No doubt there have been threads on this topic before, but given recent events, it seems that it bears discussion again. In addition, I am throwing
in some discussion of other relevant facts and arguments surrounding the recent shooting in Newton, CT.
The Second Amendment states:
"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
Nothing specifically about firearms/guns, just arms -- a very general term to describe weapons. So people should have the right to bear machine guns,
assault rifles, hand grenades, bazookas, rocket launchers, flame throwers, artillery, land mines, tanks, aircraft, drones, bombs, napalm, cluster
munitions, missiles, nerve gas and other poisonous gases, and, naturally, nuclear weapons -- amongst other implements of destruction and death. Yet
we aren't allowed these -- with the exception of some forms of assault rifles. Rather the US government only allows its citizens to have hand guns,
rifles (along with some forms of assault rifles) and shot guns as well as blades.
Thus the government has already infringed upon US citizens' constitutional rights BIG TIME. As for a well regulated militia, some might claim the
National Guard is this, but that is a matter of debate. Militia forces should be for protection of the citizenry at home, yet the National Guard has
essentially become a branch of the US military, going overseas to fight. So we have no well-regulated militias for defence. Clearly there are some
wildcat militias with no official government sanction; I wouldn't call these well-regulated.
Seems we have deviated from the letter of the law in a number of ways. What keeps the government from regulating weapons even more?
Now, just for the record, I have mixed feelings on gun control, and I must say that some of the gun advocates' arguments after this recent shooting
make considerable sense. I'm not sure where I stand on how laws regardings guns should change. But for gun advocates to claim that we have a
constitutional right to bear guns seems, given the already existing limitations on bearing arms, seems suspect. Either we should be able to bear all
arms or the government has a right to limit the ownership of any and all of them.
One can say, well obviously some weapons are too powerful and dangerous for citizens to keep, thus the full range of them is limited. Then I would
counter with: what is the cut-off? No nukes? No nerve gas? No aircraft carriers? No tanks? What exactly then? And if one is completely a strict
constructionist and says that all or most of these weapons should be available to citizens, isn't that obviously a nutty proposition?
Perhaps the government has the power to regulate weapons more. Obviously it is left to nine special people to decide what the Constitution means, and
clearly they make many a bad and unjust decision, so if they decide more classes of weapons can be restricted to citizens, who's to stop them
practically speaking? Sure, you macho gun owners could rise up against it, but good luck with that.
So let's discuss additional gun control possibilities in the context of this recent mass shooting. From what I've heard. The mother of the killer
owned the weapons and taught her two sons to shoot at a firing range. So by all rights it would seem gun training was provided. Gun safety was
another matter. Evidently mom didn't have the family firearms, which she owned, safely locked away, out of junior's reach. Perhaps something should
be done to enforce better gun safety, including household inspections -- spot inspections at that. We have building code inspectors, why not gun
While on gun safety, I wanted to mention another case that happened about a week ago in which a father apparently accidentally shot his son with a
pistol while in the parking lot of a gun shop. He explanation was that he didn't know that there was a bullet in the chamber -- seriously. And
because of such gross negligence/stupidity his 5-year-old son is dead. It really seems like this country must maintain better gun security
If, as some gun advocates suggest, everybody should be allowed to carry firearms on their person, imagine how many more stupid shootings will happen.
Or how many people will be held-up at gun-point for their weapons? The American west at some point began regulating gun carrying in towns because of
the deadly nuttiness that ensued from complete gun-carrying liberty. What if some teachers were to be armed? What happens when one of these teachers
get's jumped by a couple of out-of-control high schoolers? Also, what would keep a teacher from losing his/her control in a crisis situation and
using a firearm when it is not warranted. Or for such a teacher suffering extreme stress and/or mental illness going "educational"?
Speaking of mental illness, this recent case and many -- if not all -- of these shootings involve people who are clearly mentally unbalanced. And in
this case it apparently wasn't the owner of the weapons who was necessarily unbalanced, but rather one of her sons, who, one way or another, had
access to her weapons. Even with background checks, how do we keep weapons away from people with nascent mental issues, i.e. ones who haven't
committed crimes? And a lot of these shootings involve young people who wouldn't necessarily have a record that would raise a red flag.
Bottom line: I really don't think the arming of America will help things, and for public safety it seems additional restrictions/regulations of
firearms seems necessary.
The last subject I want to touch on is the specious claim by some religionists (a polite term for such folk) that this attack was caused by the lack
of prayer and religion in public schools. I just saw a news clip on the shooter and his family; apparently they were church-going folks. Who would'a
thunk? So stifle the BS (bad scholarship) about lack of religion being the root of this problem. Guns don't kill, lack of prayer does. *NOT*
The actual problem is multi-part: we already have too many guns and many of them are not well secured and/or are owned by unstable or stupid/careless
people; we have a dysfunctional society, for a variety of reasons, and some people can't take the stress and take it out with violence; and perhaps
the biggest reason -- US society is immersed in violence. We have an aggressive military waging war across the world and the establishment media and
political leaders portray this violence as justified; in addition our culture is immersed in violence -- "literature", movies and video/computer games
that glorify violence. Is anyone really surprised then when people take their frustrations out with weapons? Furthermore, this all-prevalent
violence in our culture just makes the claim that lack of prayer in schools is causing this sickness that much more ridiculous.
To the people who will say: well I watch violent movies, play video games and own guns, but I don't go on killing sprees -- it's not that these
influences will affect everyone, but they will affect more at-risk people, and there lies the problem.
And let's be clear, since this Conn. shooting occurred, several more smaller shootings have also happened throughout the nation. Something needs to
be done about it, and prayer in public schools is not going to fix matters. Serious, effectual steps are needed.
edit on 16-12-2012 by
MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)