Most conservatives in the U.S. have never read the Constitution, but take comfort in the notion that something in it gives them the right to own semi-automatic weapons and use them whenever they are in the mood.

Maybe I’ve overstated things here. The second Amendment to the Constitution reads “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.” For some reason, there is no fine print that mentions using these arms. The second amendment does not grant the right to kill.

Conservatives generally consider themselves religious, and believe that the Ten Commandments are important. Most would claim to have read the Bible, but few know that the Ten Commandments appear twice in this document – Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Most know the sixth commandment: “you shall not kill”.

Neither the Constitution nor the Bible grants Americans the right to hunt.

Despite its name, the NRA is not an association of rifles. It is a lobbying group for would-be gun owners, many of whom enjoy killing wildlife.

The NRA has succeeded in blotting out the sixth commandment and extending the meaning of the second amendment. Do we need to amend the Ten Commandments, striking the one that contradicts our misinterpretation of the second Amendment of our Constitution? The NRA seems to think so.

If there was anyone not afraid of the NRA, they might interpret the second Amendment as supporting the right of Americans to form well-regulated militias necessary to the security of a free state. They might interpret the sixth commandment as “you shall not kill.” I’m only speculating here, of course.

There was a time when lots of folks agreed that a man was worth more than a woman, and a white worth more than a black. We’ve learned. Now we think anyone is worth more than a kid wearing a hoodie.

Killing seems to come easily to us. Yesterday I heard this story: “I had an aquarium with too much algae. Someone suggested that I add snails. Before I knew it, there were snails everywhere!” When asked what he did, he replied “I flushed them down the toilet.”

We kill for food. We kill for sport. We kill to protect our livestock. We kill to protect our pasture or hay. We kill because we fear rabies or other disease. We kill because we don’t like certain animals. We kill because we’ve decided that there are too many of a species. We kill one species because it is eating the food of another species. We kill because we are driving too fast, or not paying attention, or talking on our cell phone.

Frankly, I don’t much mind people using guns on each other. Everyone who wants to use a gun to protect themselves should grab their guns, buy a ticket to some big ranch, and then wait around for something exciting to happen. This would give them a thrill while protecting the rest of us who already thought we were pretty safe.  We might televise this, so that we could all benefit.

Some have suggested that we should arm bears. I’m in favor of this, too.

A challenge to those who hunt.

NRA members have gotten some bad press for being big-bellied under-educated beer-drinking slouches, who would rather fill the air with buckshot than learn to shoot. But hunters everywhere can correct this impression. To those who would like to hunt or fish every single day of the year, hunt in densely populated urban areas, hunt every species of animal, have no daily catch limit, and at the same time shake that nasty reputation, here’s my idea:

  1. For hunters: Lay down your weapons, and put on your sneakers. Hunt any animal you wish, anytime time of the year. Stalk it. Chase it until it is exhausted. Break its neck, tie it to the hood of your car, and drive through town so we can all see and admire you.
  2. For those who like to fish, lay down your fishing rods, leave your bass boat at home, and put on your swim fins. Go after a fish – but not just any fish. Catch this one right here. Do it with your bare hands, which are merely an extension of your right to bare arms.

Now that would be sport.