The relaunched and rebuffed New Republic has been making with the excellent content recently, which makes this essay by Benjamin Wittes read all the weirder:
It's time for gun-control supporters to come to grips with the fact that the [Second] amendment actually means something in contemporary society. For which reason, I hereby advance a modest proposal: Let's repeal the damned thing.
OK, let's do it! Or…
It's true that repealing the Second Amendment is politically impossible right now; that doesn't bother me. It should be hard to take away a fundamental right.
Let's repeal it, even though we can't and it's a fundamental right. Who needs some time to catch up? Come back and check out Wiites' main argument:
I like guns well enough in rural areas. I don't like them in cities. I don't believe that the Constitution ought to prevent my hometown of Washington, D.C.–which has a serious problem with gun violence–from making a profoundly different judgment about how available handguns should be than the New York legislature would make for the hamlet near my old camp. Guns, in other words, present a legitimate policy question on which different jurisdictions should take very different approaches–including, in some areas, outright bans.
Great idea! Washington banned handguns in 1976. Check out the chart and see if you can grok the impact the ban had on murders, violent crimes, etc etc.
Wittes is so good on other Constitutional issues that this piece hardly makes sense. Not unless you consider it a token of how badly the anti-Second Amendment school has fallen into disrepair.