Lots of talk about gun control in the media lately, which has made me curious about gun control in general. Personally, I don’t believe for one minute that super strict gun control measures will prevent crime. Will they lower the crime rate? I don’t know, but probably not by anything statistically significant. I can’t say that I don’t believe in stricter gun control measures but I can’t say that I do, either.
For the most part, I think I understand the thought process behind the actions of those who push for stricter gun control laws — the push for increased background checks, for limits on amount and type of ammunition, for certain types of weaponry to be banned. The motivation seems to be to restrict to the point of prohibitiveness the possession and use of any weapon that seems to be primarily useful only for the rapid and efficient killing of people. This would be in hopes of preventing tragedies such as Newtown, Aurora, Colorado, and other mass murders and tragedies. This is a noble intention. I doubt there is anyone in this country who would say that it would be okay to have incidents like these continue on in the future. We all want them to be prevented. Nobody wants the loss of innocent life at the hands of someone with any kind of gun. I would bet even the NRA would agree with that statement.
But here is what I don’t totally understand. Why does the NRA and those who are like minded so vehemently oppose seemingly ANY attempt to control guns?
Here is the text of 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.” (Link to source) Am I to assume that those who argue against gun control laws interpret the Second Amendment very broadly? I read this article in which the NRA gives kudos to the GOP on adopting a strong pro-gun stance as part of their platform. After reading this, I figured that was what the NRA was doing — reading the Second Amendment in a very broad light — all citizens of the United States have the right to keep and bear arms. This is interpreted to mean that arms includes ANY gun and ANY ammunition a gun needs. Since this right shall not be infringed, then that means no controls of ANY sort. Am I understanding this point of view the proper way? Truly, I want to make sense of this.
If I am understanding this all the way that the gun control opponents are, then I guess I understand why there is also opposition for things like waiting periods and background checks. Those things would be interpreted as infringements????
But here is a question I have: if the amendment is being interpreted so broadly, then why in the article I referenced above is the term “law abiding citizen” used three times? In reading the text of the Second Amendment, there is no mention of the need for the citizen to be law abiding. By denying a citizen who doesn’t follow the law the right to own a gun, isn’t that an infringement? Does law abiding mean only those who commit felonies or violent crimes, or does it also include people who speed and jaywalk, because people who do those things are not law-abiding citizens. Where is the line drawn at where a citizen stops being law abiding and starts being a law violator who no longer qualifies for the right to bear arms?
If this is an accepted infringement because of the way the SCOTUS has ruled on cases in the past (like those cases referenced in the GOP platform article), where does one draw the line at acceptable infringements and unacceptable infringements? Why deny gun ownership to a criminal but not allow for limits on some types of ammunition? Why are background checks okay in some instances (another infringement, no?) but not others?
I don’t know what the answer is when it comes to gun control laws. I don’t know if stricter laws will help; I don’t know if more lax laws will hurt. But what I do want to do is understand this issue, so if you are inclined to help me learn about this, please do so. However, I am NOT interested in any type of debate, quite honestly, because I am not well versed enough to have a debate that would be intelligent.
Pick your side of the fence and talk to me over it!