View from the left: Gun laws flawed


Whenever I meet someone who describes himself or herself as a “strict Constitutionalist,” I always say, “I’m so glad you support the total elimination of firearms.” You should see the looks I receive! When they point out that the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, I mention that the context of the Second Amendment reads, “In order to form a more perfect militia…” Since militias are no longer necessary (Anyone seen any Redcoats lurking about lately?), it would logically follow that gun ownership is no longer necessary either.

Now I’m fully aware that almost half of the American population ownsfirearms, and supports the right to own them. And that it would be impossible to eliminate firearms. And that a federal government which can’t even deliver the mail properly could never organize a mass firearm removal effort. But after James Holmes opened fire in Aurora, the gun control arguments began all over again, which never advance beyond the fact that the two sides agree to disagree.

Personally, I don’t understand why civilians need to possess AR-15 assault rifles, such as the one used by James Holmes in Colorado. I’ve always thought the NRA would be more respected if they came out in favor of banning semi-automatic weaponry in every instance except the military. After all, these weapons are intended for combat use. In civilian hands, they are by definition weapons of slaughter. Do you know anyone who needs one in his home? How about hunters? How is it a fair fight when the hunter’s semi-automatic weapon goes against the deer’s only defense, its legs? Furthermore, Australia, England, Germany, and Canada prohibit sales of assault rifles, and look at their murder rates vs. ours: In a recent year, guns murdered 468 people in Australia, England, Germany, and in Canada combined, and 9,484 in the United States.

There are instances, such as armed robbery, or the recent Kroger shooting, in which gun ownership actually makes us safer. However, note that the Kroger shooting did not involve a semi-automatic military weapon. Meanwhile, America’s body count continues to increase.Ironically, most guns fired in homes kill people who live there, including children, and do not kill home invaders. It is true that there is no way we can defend ourselves against insane shooters such as James Holmes. But I suspect Australia, England, Germany, and Canada have about the same percentage of mentally disturbed people as we do.The difference is that they can’t get their hands on firearms so easily.

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