People who defend its continued veracity are like an addict who is trying to defend taking ever higher doses of drugs.
Furthermore, I don't think that its continued existence even follows the very point of the US Constitution.
The Preamble to a piece of legislation, sets out what is hoped to be achieved by laying down that legislation. Since the US Constitution is glorified as the highest law in the land, it should also be held up as the highest and best set of intents for any subsequent law.
The Preamble to the United States Constitution states that:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Is it a "a more perfect Union" when this sort of thing happens on a more regular basis than anywhere else in the world? How does giving people access to instruments of death "insure domestic Tranquility" or "promote the general Welfare" of it's citizenry? Is 20 dead children really a shining example of "the Blessings of Liberty"?
Furthermore the Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence which although is not a legal document, sets out the reason as to why the United States decided to form a new nation. The authority it claimed was the "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America". The second paragraph is arguably the most famous paragraph ever written in the English Language. It says that:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
If the United States fought a war for independence on the "self-evident" reason that people have "certain unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" why then do so many people have the instruments to destroy all three?
The United States poops violently all over the preamble to its constitution and has failed in the very reason for declaring its independence. People might talk about defending the citizenry from the "tyranny of government" but it seems to me that the biggest enemy of the United States is "We the People".
The proof of that is simply in the sheer numbers of people who die as a result of firearms being treated as sacred. If we assume that the United States is indeed at war with itself for a second; even if you use the most expansive estimates, a total of 90,800 people have been killed to date as a result of the two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In that period the number of people killed in the United States due to guns has been about 140,000. Who are they supposedly protecting themselves from? Other Americans?
The wording of the Second Amendment which is where the rampant right to obtain as many guns as is humanly possible stems from should have given an indication as to its intent:
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.
Take note of the words "well regulated", they're almost entirely negated or ignored by pro-gun people in the United States who for some inexplicable reason are incapable of reading through the entire sentence.
The Bill of Rights Act which is still in force in every Commonwealth country (including Australia, so anyone who suggests that we don't have one is lying) should have given a perfectly reasonable indication as to what the right to arms should have accomplished:
That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.
- Bill of Rights Act 1689.
Incidentally, what is suitable to one's Conditions and what should be allowed by Law is very different between 1689, 1789 and 2012. The Founding Fathers could have never forseen that a 20 year old would have the ability to stand in one place and wipe away the lives of 20 children in an instant.
The Constitution itself has been amended another 17 times on top of the original 10 amendments It's not like this is suddenly a magically new idea. Legislation should be amended to suit current conditions. If it is not an can not, then are we to assume that something as vile as slavery should be acceptable too? It took 76 years and a war for the American people to work that one out.
Basically I think that the Second Amendment is archaic and dangerously stupid. It causes more deaths in a year than being in two wars simultaneously. Basically, it's time for America to finally grow up and stop being childish.
Actually, I should probably stop using the word "childish". Children have more sense than this.