Monday, July 23, 2012

Second Amendment Sense

The tragedy in Aurora Colorado has predictably re-ignited the gun debate across the United States. Once again, supporters and opponents of gun regulation alike refer to their specific phrases of the Second Amendment to justify their positions. Whether the stated “infringements” to a Right to Bear Arms is intended for individuals or a collective state militia has long been at the crux of the debate, and without any direct evidence to the intent of the framers of the amendment itself is impossible to resolve.

second amendment right to bear arms gun laws

The disagreement is a red herring in terms of personal safety, however. Much like the proverbial chicken-and-egg argument, neither side can be correct. Worse, discussing the application of gun rights to individual versus collective freedoms does little to prevent tragedies like the July 20th theatre massacre. No amount of regulation can prevent a person from committing atrocities when they have no concern for the consequences, or even their own safety. However, undertaking a more productive exercise to study the amendment from a historical perspective could reduce the death toll in such future events.

Consider what was the understanding the legislators had of arms and their purchase at the time when they drafted the amendment. In 1789 America, the most common types of guns were single-shot arms of a limited variety and effectiveness. Aside from a few breech loaders, most were muzzle loaded in a process which essentially eliminated any threat of mass murder. The most common and inexpensive were muskets which were extremely inaccurate and only effective in a group application (eg. shoulder- to-shoulder platoon attack) rather than an assault by an individual. Accurate rifled barrels were available, however, the length of the barrel made it almost impossible to conceal (and sneak into a public place) and their relative expense limited their possession to the more affluent.

Mass production of guns and ammunition was still in its infancy so the cost and time to obtain arms was often considerable. As such, the idea of a household having more than two rifles or pistols to use against fellow citizenry was ludicrous. Even if we credit the writers of the amendment with the foresight to imagine a world where expense and manufacturing of armaments was no longer an impediment to multiple gun ownership, they were still framing the amendment around a belief of limitations in the guns themselves.

In 1789, balancing the rights of the individual with the safety of the community was relatively simple if a gun could only be fired once, often with a low probability of doing significant damage, before the opportunity arose to disarm the shooter. In fact a good knife, axe or pointed farm implement was a more deadly weapon for inflicting serious repeated damage. In the big picture, what harm to society could there be for allowing the average person to own a gun when weighed against the necessary restrictions needed on oppressive future governments?

Had legislators been able to see 230 years into the future when automatic weapons can fire a dozen rounds a second (and accuracy then becomes irrelevant) and the tools for mass destruction can be purchased quickly, inexpensively and with near anonymity over the Internet, would they will have taken greater care to spell out the controls intended in the Second Amendment? I think so. It is one thing to be free from government interference in the ownership of a duck hunting rifle but quite another to arm yourself with an AK-47 and 2 semi-automatic pistols for an attack on a middle school lunchroom. Nobody should have the right to do that.

To repeat: I do not expect laws to protect me from the unexpected acts of the deranged mind. Nor am I interested in the polarizing dispute between the two extremes of the pro and anti-gun lobbies. However, in light of the Aurora theatre shooting, it is time to examine a re-definition of the Second Amendment based on an appreciation of the times in which it was written. In doing so, I would expect the suitable restrictions on the purchase and even manufacturing of weapons such as those used on July 20th to regulated groups like the military and police force would not constitute an infringement of anyone’s civil rights.

Sadly, politicians will likely lack the courage to address the issue again, becoming distracted by the fanatic dogma from both extremes. Rather than taking measures to increase public safety through legislation that will infringe on no one’s rights, bills will be drafted to further restrict personal freedoms in an attempt to defend us from the unexpected. Don’t be surprised when movie theatres require all patrons to pass through a metal detector when purchasing a ticket. Never mind that accused shooter James Holmes did not bring his weapons in the front door, we will be told the inconvenience (and it’s added cost to ticket prices) is the price we have to pay for safety.

There is something wrong in America when lawmakers see nothing amiss with requiring movie goers to undergo a full body scan to watch the next installment of “The Avengers” but instead refusing to update legislation to limit the killing power of crazy people. Sensibly eliminating the production and distribution of deadly weapons unimagined over 200 years ago will not be seen as unconstitutional when examined free from the rhetoric of special interest groups.


Symdaddy said...

Politicians don't always argue for what is right for the people, but rather for what is right for them or there affiliates.

They lie!

And at the end of the day they invariably do the wrong thing in the eyes of majority.

Sadly, the tragic event in Aurora, Colorado may not be enough to spur politicians into anything other than rhetoric!

Trooper Thorn said...

Symdaddy: It's easier to buy an assualt weapon than it is to take a hockey stick on an airplane.

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, uggs outlet, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, ugg boots, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses wholesale, burberry outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin uk, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, nike air max, tiffany and co, uggs outlet, burberry handbags, prada outlet, nike outlet, christian louboutin shoes, replica watches, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, gucci handbags, nike free, tory burch outlet

oakleyses said...

oakley pas cher, coach outlet, nike air force, michael kors outlet, ralph lauren uk, nike free run, true religion jeans, lululemon canada, jordan pas cher, timberland pas cher, vans pas cher, nike roshe run uk, longchamp pas cher, louboutin pas cher, nike tn, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, kate spade, true religion outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max, replica handbags, mulberry uk, hollister pas cher, nike air max uk, hollister uk, polo lacoste, nike free uk, nike roshe, ray ban pas cher, new balance, michael kors pas cher, north face, hogan outlet, north face uk, converse pas cher, coach purses, ray ban uk, nike air max uk, burberry pas cher, michael kors, michael kors, sac hermes, sac longchamp pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, coach outlet store online, true religion outlet, polo ralph lauren, air max

oakleyses said...

nike huaraches, nike roshe run, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, hermes belt, new balance shoes, s6 case, louboutin, iphone 6 plus cases, iphone 6 cases, instyler, abercrombie and fitch, north face outlet, beats by dre, soccer shoes, lululemon, jimmy choo outlet, ghd hair, ipad cases, p90x workout, baseball bats, wedding dresses, longchamp uk, iphone 6s plus cases, reebok outlet, ferragamo shoes, herve leger, asics running shoes, iphone 5s cases, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, nike trainers uk, iphone 6s cases, mcm handbags, hollister clothing, timberland boots, ralph lauren, insanity workout, bottega veneta, celine handbags, vans outlet, nike air max, nfl jerseys, babyliss, giuseppe zanotti outlet, iphone cases, oakley, hollister

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, doudoune moncler, swarovski crystal, pandora jewelry, hollister, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, nike air max, moncler, converse outlet, links of london, swarovski, juicy couture outlet, barbour uk, moncler uk, moncler outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, ugg, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, lancel, canada goose outlet, thomas sabo, canada goose, moncler, vans, pandora charms, moncler, gucci, replica watches, louis vuitton, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, wedding dresses, converse, ray ban, karen millen uk, moncler, hollister, canada goose uk, canada goose, barbour, supra shoes, marc jacobs, toms shoes, coach outlet, ugg uk, pandora uk, montre pas cher, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry

风骚达哥 said...

20160319 junda
louis vuitton borse
ray ban sunglasses
toms outlet
coach outlet online
burberry uk
calvin klein underwear
kate spade outlet online
under armour outlet
jordan pas cher
christian louboutin uk
nike air max
oakley sunglass
levis jeans
sac longchamp pliage
cartier watches
prada outlet
michael kors bags
nike air max
air jordans
nike blazer
coach factory outlet
mont blanc pens
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet
nike huarache trainers
levis 501
nike trainers
chaussure louboutin
michael kors outlet
coach purses
toms outlet
under armour shoes
oakley sunglasses
omega seamaster
burberry outlet
coach outlet
ralph lauren outlet

Chenzhen 20160303chenzhen said...

reebok classic
babyliss hair dryer
nike huarache black
lacoste shoes
polo ralph lauren
ugg boots
coach outlet store online clearance
nhl jerseys wholesale
louis vuitton handbags
oakley sunglasses wholesale
michael kors outlet stores
adidas nmd runner
true religion outlet
coach outlet online
toms outlet
kate spade handbags
ralph lauren
michael kors outlet clearance
abercrombie & fitch
rolex replica watches
levis 511
instyler max
kate spade outlet online
louboutin pas cher
michael kors bags
nike shoes for cheap
air max 90
adidas supercolor pink
burberry sale
michael kors outlet online
christian louboutin uk
air jordan shoes
toms outlet
cartier love ring
coach purses on sale
discount nike air max
kate spade outlet
jordan pas cher