On The 2nd Amendment And The Gun Control Debate.
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.
Look familiar? It should: it’s from the 2nd Amendment, and it continues to be the most quoted and argued phrase when it comes to gun control. Both pro gun and gun control advocates alike work very hard to interpret this clause in order to support their arguments.
Gun advocates such as the NRA argue that the amendment guarantees the right of the individual to own a wide variety of firearms. The gun control advocate believes that the amendment merely guarantees the states the right to operate a militia. So which interpretation is right?
In any case involving the interpreting of the Constitution and it’s Amendments, many turn to the courts to get a clear understanding. As far as the definition of the 2nd Amendment, the Supreme Court case of 2008, District of Columbia v Heller, seems to hold the most clarity. Essentially, in order to reduce gun violence in the D.C. area, a statute was passed banning hand guns in the city limits. The law brought forth many challenges, and ended up in the Supreme Court. The law was struck down by a narrow 5 to 4 vote.
In perhaps the only time I would ever agree with Justice Scala, he had this to say about the decision ( I’m paraphrasing here folks)
1. The right to bear arms is consistent with the overriding purpose to maintain strong state militias. In other words, and individual can own a gun whether in a state militia or not.
2. The decision should not cast doubt on laws restricting ownership of guns by felons, or the mentally ill, and bans on especially dangerous or unusual weapons would most likely be upheld.
Simply stated, the crux of the Supreme Court’s decision is this: As Americans, we do have the right to own guns, militia or not, as long as we are not convicted felons, or mentally ill. However, state and federal law makers are enabled to determine and consequently ban any weapon that is overly dangerous or unusual. As a gun owner myself, the last part of this sentiment is what has a strong meaning to me.
In my opinion, we do have a right to own guns. However, there should be concise laws regulating what we can own, and what qualifications we should meet in order to own them. I have no problem with laws that ban guns which are deemed as assault weapons. As citizens, we simply do not need automatic or semi-automatic weapons. These weapons were designed to kill as many people in as little time possible, they are barbaric, and should absolutely be illegal to own by the public.
The liberty extremist would argue that we should be allowed to own such weapons, in order to call up state militias and protect ourselves from a government suddenly turned tyrannical. This is malarkey, how often has this country needed to fight off our own government since the Revolutionary War? Furthermore, if by some chance, someone managed to gain control of our military and over throw the government, how much of a chance do you think a poorly trained, hastily thrown together state militia would stand against a well armed and highly trained military? None, zero, zilch, nada. We would be squashed like grapes in a wine press. Even if we were an army of Rambos and John McClains, we wouldn’t stand a chance, no matter how many AR-17s or whatever assault rifles that are available we can muster.
In addition, the argument that if we outlaw guns, only outlaws will own guns is bogus. Apply some common capitalist sense here: If assault weapons are illegal, demand for them goes down, commercial gun makers either stop or limit how many guns are made, so supply goes down with demand. Whatever supply is left would see a dramatic increase in cost. It’s supply and demand 101 folks, it’s not that hard to reason through. If assault weapons are too hard to find and too expensive to buy, I doubt very much that a criminal is going to have the capability to get a hold of one.
If we want to see the elimination of these tragic mass shootings, and we all do of course, any solution to this murderous epidemic must include a discussion about bans on assault weapons. The conservative leaning Supreme Court of 2008 tells us that it is not unconstitutional to ban them. We can’t own tanks or nuclear weapons, or any other WMD, why are mass killing assault guns viewed differently? They shouldn’t be,they serve the same function.
And that my friends, is where we should draw the line on gun ownership. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m taking my pistol to the gun range to practice.