“I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated one year later to the day — April 4, 1968, 50 years ago this coming Wednesday — by an assailant with a Remington gun.
As former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated in 2006: “The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems — and in most years greatly exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the carnage they cause, small arms, indeed, could well be described as ‘weapons of mass destruction.'”
Annan went on to say, “Every year in the United States, over 35,000 people are killed by guns. It’s estimated that about 120,000 people were killed immediately by the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that another 120,000 people died over the next year as a direct effect of the burns, radiation exposure, and other trauma that they suffered in the attacks.” Based on these estimates, every seven years, more U.S. civilians die of gunshot wounds than all the people who were killed by the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In reference to last weekend’s March for Our Lives, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday: “The demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”
And in 2006, David Cohen in Rolling Stone said: “The Second Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact.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.”
Plus, we have the Nuclear Ban Treaty at the United Nations, passed by 122 countries in July 2017. It has been signed by 57 nations and is ready to be ratified by 50 nations, which will cause it to become binding international law even though the U.S. and allies boycotted the process to produce it.
As I saw the strong, young faces of the hundreds of thousands of kids last weekend changing history, I thought, “Maybe it’s time for no second amendment and no nukes!” What do you think?
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.