Editorial: Halloween’s scariest threats? Not razor blades or ‘rainbow’ fentanyl, but rumors and lies, especially about guns
Last week, I wrote about the false reports of a massacre at the Orlando nightclub Pulse. The truth is that police found no evidence of a mass shooting, and the case quickly faded from public view.
Now, my fellow columnists and I are revisiting the case of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a teacher is accused of trying to shoot students, and a student who died. A gunman’s weapons were stolen from the classroom, and the suspect—who has never been identified—was suspected in four other crimes.
We’re not here to revisit whether the shooter was right to take the lives of so many people. We’re here to revisit our country’s history for the first time since President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and to look at how we got from there to where we are now.
It was not too long ago that the phrase “the Second Amendment was meant to be a tool for tyranny” had become the rallying cry of a president who saw it as a shield to protect his right to tyrannize the citizens of the United States. We can look back on how the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller and the subsequent gun-control laws enacted to deal with that case only added to the president’s view.
From a purely constitutional standpoint, the Second Amendment is now an outlier. Yet, if you take a closer look at the case, you realize that it was not nearly as egregious as that of the president and his ardent supporters would have you believe; nor was it as simple as it sounds, even for a law professor.
The president’s argument that the second amendment was intended to allow him to act as a tyrant is not only misguided, it’s ridiculous. When you look further, you discover some things that you might have thought were inconsequential: a teacher with a gun might have been justified, even if it was only a deterrent for the students; the president’s supporters might have been convinced to support gun-control laws based on some misreading of the Second Amendment; and all of us might have been a lot safer thanks to well-meaning gun-control laws.
Let me go