What does the Second Amendment actually say? "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."
The Second Amendment has become a part of our history and culture. It was based on the English Bill of Rights of 1689, a measure that itself grew out of conditions between Catholics and Protestants in England more than 300 years ago.
The measure was adopted into our Constitution more than 200 years ago. But today the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism and should be repealed.
We should no longer be the only industrialized country in the world that allows its citizens easy access to firearms. There are 300 million guns in the U.S.
Britain today has very strict gun possession laws. In 2008-2009 it had only 39 fatalities from firearms, while the U.S. had 12,000.
In Japan there were only 11 fatalities from guns during that period. Baltimore can have that many on a single bad weekend.
Do we need another Newtown? Another Aurora, Colo., Oak Creek, Wis., Tucson, Ariz., or Virginia Tech? Republican politicians insisted during the last presidential campaign that the prestige and respect of the U.S. had declined during the past four years. Our unthinking tolerance of gun violence may well be one of the reasons.
I firmly believe that repealing the anachronistic Second Amendment will lead us to fulfill former President Ronald Reagan's hope for the U.S. to become "a beacon light guiding freedom loving people everywhere."
Stephen Arum, BaltimoreCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times