Where do we draw the line?
To the editor:
The Second Amendment to the Constitution states “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 ambiguous since a well-regulated militia and arms are not adequately defined.
The Founding Fathers lived at a time when arms consisted of muzzle loading muskets and crude mortars; but what constitutes arms? An arm might be defined as anything used for individual defense, collective defense, or predation (hunting).
A hammer, screwdriver, ice pick, scissors, knife, spear, and bow and arrows, not to mention guns, could be considered arms for individual defense. Collective defense would consist of all the weapons used by our military, while arms used for predation are usually just shotguns, rifles, and fishing poles. Automatic rifles are not very sportsmanlike for hunting.
Yet many gun enthusiasts insist they have Constitutional right to have an AK-47 or equivalent, but they don’t make the same claim for a rocket launcher, hand grenades, cannons, or flame throwers. If they did, it would be completely rejected. Why? Because legislators passed laws prohibiting them for the safety of the population.
According to the Gun Violence Archive there has been 2,697 mass shootings in the United States from 2014 through 2020. That’s an average of 385 per year. From January 1 through March 22 of this year, there have been 103 mass shootings, with the Atlanta spa and the Boulder, Colorado, tragedies the latest, indicative of a very sick country. Just when we thought it was safe to eat in restaurants and go shopping, with the COVID-19 virus abating, we now wonder when and where the next shooting will occur. Perhaps we all need to buy a bullet-proof vest. What a country!
We certainly need much stronger control of gun ownership. This includes the type of weapons allowed, registration of all guns, registration of all public and private sales of guns, and background checks of all buyers. Where do we draw the line? Gun owners do not need to have assault rifles, semiautomatic pistols, nor other military type weapons.
Unfortunately, our country is saturated with handguns and assault rifles, held hostage by the NRA and the gun manufacturers. There will be speeches, hand wringing, and prayers, but as usual, nothing will be done to solve the problem and heal the nation.