I would like to have a conversation on the subject of gun control that doesn’t end with the armaphile clutching his AR-15 and screaming “You just want to take my guns!” Just once, I’d like to have that conversation.
(I think the sweaty guy holding onto his fetish object shouldn’t have it. The rest of you will have to wait on judgement. -ed.)
…but then I think the point of obfuscating intentions is to avoid meaningful solutions; in other words, gun owners do not want to have to be held to new and different standards.
The slightest hint that perhaps having twice as many guns per capita as any other nation on the planet is too many guns, leads to a charge of ban all guns. I had one guy suggest that I wanted government to dictate the un-invention of the gun in response to the suggestion that perhaps training should come with a gun purchase. I own guns. I have been a gun rights advocate on many prior occasions. This doesn’t mean I have to love guns more than I love my children, which is the attitude I get from a lot of gunnuts/armaphiles.
Very few people who haven’t been in the military themselves seem to know one end of their weapon from the other. But all of them are proud to be gun owners, more of a danger to themselves than to anyone around them. I’m sure a certain ‘gun enthusiast’ who had her own guns used against her was one of them right up to the moment that the guns she bought were used to kill her. That is what happened yesterday:
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. Earlier that day, before driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the school, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
The incident is the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in U.S. history, and the fourth-deadliest mass shooting overall. The shooting prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States, including proposals to make the background-check system universal, and for new federal and state gun legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines which can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.wikipedia
That is what happened to Nancy Lanza. She kept guns in an unsafe condition in her home alongside a mentally unstable child; a child that she educated in the use of these same guns. She got herself killed because of her stupidity. Not only did she get herself killed, she got all those other children killed along with her own son. She should never have been allowed to have weapons in her home. She should never have allowed her child near those weapons, much less trained him in their use.
But the response to this common sense observation is “You just want to take our guns! You want us all to die!” The response of those who hold anarchist/libertarian ideologies is completely off the charts when it comes to this subject. If, in fact, the requirement to satisfy you is that you have unfettered access to all types of weapons; then the only response I have is that the Second Amendment qualifies defense with well-regulated militia. So, if you want all those weapons, congratulations, you are in the army now. All of us are. Enjoy your weapons access, if you can prove your proficiency with them.
Federal gun control is not prohibited by the constitution. Not giving the citizenry the ability to defend themselves on an equal footing with criminal gangs is. That was the finding of Heller, for those who have a problem reading legalese. You have the right to defend yourself with a firearm in cities that had banned their possession outright. The rest of the field remains open, including whether or not we can require you to have training before purchasing a firearm and what kind of training that will be.
The militia is the how that training in safe weapons usage and storage is supposed to occur. The militia is all branches of the military as well as the catch-all of the unorganized militia (that keeps us all on the list of future drafts, in case you are wondering) which doesn’t exist in reality, only as a legal fiction. It’s not that the government owns the guns (although someone does have to buy them) it’s that the government controls the militia. Without the training, like teens in the car for the first time, we are a danger to everyone around us but an even bigger danger to ourselves. The militia should have (and would have, if it was recognized as a local arbiter for weapons control) the ability to deny access to weapons that a person has not shown a proficiency with, or has no training for.
If this were the 1780’s, and you used a Kentucky long rifle daily to provide food for your family, your proficiency wouldn’t be a question (although your training as a member of a miltia group would be) the same is not true for today’s more specialized weapons systems. Without training, at any time in history, you would simply not be allowed access to those weapons. It’s a simple fact.
The argument that the unorganized militia has the right to buy and own tanks and bombers as individuals is simply without merit, on the face of it. The same can be said of a good number of military grade weapons (the Bushmaster used at Sandy Hook, as a case in point) how those weapons are either collected up, or their owners certified in their use, or some other route altogether, is what the current discussion is about. It really isn’t about guards in the classroom or violent video games or allowing teachers and administrators willing to take on that risk the ability to defend themselves and their schools.
I think we’re about to get a lesson in what the federal government can really do in today’s world. I’m not sure I’m going to welcome it, either. The Second Amendment in no way should be read as a license to overthrow the government if we deem it to be tyrannical. This idea was put to the test just a few years after the end of the revolution. We call it the Whiskey Rebellion and it ended with the rebels surrendering to the federal army that showed up to explain to them exactly who had the power in the region.
This is still true today. The United States military has a presence in every state in the Union. There are troops wearing U.S. military uniforms, driving U.S. military vehicles and carrying U.S. military weapons in nearly every strategical position across the country. The country is theirs for the taking, if they want it.
We are all the government as well. I’m sure that’s a shock to a good number of Americans; especially the ones who think the government is our enemy. I find it rather fitting, since I observe quite frequently that we are our own worst enemy, and that we get the government we deserve.
…but then I really do appreciate deep irony. Government of, by and for the people. We are our government and we do hate ourselves. We lock ourselves up and we pay billions of dollars to ourselves so that we can kill ourselves in the streets of our own cities. We don’t need our military to kill us too, but we might get that as well if we don’t do something about all the other mindless killing that we do.
We are the government, because we simply are. The average citizen runs around in a daze daily (several of them are my friends, apparently) making up excuses as to why things are as fucked up as they are; when, if the population simply exercised the control, the will, that is theirs for the taking, the world could be transformed overnight. I have literally been waiting for 25 years for the American population to wake up to the fact of their own power. Apparently I will be waiting a good bit longer.