Soooo…here’s a thing I make a point of not talking much about, well, not at ALL about, online.
But, I dunno, here I’m gonna… Yeah. I own guns. I own a lot of guns. I enjoy shooting and think there’s nothing more wrong with that than there is with anyone who enjoys collecting and juking up cars; because it brings them pleasure. At least, that’s what I think, even though to me, a car is nothing more than a machine that gets me from here to there…..
Soooo…here’s the thing, and it pains me to admit this, but I don’t have any problem with what Obama has said he’s trying to do with his executive decisions this past week. No. I believe that I’m a patriot. I believe in the Second Amendment. But I also believe in responsibility…and believe that that’s something that self-proclaimed supporters of the 2amd have been neglecting for years; for decades. Responsibility.
You know? No body finds it the least bit reprehensible that we have to, every so often, prove to the ‘GUBM’T’ that we can responsibly, safely, and with respect to our fellow citizens, operate motor vehicles on the roads we all have to share.And why SHOULD that be reprehensible? After all, a modern sedan, operated at state-mandated speed limits, can impart physical forces orders of magnitudes greater, at 55 mph, than a 115 grain 9mm bullet travelling at 1200 fps ever could, should either ever impact an unfortunate soul. It’s simple physics.
And the GUBM’T insists that we prove to it, periodically, that we can responsibly operate a motor vehicle. So … so WHY (IMO) shouldn’t the GUBM’T have the right – the responsibility – the moral imperative – to insist that its ‘responsible citizens’ have the equivalent skills, responsibilities, and innate understanding of the potential liabilities regarding gun ownership?
I know, I know…opponents of this analogy will leap to the argument that driving is a privilege while gun ownership is a ‘right.’ And so it is, under the Constitution. I do not dispute that. But when the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as cars; no idea that something so powerful, so potentially damaging, could possibly exist. And so it is with guns. Back in the day, the Kentucky Flintlock was an equalizer, but in no way, now, a match for a modern M-4.
The United States Constitution was intended, and is, a living document. It was, and is, meant to be a covenant written in one time that could codify governmental and societal doctrines that could apply to all times. I believe this to be true. And I believe it IS true.
So. Just as the Founding Fathers couldn’t anticipate a time when we would all be careening around in two-ton semi-navigated motor vehicles, they surely couldn’t anticipate a time when a single man could hold in his hand a weapon with the capacity to spit out dozens of projectiles a second into unwitting and undeserving — innocent — targets.
So. ‘The 2nd Amendment,’ by itself, cannot stand, inviolate, as an excuse for every crazy motherf*cker who wants to live out his or her sick fantasy in our sadly under-defended country. We will never create the disutopia of an ‘armed society protecting one another from the “bad guys”‘ that rabid pro-gunners and sci-fi authors (including my beloved R. A. H. Heinlein) espouse. It just ain’t gonna happen.
So what CAN we do? I don’t know, for sure. But I think, and I’ve said this for years, now, that there is one thing we can do to start an end the craziness.
Why not license gun owners? Require anyone who wants to own a gun to provide an, at least, a minimum degree of responsibility and competency with respect to possessing a firearm in a modern society. To obtain a drivers license, we all have to successfully complete a written test along with a standards based driving test. Why not aspiring gun owners? Is not the danger as great…or greater?
Many folks argue…”If you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns.” And I agree. But if only licensed folks can have guns, then law enforcement officers, of whom I have been once a member, will have an easier way to enforce the gun laws that are already in place. In other words, if you HAVE a gun, and YOU DON’T HAVE A LICENSE TO HAVE A GUN, then, oh well, I’m gonna take you to jail for breaking the law. That’s easy, right? Well, assuming that your possession of a firearm in violation of the law doesn’t result in a situation where I have to shoot you dead. Which would make me sad. But would still make you dead. Your choice.
Licensing the person would not be equivalent to registering guns, which I agree would amount to granting the government the power to confiscate guns, at its whim, for better or, more likely worse. The whole point behind the Second Amendment, we we should never forget, is that the Founding Fathers did NOT trust the government, based on their experience WITH the government….and history tends to repeat itself, sadly.
No. Licensing would just help ensure that a person provides an, at least, minimum, amount of proof of their degree of responsibility to the society to which he or she belongs.
I carry a drivers license with me every day, and don’t object to the “state’s” right to require that I demonstrate at least a minimal degree of ability and responsibility to use that license to operate a motor vehicle.
So why should one’s desire to own and operate firearms be adjudicated under any other standard?