Bahamian blood on US Second Amendment

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis’ startling claim that 90 percent of confiscated guns used in murders in this country have been traced to American manufacturers and firearm retailers suggests to this writer that the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution is stained with Bahamian blood. There have been 214 mass shootings in the US in the first five months of 2022. Consequently, the 2nd Amendment also has American blood on its hands. Any attempts to persuade US lawmakers to amend their Bill of Rights to curtail the sale and shipment of firearms into The Bahamas and the Caribbean is a tall order, as evidenced by the Supreme Court rulings in the District of Columbia v. Heller (2008); City of Chicago v. McDonald (2010) and United States v. Miller (1939) hearings. American civilians own 393 million guns.

The US Constitution was penned in September 1787 by Constitutional Convention delegates, nearly half of whom owned slaves. It was ratified in June of 1788 by nine US states, amid fears by Anti-Federalists of a centralised government morphing into a dictatorship. The drafting of the Bill of Rights was to prevent the central government from becoming a tyrant. The 2nd Amendment grants individual states the right to form their own militia in order to defend their freedom in the face of tyranny. It reads: “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.”

There are currently 27 Amendments to the 233-year-old Constitution. To American patriots, particularly members of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), which recently held its annual convention in Houston, Texas -- the state of the recent Uvalde elementary school massacre -- the US Constitution is infallible. Former US President Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz both addressed NRA convention delegates, which should give the readership an idea of how influential this organisation is. In 2018, the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens penned an opinion piece in The New York Times, which called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. As a learned jurist, Stevens was obviously knowledgeable of his nation’s 18th Amendment (1919) which was effectively repealed in the 21st Amendment (1933) under the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. Similar to Washington lawmakers in 1933, all Congress would need to do is to propose an additional Amendment that would pass with two-thirds of the votes in both houses on Capitol Hill.

This new Amendment would do to the 2nd Amendment what the 21st Amendment did to the 18th Amendment. Another path to neutralising the 2nd Amendment would be two-thirds of state legislatures calling for a Constitutional Convention to propose a new Amendment -- which would then need three-fourths of the states to formally endorse the ratifying of a new Amendment. The foregoing underscores the arduous process of amending a constitutional law which is firmly entrenched. Such a move would undoubtedly precipitate a pushback from millions of Americans, something US lawmakers in Republican states would be afraid of doing. That’s why Davis’ appeal to US lawmakers about gun trafficking to The Bahamas will hardly produce the desired results until Washington finds the courage to repeal the 2nd Amendment that is giving gun manufacturers and firearm retailers the Constitutional rights to sell to Bahamian drug traffickers and gangsters. These callous American merchants have probably earned millions at the expense of the hundreds of murdered Bahamians throughout the years, all made possible by the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. I love the US. I am a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and evangelical Christian who supports wholeheartedly the traditional values espoused by the fundamentalist camp in the US. I appreciate its fears of having their Constitutional rights subtly removed by left-wing politicians.

But I am looking at the 2nd Amendment as a Bahamian whose small country is being assailed by ruthless criminals, who are supporting a lucrative gun market in the US. At the end of the day, we who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder against Planned Parenthood must agree that the Bahamian lives snuffed out by imported guns have as much intrinsic value as the lives of unborn babies.


Freeport, Grand Bahama.

May 31, 2022.


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