Why Gun Control Can’t Pass
After yet another tragic shooting, proponents of gun control have once again rolled out the usual talking points and policy proposals. From banning so called “assault rifles” to “high capacity magazines”, progressives and their allies think that the solution to radicalized killers and murderous sociopaths is to further restrict firearms for law abiding citizens. Those who favor greater gun control tend to parse the argument in terms of what citizens really “need” and say that their intention is only to get rid of those arms which are of a military nature and not to “take away people’s guns” in general.
They then argue that most Americans do in fact support measures such as expanded background checks and restricting purchases of firearms for those that are on terrorist watch lists. The polls show this to be true, but despite dramatic sit-ins and filibusters by Democrats, neither the Senate nor the House seems to actually be willing or able to pass any gun regulation legislation at all. This is then attributed to the seemingly diabolical NRA that according to the left, only cares about gun sales and seems to be perfectly ok with seeing children be murdered in their schools. Hyperbole aside, the NRA does fight tooth and nail against almost any gun restriction measure, but this is not because they are some evil organization doing the bidding of callous greedy gun manufacturers. No, the NRA does what it does because far too many proponents of gun control have either explicitly or implicitly made their desire to prevent most lawful gun ownership.
Yes, it’s true that few Democrats have actually called for the repeal of the second amendment or a banning of most types of firearms, but the likes of President Obama and Hillary Clinton have on many occasions talked about the US following the lead of other industrialized nations when it comes to guns. How then are we to interpret things if most of these nations do not allow the free exercise of a right to bear arms? Is it not reasonable to assume that those who look at the UK or Australia as models for proper gun control are therefore in favor of similar measures in the United States?
Further, many gun control proponents argue that the second amendment really does not mean what the Supreme Court has interpreted it to mean and that in reality it simply states that “the people” as in citizens of various states are able to “bear arms” through service in what was the “Militia” but is now simply the National Guard.
Ignoring for the moment such a completely historically ignorant understanding of the militia as understood by the founders, to argue that the Supreme Court is wrong about that particular interpretation of the constitution and totally right when it comes to gay marriage and the 14th amendment, or abortion rights and the 9th amendment seems to smack of pure political hypocrisy. The fact of the matter is that the law of the land states that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms and that the whole of the able bodied males in their respective states are “The Militia”.
If gun control proponents were honest with themselves about the legal status of the second amendment, and serious about not wanting to eventually confiscate most firearms in America, they would stop talking about countries such as Great Britain and France as models for us to follow.
If Democratic politicians want to pass what they see as “common sense” firearms regulations such as universal background checks for all gun sales, then they will have to once and for all declare that the second amendment is off limits and that what may be right for other countries will never be right for the United States. Just as they ask conservatives to make peace with the fact that abortion is legal in the country, they must themselves make peace with the fact that gun ownership, even of those scary guns they don’t like, is also a constitutionally protected right.
From that point of compromise, of acknowledging the reality of our nation, of our rights as citizens, we can hopefully move forward to actually effective regulations that can make mass shootings and acts of terror less deadly.
Even in that though we must be realistic, because the truth is that even if you were to only allow magazines of less than 10 rounds or even go so far as to make revolvers the only available handgun for civilians, a deranged and determined individual could still have several guns concealed in various places on their person, and proceed to discharge about as many rounds into innocent victims as they could with an AR and a single 30 round magazine. In fact, the evidence shows that most mass shootings have historically been done via handguns rather than semi- automatic rifles of any kind. Most firearms related deaths in America are also caused by handguns and not scary looking “weapons of war”.
At the end of the day, we as a nation must realize that there is some sort of spiritual and moral disease running through our society which is making these mass shooting events happen with seemingly more regularity and brutality. How can it be that 50 years ago, when you could order firearms through the mail without any form of ID, the notion of a disgruntled kid going to a bar or school and shooting up countless innocents was almost impossible to fathom? Clearly access to guns will have an effect, but that can never be the root cause because something is seriously wrong with us as a culture if there are people so isolated and so lost, that they can justify pure evil in the name of whatever mental suffering they are experiencing.
It seems though that more control and less freedom is always the answer of politicians these days, perhaps it is easier to take away our rights than see the truth and ask the hard questions about where our society going.