The title is general. As we go on, you will see why. Shootings occur in other countries, but the United States is singled out because of the number of shootings we have.
Do I own a firearm? No. My wife doesn’t like them and the apartment complex I live in doesn’t allow them. Would I own one if I could? Probably. I would need to decide what I would use the firearm for, which firearm would suit the purpose and make sure I had the right training.
You have to learn to drive a vehicle, fly a plane, or use tools properly. A firearm is a tool in the right hands!
What else has to be covered? American culture and the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. I know some of you are tired of hearing about the Second Amendment, but I will give you my take and philosophy of all this.
OK, go ahead yell at me, here’s the Second Amendment. 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.
A lawyer friend told me in a workshop she was presenting; “Watch where the commas are placed.” Apparently, there are lawyers, who fight over these things. I’m not a lawyer, but I know how to ask questions. Let’s go comma by comma.
A well regulated militia. If you just take that literally, regulated means controlled. A controlled militia, with rules. Does this mean the National Guard, or every local gun club? Does government compel local communities to drill? Necessary to a free state. Again, important in the Eighteenth Century. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Arms mean firearms, and not be infringed. If you take this literally, any gun control is illegal.
A lot has changed since the Eighteenth Century. AR 15’s did not exist. Nothing says you can ban them, but nothing against regulating them. Yes, then you will have the many court cases to narrow it down.
OK, what about a new Constitutional Amendment, with more details than the Second Amendment? That would have to be voted on in one of two ways:
- A two-thirds vote in both houses of the United States Congress.
- Two-thirds of the fifty state legislatures. (Thirty-eight states).
In realpolitik, do you see this happening now?
The National Rifle Association. I posted the link, so people can see everything they do. Unless the right to be a lobbyist, for anything is made illegal. Again, needs a system change.
Criminal and psychological issues: Yes, an AR-15 makes it easier to kill more people at a clip, but deal with the criminal, or mentally ill person with the AR-15.
One good thing about the guns in this country: Besides two oceans to protect us, who in their right mind would invade us?
This is for my friends in other countries: How far do you trust your government, with police, NOT to become repressive to you, as citizens? I watched a program on PBS last Monday about civilian police departments in the United States getting old military armored vehicles. Do they really need that?
There is also more than the mass shootings. What about West Baltimore and the South Side of Chicago, with their homicide rates? Our culture seems to take that for granted, but people in those neighborhoods have to live it.
Even with the mass shootings, unfortunately, I think we as a culture, (Not all, but many), have become numb. Doesn’t the same thing happen after every mass shooting? Sadness, questions asked, talking heads drone on, then it all fades.
For any of my readers, have you ever handled and fired a gun? I have. I felt both power and responsibility. It was in 2008, when I took a class at the Tucson Citizens Police Academy, and they took us to their firing range.
Guns have always been a part of American culture. The first Europeans didn’t land unarmed. We had a violent revolution to break away from Britain. As one of my Canadian friends stated, “Canada was released by Britain in 1867, with the British North America Act.” It was completely non violent..
Where I’m going with this, is American culture would have to change drastically for complete gun control. Countries have changed their cultures. Japan eliminating the Samurai and scaling back their military after World War II. Germany after World War II. Those were all major catastrophic turning points.
The United States isn’t there, unfortunately. Not enough people have been affected yet. Not enough people are angry. Look how long it took for labor conditions to improve, the Civil Rights Movement, for example.
Do I trust politicians? In most cases, no. They are going into politics for their reasons.
To sum up: A solution will be a long time coming. The way our laws are set, especially the Second Amendment, the laws are on the books already for firearms. The will has to be there for another Amendment for the Second Amendment, with more details. Don’t trust most politicians on any issue. What it adds up to though, is this country would need a major cultural shift to have what Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom have. All very different societies.
What I wanted to do was ask questions. All of the solutions create different issues. If you take all the guns from the citizenry, it ups the chance of tyranny, from a malevolent government, that doesn’t have your best interests at heart. If I’m going to disarm, I want civilian police to not have armored vehicles. You can own an AR-15, but need to keep it at the range. Where else are you going to use an AR-15 out and about, except for bad purposes?
If we have any gun laws, no more state or local restrictions, everything needs to be Federal, because our nation is so mobile. I get that criminals don’t care about the laws. We will still have shootings. It’s what can we do to cut the number down.
For now, until laws change, this is what I would do. Keep AR-15’s in storage at a local gun club. The Second Amendment doesn’t say you can be freewheeling with the right to bear arms. The amendment does point to a well regulated militia. There are restraints. Constant practice should be a given. It works for the Swiss. It may change down the road, but not now.