Kentucky voters may have believed they were supporting gun rights for hunters when they overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution on Nov. 6, but in reality they were shooting a very important document full of holes.
If the landslide vote to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right is any indication, very few people seem to understand the importance and weight of a document like a constitution.
After centuries of freedom, it’s obviously easy to take it for granted, but constitutions are what our freedom to do as we wish is built on.
Constitutions are mentally hefty, philosophically profound documents that speak to the archetypal ideal that each person is created equal and should be treated with respect and dignity.
Constitutions are not supposed to be toys of political partisans; they are not intended to be a weapon against any group or affiliation.
But that’s exactly what this year’s amendment transformed Kentucky’s constitution into — a gimmick to get conservatives to show up at the polls and vote.
There are no threats to our second-amendment rights presently or likely any time in the next few decades. Anyone who even hints at gun control these days is mobbed with terrible press and thrown to the proverbial dogs.
Even if there ever was a challenge to our second-amendment rights, I doubt a silly-sounding amendment that bestows a weird, inalienable right to shoot animals would do much to stand in the way.
No, Kentucky voters did not succeed this election in protecting their guns — their guns are already heavily protected by the U.S. Constitution, a bevy of court precedents and a culture that will beat down without mercy any attempt to subvert those defenses.
Instead, Kentucky voters added a meaningless, amateur-ish paragraph to a gravely powerful piece of our humanity because a few unscrupulous partisans would rather win an election than maintain the exceptionalism of our founding ideals.