I’ve been pretty quiet on this subject for quite some time. As I’ve ranted about before, I was a “survivor” of the Las Vegas Massacre (danger-quotes because while I was close enough to be in danger I was not in the “target zone”) and I certainly have some opinions on this.
Right now, it is easier for someone to get a gun than a car. To legally drive a car one has to 1) get a driver’s license that requires a basic competency level and vision test, 2) obtain insurance for said car to a statutory minimum level (in CO it’s actually on the high side), 3) register the car, which at least here in CO requires proof of insurance, and 4) operate the car safely enough to not incur “points” on your driving record or maintain sobriety while driving.
None of these requirements exist for an “assault rifle”. All that’s required is a simple background check, and that process is even flawed to the point of being laughable. In addition, there’s no license requirement to purchase ammunition, no records kept of how much is being purchased and by whom, and the records of who purchased what gun are not stored in any electronically searchable database: it’s all on paper. Here in the 21st Century.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment, as it is written. But those are the key words: AS IT IS WRITTEN.
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 commas make things awkward. But, my interpretation is that regulation is specifically permitted. You can keep and bear arms. However, as I interpret that it should carry a requirement of you being part of “a well regulated militia”. That’s likely the way the Founding Fathers intended it. The United States wasn’t supposed to have a standing army, we were supposed to have militias sponsored by the individual States that came together in common defense.
Kind of how amateur radio is: one carries certain responsibilities and duties when one possesses an FCC-issued ham radio license. Is it strictly enforced? No, but the stakes are not as high for radio amateurs as it is for the amateur militia envisioned here. That said, it is not unheard of for the FCC to fine hams that were aware of an egregious violation of the Communications Act and did nothing to report it.
All that said, the whole Gun Control Debate is idiotic given the current state of affairs. Our government is supposed to be made up “of the people”, and that means we really shouldn’t have a standing army like we have. We should have “well regulated Militias” comprised of ordinary citizens, and if we can’t do that, maybe we need to rethink exactly why we spend hundreds of billions on “defense”. If we all had a good solid rifle, the training to use it in combat, and access to practice facilities I think a citizen army could make for a pretty strong force.
Until that time, I’m for gun control. No other nation handles guns the way we do, and no other country (at least in the first world) has the violence problems we have. Hell, I’m for disarming the police.
But to have any discussion about it requires the acknowledgement that we have drifted so far away from what was intended that to simply say “well, the Bill of Rights says this” without taking into account the whole “right to life” bit to me seems insane. Our system is broken with a standing army and a militarized professional police force. Let’s start there.
And I suspect that if our government was indeed “by the people, of the people, and for the people” we’d have a lot less of an argument about this, because “the government” would be your neighbors, not some professional legislator or a dumb Orange Cunt.