THINKing outside the box

Anti-gun control advocates can’t be happy about all the negative publicity generated by the spate of recent multiple murders by firearms across our country.

Their main argument has always been that there is a Constitutional “right to bear arms.” I’ve read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the phrase seems to have been taken out of context. I believe the founding fathers had something different in mind when they penned that amendment.

If we consider the time in which this document was penned and the world view of the men who penned it, we can make certain reasonable assumptions.

The first is that since there was no intent to have a standing army, the ability to summon a militia would need to be formally preserved. Second, as there was no certainty among the Founding Fathers that the United States would survive as a political entity, it made sense to insure that a popular militia could be raised in the event that one state threatened another.

Third, since subsistence hunting was the primary way most Americans of that era survived, being deprived a weapon was tantamount to a death sentence by starvation. Fourth, as visionary as these men were, in a world of flintlocks and single shot pistols they could not possibly have imagined the devastation a single weapon of today can inflict.

We now have both a standing military and a National Guard, both under civilian control and the Posse Comatitus Act of 1878 insures that the military cannot impose a police state. For more than two centuries our states have remained united and another civil war is unlikely. Almost everyone has convenient access to a grocery store and hunting is for sport. Since three major criteria justifying this Amendment no longer exist, it is incomprehensible that anti-gun control advocates refuse to change their views to reflect the changing times.

Absolutely, the protection of one’s home, self and family are legitimate reasons for gun ownership. However, to resist national standards that insure an individual has a certain level of mental and technological competency does not make sense. If you have to demonstrate the fitness to drive a car which could become a lethal weapon, then how can there be no fitness test required to purchase, keep or use a device whose ultimate function is lethality?

Anti-gun control advocates must acknowledge that to continue to preserve “the right to bear arms” in the manner they are forces the vast majority of us to sacrifice other equally, or more important rights that are Constitutionally-guaranteed and inalienable: the right to assemble, to free speech, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Perhaps they should consider working to create a national set of standards and then help maintain proper oversight to insure that rights and protections successfully co-exist. If they did that, I’d rejoin the NRA tomorrow

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