News & Politics

Finally. A Liberal Tells Us His True Feelings About Gun Rights

Professor David S. Cohen teaches a course in constitutional law at Drexel University. This is a pretty good trick since he appears never to have read the document.

But Cohen is, if nothing else, an honest liberal — a Diogenes of the Left. Cohen penned an article in Rolling Stone admitting the deepest, most secret desire of gun-control enthusiasts (“Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment“).

For many on the left, it’s always a good time to repeal some or all of our freedoms. Free speech — except if you offend me. Freedom of religion — as long as you aren’t too serious about it. Freedom to assemble — if you join the right groups.

But Professor Cohen has a decidedly “non-traditional” reading of the Constitution, which calls into question his basic understanding of what our founding document is all about:

I teach the Constitution for a living. I revere the document when it is used to further social justice and make our country a more inclusive one. I admire the Founders for establishing a representative democracy that has survived for over two centuries.

I can see James Madison fretting about “social justice” issues and where they’re going to fit into the Constitution. And wasn’t it Alexander Hamilton who claimed that “inclusiveness” improved efficiency and productivity? Or something.

In truth, the idiotic notion that you can graft 21st-century notions of social justice onto an 18th-century document is beyond loony. Yes, there are implied powers in the Constitution, and founders couldn’t have fathomed the nation we are today. But basic principles are basic principles regardless of the time period. And one of the most basic is that you can’t pick and choose which parts of the Constitution should be followed.

Besides, the Constitution was written and ratified not to advance the political agenda of the left but to guarantee the fundamental rights of citizens. I think I learned that in the 3rd grade. It’s a shame Cohen was daydreaming when that lesson was taught.

The high fever Cohen is suffering from that is causing these delusions is probably the result of contracting the Zika virus.

But Cohen’s views on the Constitution are only a starting point. His radical, extremist thesis is that we’ve outgrown the fundamental right to bear arms — and because people are getting murdered in all sorts of ordinary-like places, we should repeal the Second Amendment.

In the face of yet another mass shooting, now is the time to acknowledge a profound but obvious truth – the Second Amendment is wrong for this country and needs to be jettisoned. We can do that through a Constitutional amendment. It’s been done before (when the Twenty-First Amendment repealed prohibition in the Eighteenth), and it must be done now.

What is this “profound truth” and why is it a “truth” and what’s so “profound” about it?

Cohen is curiously silent on that issue:

The Second Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact. When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, there were no weapons remotely like the AR-15 assault rifle and many of the advances of modern weaponry were long from being invented or popularized.

Self-defense is “outdated”? Sheesh.

Sure, the Founders knew that the world evolved and that technology changed, but the weapons of today that are easily accessible are vastly different than anything that existed in 1791. When the Second Amendment was written, the Founders didn’t have to weigh the risks of one man killing 49 and injuring 53 all by himself. Now we do, and the risk-benefit analysis of 1791 is flatly irrelevant to the risk-benefit analysis of today.

Gun-rights advocates like to make this all about liberty, insisting that their freedom to bear arms is of utmost importance and that restricting their freedom would be a violation of basic rights.

But liberty is not a one way street. It also includes the liberty to enjoy a night out with friends, loving who you want to love, dancing how you want to dance, in a club that has historically provided a refuge from the hate and fear that surrounds you. It also includes the liberty to go to and send your kids to kindergarten and first grade so that they can begin to be infused with a love of learning. It includes the liberty to go to a movie, to your religious house of worship, to college, to work, to an abortion clinic, go to a hair salon, to a community center, to the supermarket, to go anywhere and feel that you are free to do to so without having to weigh the risk of being gunned down by someone wielding a weapon that can easily kill you and countless others.

I doubt Cohen has a clue of  what a “risk-benefit analysis” is. How many times have you walked into a movie theater and been shot at? Or a nightclub? Or a church? Fully 99.999999% of the time you walk into one of these everyday, ordinary places, you walk out alive. What kind of “risk-benefit analysis” would those facts yield?

Cohen wants to ban guns so that we should have the “freedom” to”go anywhere and feel that you are free to do to so without having to weigh the risk of being gunned down.” Raise your hands now…how many of you actually, seriously “weigh the risk” of getting gunned down in a movie theater before you decide which show to see? I thought so.

Most people don’t give the prospect of being gunned down in a mass shooting much thought. But Cohen apparently has pondered the matter and decided that the threat is so large and so omnipresent that it demands we tear up the Constitution and take everyone’s guns away. Cohen doesn’t explicitly say that we have to grab the guns, but his inference is clear. How else do we guarantee people the “freedom” to go to the movies without fear of being murdered?

Don’t you wish all gun-control Democrats ran on a platform explicitly calling for Second Amendment repeal? Everyone knows it’s what they really want, given the way they hold such contemptuous views on the matter. Just once, you wish that Democrats had the courage of their convictions and spoke honestly to the American people as Cohen has done.

For that — and that alone — we should thank him