SECOND AMENDMENT: What's it really about?

Dave Granlund's thoughts match mine

The Orange One and the NRA are at it again.  So what's the nonsense today?  The Second Amendment.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump says the Second Amendment will not be repealed. 

The president is making that pledge a day after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens expressed a different view. Stevens wrote in The New York Times that repealing the Second Amendment would help Congress enact gun control measures. 

"THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!" Trump tweeted early Wednesday. "As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!" 

The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the amendment lets people own guns for self-defense.

While I applaud the sentiment of keeping the Second Amendment, I don't appreciate Trump's caps lock tweets, nor how he twists it into "Dems are bad" (I'm a Dem) and "we need more Republicans".  We don't need more Republicans. We need more intelligent people in office.  

We also need to educate people on what exactly that Amendment is about.  The Second Amendment does not mean we can all run out and buy weapons.  What it does say:

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.

What does this mean?  The absence of an "and" gives us a clue.  It isn't "a well regulated militia and the people..."

Regulation is essential.  Regulations are rules or directives made and maintained by an authority.  I believe some NRA members' beef is the fact that regulations exist:  "We all should be able to buy as many automatic weapons and armor-piercing rounds as we want. Anyone should be allowed to own a gun, regardless of their mental faculties or criminal background. We should all be allowed to openly carry our firearms, arm our children, arm our teachers, arm everyone.  Don't regulate us!"

That's not how it works, people.   A militia is, by definition, a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency. We can not infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms as part of a regulated militia, not that I foresee civilians being called into active service to defend their towns. What we can do is regulate appropriately to suit current times. Hunters should be allowed to hunt, of course.  Hunters do not need to hunt Bambi with a weapon that cleaves the deer's ass in two and mows down the trees behind him.

Does that mean citizens can't own powerful firearms?  Not at all. 

Firearms should be licensed by the State and, much like our driver's licenses, this must be renewed every four years.  The cost of the license reflects the weapon class.  Implement a mandatory safety course that must be refreshed before license renewal. Add a nice hefty tax to the purchase and licensing fees.  Don't allow gun sales to occur in pawn shops.  Ownership can be transferred to another person in a private transaction, of course, but it's on the new owner to sign the weapon over (much like a vehicle) and  on the new owner to register it in a timely manner.  Possession of an unlicensed firearm should warrant a hefty ticket and a deadline for registering to avoid paying the fine.  Failure to comply and several violations may bar you from owning weapons in the future.

Keep in mind, I'm not a raving liberal when it comes to firearms.  I'm the average firearm owner. The Gruffchick loves her pistol. It's an ATI Firepower Xtreme Military 1911, semi automatic of course.  It fires .45 ACP without much kick. I actually have better grouping on my targets than the husfiend veteran, though we haven't been able to get out to the range much.  He wanted a firearm so he could kill pieces of paper.  I wanted it for a different reason: self defense.  

Stock footage of the ATI 1911

Neither of us cared if we had to go through a waiting period, or fussed over registering it.  At home, we keep the ammo apart from the weapon, though one round is always in the carrying case.  We don't have any children in the house, and the parents won't find it and accidentally use it.  It gets carried, unloaded, in its case when we do go to the range. Should we be pulled over on the way, we know to keep hands on the wheel and dash, and to politely explain that we have a boxed firearm behind the passenger seat. Neither of us would bat an eye at allowing the officer to retrieve it and put it in his cruiser for safe keeping, nor would we care if he ran numbers to see if it was hot.  I have a healthy respect fear of guns, even now, and take things very seriously. They are not toys nor are they meant to show off status or power.

I have friends and family that are avid hunters. They, too, do not mind waiting periods, registering weapons, or using gun safes for their hunting rifles and numerous small arms. 

"I don't want to be on any lists!" is a common excuse "gun nuts" have for not registering.  Tough, sweetie. If you work a job and pay taxes, or hope to collect Social Security, or served in the military, or have health insurance, or pay bills with a bank account - well, you're on a government list somewhere.  

Responsibility starts with the individual, and is guided by regulations meant to govern how the citizens operate.  Thugs don't go by regulations, nor do they want to adopt any responsibility.  "I didn' do nuffin!" is not an excuse when you commit a crime, and "I don't want to go through the process" is not an excuse when you own a gun.

In a nutshell, the Second Amendment will never go away. It could be amended, however, to spell things out better. It was written during a time when a militia was necessary for protecting our freedoms.  It has been abused for just as long. Regulations will help alleviate some of this.  It won't be a cure.  People will always find a way around weapon ownership laws, just as they would find ways to prey on their fellow man.   

It's because of the latter group of people that I own a weapon.


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