “do something” — even insofar as doing something is desirable — must reckon with this fact.
“On Friday, the president promised “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” We doubt that something like this is possible, in a way consistent with the principle and the fact of the Second Amendment. If the possibility of terrors like Newtown are a reminder of why we need politics, their reality is a reminder that politics can do only so much.”
The massacre in Newton has renewed a call among the left and a decent portion of the center to re-examine the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines that expired in 2004. There are further calls for politicians to act to further restrict gun ownership in an attempt to prevent further atrocities.
The Supreme Court, as recently as 2008, recognized gun ownership as an individual right and not a collective one conferred on the population by the government. Before 2008, it was permissible by Court precedent to put any type of restriction on guns that the country felt fit as the right was viewed as collective. The Court recently has struck down all types of laws that banned concealed weapons and restricted the purchases of the most commonly used murder weapon in the country, handguns.
Politico’s Dylan Byers writes on their website that the argument posed by National Review basically comes down to “preventing more tragedies might be possible, but it is not possible unless you repeal the Second Amendment, which you cannot do. Thus, therefore, ergo: The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is a price that is paid for protection of the Second Amendment.”
The question that policy makers will face in the coming months is what type of regulations can reasonably pass Congress and will help reduce gun violence. President Obama is turning the issue over to a committee in Congress to answer exactly that.