To the Editor,
In our democracy does the Second Amendment right to bear arms bestow a right of access to weapons of unrestricted power on each citizen?
In my life time that has never been the case.
In my lifetime there have always been restrictions on owning and possessing explosives.
In my life time there have always been restrictions on owning and possessing weapons capable of rapid automatic fire.
In my lifetime you could not care a handgun anywhere but your own property, with an exception for traveling.
In my lifetime there have always been restrictions on carrying daggers, swords, dirks, knives, brass knuckles, billy-clubs.
Why, because the Constitutional guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness empowers the citizens to determine reasonable commonsense limits on the power of an individual to traumatize or threaten fellow citizens with massive death and destruction.
We will never be able to predict the mind of the sane, the slightly sane, the insane, the stressed, the chemically impaired, the paranoid, the hater. The cost of evaluation, registration and treatment of potential threats will be beyond what taxpayers or willing to pay. We don’t even currently feed all the hungary children or properly fund aid for child protective and elderly services.
Those who assert that we are prohibited from placing restrictions on access, possession and ownership of arms of any kind are wrong.
So, can we agree to define an acceptable “power of one” ? ( Talking about private individuals, not active law enforcement and military).
How about, per individual, without registration or licensing, the following:
Unlimited, non automatic, 22 caliber rifles and handguns
Unlimited shotguns of any gage but capable of no more than a maximum three shells chambered.
Two handguns per individual, in any caliber above 22, limited to six rounds for single or double action revolver and eight round magazine for a semi-automatic
Two bolt action, lever action, or semi automatic rifles of any caliber limited to six round magazines, not capable of speed loading, rapid magazine exchange, or conversion to fire more rapidly than by the individual pull of the shooters trigger finger.
Possession of and sale of anything else, limited to licensed and registered gun dealers, law enforcement, federal and state militias, honorably discharged military combat veterans, and citizens licensed for good cause ( which could be collectors), after, thorough background checks, with a strict liability tort standard if the owner fails to meet state mandated gun storage and liability insurance requirements.
To those who would assert the secret right to possess military weapons in unlimited quantities because of the “need to be armed against the government”, let’s be reminded, we the people are the government. We decide.
Many gun owners and sportsman would recognize no change by the before suggested restrictions. Some would suggest other and better ones. Some will say none. Well, we have tried none.
Many current gun owners would be affected. Just like car owners were affected when the state started requiring auto inspections, and restaurants when public health requirements went into place, but the suggested restrictions on weapons of war would allow for there retention and ownership by those responsible enough to comply. Well, it would be expensive. Public safety is always expensive, guard rails, reflective stripes, air bags, automated elevators, power equipment guards, safety electric plugs. Don’t you think it is time. Aren’t you sickened by the destruction.
The big losers? Gun and ammunition manufacturers that have injected weapons of war into our midst, and used the power of marketing to sell machismo and instill fear and paranoia. These powerful unregulated weapons of war are killing our children, our brave police, first responders and our teachers. How are we going to maintain quality law enforcement, health workers, and teachers if we cannot eliminate these needless weapons. Turning our schools into armed fire control outposts may be an immediate expensive necessity but not a sustainable option.
Easy access to weapons of war must be eliminated. Support the actions, don’t criticize the actions of youth who have grown up in fear and who are saying “enough is enough”.
Why do I think I have the right to express an opinion, other than being a United States citizen? I’m the proud parent of career, combat seasoned army and marine/navy sons. The proud parent of a brave worried teacher in a major metropolitan community. And lastly, the proud brother-in-law of a navy combat veteran of the marine landing at Inchon, and two deployments to Vietnam, with purple heart, two bronze and a silver star and a licensed gun owner who responsibly carries everyday and with whom I feel safer. They have bought me the privilege of an opinion and yes, we do have vigorous debates.
Speak up. Say something. Do something. Out shout Big Money. Vote for change.
Ron Johnson, Waxahachie