By PAUL THEODOROPOULOS
September 5, 2017
“A bill to repeal the second amendment would have to pass both the House and Senate of our congress first – by a two-thirds majority in each. This alone is a very high bar to meet.”
A bill to repeal the second amendment would have to pass both the House and Senate of our congress first – by a two-thirds majority in each. This alone is a very high bar to meet. Then, the amendment is sent to the individual states, where three-quarters of them must agree to it. Which means that if only thirteen of our fifty states vote against it, it does not pass. It’s quite easy to reel-off the names of easily twice that number that would never, ever, vote in favor of it.
It is not nearly so simple as it seems. Not even a thousandth.
But lets carry this fantasy along and assume it did pass the states, and the second amendment were repealed. Then comes the bigger hurdle:
It is not nearly so simple as it seems. Not even a thousandth. Those from other countries simply assume that the police just go through the registrations, visit each listed address, and round up the guns from those who own them. A lot of work, but doable, right?
Wrong. First, there is no national registry of who owns guns in the US. This is codified in our laws – the federal government is prohibited from maintaining any registry of who owns guns. At the state level, only six states do so, and they are staggeringly incomplete, because none have (or even could) mandate a registration of all guns that were already privately owned at the time the scheme was implemented.
So, think about that for a minute. There are estimated to be upwards of 400 million guns legally owned in the US. There are 117 million homes in the US. And for the most part – nobody knows which of those homes have guns in them.
Now, contemplate the Fourth amendment to the Constitution. The fourth makes clear that citizens are to be safe in their homes from government intrusion. To search someone’s home, a valid search warrant must be issued, and it must list the place to be searched, and the things to be seized. Furthermore, and this is the lynch-pin: there must be probable cause to do so.
The government cannot search a place without providing some plausible evidence that what they are looking for is likely to be found there.
It’s estimated that about half of all homes in the US have a gun in them. The government doesn’t know which of those homes actually have those guns in them. Therefore, at least half of all homes would be searched illegally, in clear contravention of the fourth amendment.
None of this even touches on the logistics of doing this. 117 million homes. Devices that are so small they can easily be carried concealed on a person’s body without a hint of them being there.
Each house would have to be turned upside down. You can’t just have a quick look around and say ‘no guns’, not if you are really serious about getting rid of them. You have to look in every drawer, every cupboard, under the beds, in the attic, in the basement, and over any and all land associated with the home. It would take hours. For each home. 117 million times over.
Who would do this? Well, law enforcement. The military could not be employed to do this, unless further intrusions on the constitution were put in place – they are proscribed from internal policing.
There are approximately 765,000 police officers in the US with arresting powers. So that’s about 153 homes per officer.
Seems somewhat reasonable, right? Well, what are we searching for? Guns. Deadly weapons. So, right there – the basics of law enforcement mean you have to have at least two officers – at the very least. Frankly, I doubt that many cops would be willing to engage in these searches without a fully armed contingent, so really one could expect something more like this:
For every single home in this country.
And of course you can’t just delegate every single cop in the US to searching for guns all at once, as there’s…you know….crime still going on that they’re supposed to be working on. And police have to eat and sleep just like the rest of us.
Don’t forget to include your cars in those searches. And businesses. And don’t forget that guns – as mentioned – are highly concealable and mobile.
Now, there are and will always be hardcore gun haters who can only comprehend the ‘guns bad’ meme, and who will decry that yes, all of the above would be ‘difficult’, but wouldn’t it be worth it, even if it saves just one life?
There’s simply no way to reason with people who have this mentality. They’ll say they’d be happy to comply with this, and would gladly stand by while the police rip their home apart looking for guns even if there are none there. They don’t care about their constitutional rights, so long as it gets rid of the guns.
So, feel free to continue to entertain this fantasy of a disarmed America. It’s certainly a person’s right to believe in pixies and fairy-dust if they want; just don’t expect it ever to happen.
PAUL THEODOROPOULOS is a writer at Quora