As he pulled away from the sobriety traffic stop I noticed three rifles “racked” across the trucks rear window and on the bumper of his 1995 Ford F150 an NRA sticker which read - “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” Just behind the F150 sat a 1997 Chevy Caprice – the owner shaking her head as the Ford pulled away, she was next for the sobriety check. As the Chevy pulled away it too had a bumper sticker which read “Actually, guns really do kill people”. These two “bumper reads” point to a serious divide among the people of the United States – a divide I believe should not nor need not exist.
Do guns kill? Of course they do. Do I have the right to own and bear arms as a lawfully-permitted citizen? Of course I do. That ends the great divide – at least one would think it would. However the question of gun control goes much deeper than those two simply resolved issues. The question rather should read as follows, “Should I have the right to purchase military semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction?” The answer for me, based on the constitution’s intent and educated/common-sense logic, is no.
The Second Amendment as passed by the Congress reads: “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.” This amendment, although somewhat interwoven, gives me the right to own (keep) and have access to (bear) arms. Militias are also granted the rights to weapons, however – they were to be “well regulated”. We should recognize and support the concept of Militia as long as they embrace the concepts of: separation of religion and state, the equality and self-evident rights of all Americans. No matter what side of the issue you embrace – until further clarification is given to the Second Amendment, it appears to give the right to own/bear arms (weapons) to both Militias and individual citizens.
The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is that part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791. Perhaps we should keep in mind that date – 1791. The weapons found in 1791 would have been made by gunsmiths, had basic rifling, single-shot capacity, loaded via the muzzle and fired by means of flintlock impact. We all too oft “pull the past into the present” – it’s a fact - guns then are not guns now. In 1791 there were no shoulder-launched rockets, semi-automatic thirty-round long-range rifles, twenty-round handguns with laser-scopes — these are not weapons of protection rather these are without a doubt weapons capable of mass destruction, all surrounded by the stench of death.
I support the right to hunt, to protect one’s home and family. I also support the total “banning” of the sale of weapons of mass destruction. In 1791, hunting a deer required close contact and skill – now, with laser scopes, precision rifling and high-power bullets – you can “get” a deer at 400 yards. Let us use both logic and ethics related to this issue – we do not need public access to weapons of mass-destruction.