A response to “The Right to Bear Arms,” September 2, 2019, submitted to the Daily News Record as letter to the editor.
“…shall not be infringed” is a fragment of the 2nd Amendment enshrined in the NRA offices. As a propaganda tool, it has been successful by advancing gun sales in support of the gun manufacturing industry. This simple phrase underpins the entire argument of gun enthusiasts. No commercial enterprise, private citizen, or political organization can interpret or change the meaning of the constitution to suit its marketing or ideological agenda.
The Founders never “absolutely” intended to guarantee ownership of firearms for personal protection. The Supreme Court has expanded the NRA version of the 2nd Amendment several times over the years to include this provision, but as yet have not prohibited the regulation of firearms in the name of public safety.
No regulation or gun control law can stop all gun violence. No traffic law can stop all the speeding, drunk, or reckless drivers. No law ever passed has ever ended crime. The goal of gun control legislation is to REDUCE gun violence, just as the point of laws is to REDUCE crime and protect the public.
We have many gun control laws on the books. Unfortunately, they have been carefully crafted to be unenforceable. Gun companies are protected from lawsuits. The CDC was prohibited from researching gun violence in 1996 and still doesn’t do research because of perceived threats from the NRA-sponsored gun lobby. Background checks are not yet universal and have numerous loopholes. The gun used in the recent mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, was purchased in a private sale, no background check required. Funding for enforcement of current laws is insufficient for adequate enforcement.
Mass shootings are not an epidemic, but school shootings since Columbine in 1999 have terrorized students, parents, and school systems. Even new school buildings are being designed to slow down shooters to the detriment of the actual education of children. It is now commonplace for schools to hold live-shooter drills which only remind students, teachers, and parents of the perceived danger, making learning more difficult. Because of the recent spate of shootings, many are fearful of going to a Walmart or the local mall without fear.
Confiscation is thrown up as a “slippery slope” argument. The only policy proposed by any Presidential candidate involves mandatory buy-backs of military-style weapons. What does Mr. Muterspaugh mean by “will be met by resistance?” Armed revolt against the government of the United States of America? To threaten those whose duty is to enforce our laws? How is this a common-sense argument?
Full disclosure, I would like all firearms to disappear. I support all gun control legislation that would diminish the frequency of gun violence in our country. I am one voice calling for the United States of America to take its proper place in the civilized world as an exceptional nation. One that cares about life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all its citizens.