Jun 15 2016
Let's pretend that Americans can have a reasonable discussion about the issue of gun control. Personally, I don't believe that is possible- a certain segment of American society is totally committed to a completely unreasonable position on the issue. We have long passed the point of reasonable discussion on this issue.
But for the sake of discussion, let's pretend, shall we?
What I propose ( and this should be really interesting to watch unfold) is to have a debate on the why or why not certain specific gun control proposals could be enacted. To do this I propose to ask a series of questions, and ask for answers in the comments section.
However before we start, I think it's critically important to lay out the rules of this game:
1) Responses have to be REASONABLE. If you go off the rails with rants about tyranny and freedom, I will "shoot" your comment in the heart.
2) For purposes of this discussion, we must make the assumption that the 2nd amendment rules. The right of an individual to possess a firearm is accepted and not up for discussion. Repealing the 2nd amendment is not on the table for discussion. (We will get to that in a later post). Having said that, we must also accept the logic put forth by Justice Scalia in his majority opinion in the Heller decision:
“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…”. It is “…not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
“Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
“We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller (an earlier case) said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time”. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’ ”
The court even recognizes a long-standing judicial precedent “…to consider… prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons.”
3) Recognizing the above, we also recognize the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, so all arguments about "states rights" will also be summarily discarded. In other words uniform standards for the states is an accepted starting point for the discussion. Don't like that, go watch wrestling, your presence here is no longer required.
4) The " defense against tyranny" argument is not welcome here. I'm repeating that because : 1) its the weakest argument for the 2nd amendment and 2) we already established that individuals have rights to firearms.
So lets play the game, shall we?
Question One: What is wrong with having restrictions on buying ammunition? Why not need a license to sell ammunition, and creates a new system for collecting information about those sales?
Question Two: Why can't we have restrictions on large capacity magazines? Why does any sport user need a magazine that holds 30 rounds? What's wrong with limits to 10?
Question Three: Why not allow a ban on gun sales over the internet? Require that all gun sales require a face to face sale and completion of background checks and waiting periods. In other words, eliminate the gun show loopholes.
Question Four: What's wrong with being in favor of smart gun technology? In other words to fire your gun you need a safety feature or features that allow it to fire only when activated by an authorized user. The NRA by the way, is on record as opposing this.
Question Five: Why can't we have an accepted definition of what constitutes "sporting use"? Weapons of certain calibers and certain types? A ban on weapons that clearly have no sporting use or utility and a ban on all semi automatic weapons.
That's probably enough for now. I fully expect things to spiral down a rat hole soon enough so let me remind you, you don't play by my rules, I will consign your comments to the flames of woe.