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Wednesday
Jan122011

NRA--No Rational Argument

In the first week of the New Year this nation was rocked by two tragedies.  The first occurred on January 5th at another school shooting in Omaha.  The second was on January 8th at a rally for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona that resulted in the deaths of six people, including a nine year old girl.  If anything positive can come out of these two tragedies, it is that in light of these events the discussion has re-emerged in this country over gun control laws.

Whenever the topic of gun control comes up, gun enthusiasts are quick to point out that the Second Amendment prohibits congress from making any law that prevents the right to own guns.  But an honest looks at the actual text shows that it does not state that.  The actual text of the second amendment is:

“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 is actually dealing with regards to a militia.  The Constitution, written by people who just revolted against a corrupt government, would of course find it necessary for there to be a militia incase the people ever had to rise up again.  And of course this militia would need to be armed.

The idea of this militia in mentioned again in the Constitution.  An excerpt from Article I Section 8 reads:

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”

“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

However, nowhere in the Constitution does it state the people have the right to own guns for the sake of defending their home, for hunting, for sport, for game, or for the sake of collecting them.  Now, I am not against the idea of people owning guns.  I only point this out to show that the second amendment is not some kind of hall pass that disallows any form of gun legislation. 

My concern is not against people owning guns or owning certain types of gun, which is what some anti-gun protestors might try to argue.  People need guns to protect their homes.  Hunting is integral to a lot of the diverse cultures in America.  Who is anyone to judge that hunting is wrong, while we then go out and eat our cheeseburgers from McDonalds?  I am also not going to say citizens cannot own assault rifles or more powerful weapons.  The original intent of the right to bear arms was for the sake of a militia.  How powerful would a militia be if they are using less powerful weaponry on the army they are rebelling against?

My only concern is with who owns the guns.  I have no problem with any law abiding citizen owning any type of gun.  But I am also for the seven day waiting period to buy a handgun.  If you can’t wait seven days, you probably shouldn’t own a gun.   Violent offenders, felons, drug addicts, and of course possible terrorists should not be allowed to own guns.  There is already legislation currently on the books to prevent them from owning any type of gun, but this legislation becomes a mute point thanks to gun shows and the firesale law.

Gun shows, which happen more often down south, are basically a flea market for guns.  At gun shows there are no background checks, and no limit to the amount of guns purchased.  Theoretically, mobsters and drug dealers with records, or members on a terrorist watch list can go into a gun show and load up with as many weapons as they want without anyone checking up on them.  It’s actually not a theory, it happens for real.  Guns bought from these gun shows fund the Iron Pipeline.  Guns come out of states like Virginia from gun shows and are then found used in crimes in states like New Jersey.

It would seem that after a government makes laws like background checks for guns, then they would not permit something like gun shows.  But that is where lobbyists for the NRA come into play.  They fight for the selling of guns in almost any format.  While they may not seem very logical, these lobbyists however, are very powerful.  So powerful they also fought for the firesale law—a law that is a legislative contradiction.

The firesale law states that if a firearms retailer is shut down for selling guns illegally (i.e. not performing background checks) they then have the legal right to sell their entire inventory without performing any type of background check.  This is the legal equivalent of someone getting busted for drugs and then given the legal permission to distribute the drugs they have in their possession.

These two laws are glaring examples of how powerful the NRA lobby is, and how their policies have no concern for the well-being of this nation, but only to maximize the profits of firearm distributors.  Those who argue still argue that the second amendment prevents any form of gun control, should take a moment to read the entire Constitution—including specifically the Preamble, and the part about insuring domestic tranquility.  Gun shows and the firesale law do not insure domestic tranquility but prevent it.

I agree with gun enthusiasts that guns do not kill people, but people kill people.  That is why I am concerned over which people get to own guns.

 

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