The Second Amendment
Recently, a shooting incident occurred at my Alma Mater,
Case Western Reserve University, producing debate about
gun control in the local media. I come from a family of
hunters (although I do not hunt myself) and took a
riflery course in college, so this interests me quite
a bit. Today we have guns that make the 18th Century
guns look like crossbows in comparison, so this has
become a hot issue.
First let me say that the Second Amendment is not
Holy Writ. However, being part of the constitutional
basis of our government, it deserves the respect
commensurate with that background. Second, it is my
humble opinion that it is one of the worst written
laws in American history. "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."
If you are "pro-gun", then what is the point of
putting in that bit about the "well regulated militia"?
Maybe it shows the background of why the Amendment was
put into the Constitution, but other Amendments did not
have such an explanation. The First Amendment does not
start out something like "It being the duty and
obligation of every person to seek to obey his Creator
and to properly take part in the functioning of his
government and society..." This seems to imply that
the only reason to have guns is to have an officially
constituted militia, so only members of such a militia
should possess guns.
If you are "anti-gun", then what is the point of
saying "the right of the people"? If only the militia
should have guns, then this should have been made clear:
"the right of the members of said militia..." or
"each State shall maintain...". Just saying "people"
implies that common citizens have the right to keep and
bear Arms, as the population given that right was not
restricted in the clause. This is why both sides
of the debate can easily cite the Second Amendment
as supporting their view.
As for myself, I feel that you should have the
right to obtain the right to keep and bear Arms. Owning a
gun is not like owning a car, much less owning a ham radio.
A gun is inherently hazardous to other people when used
as intended. A person should have to demonstrate a
knowledge of the use and legal implications of using
a firearm, and should not have a criminal background.
That person should have a license and each weapon
purchased should be recorded in a ballistics database
so that bullets fired from it can be identified. I am also
gratified to see that we will soon have the option of
protecting ourselves with nonlethal means.
HSV Technologies is developing a paralyzing ray,
and other such nonlethal weapons are being developed for the
military and the police. Maybe this will give us a way
out of this impasse. Or maybe we will have to amend
the Second Amendment. (I would also propose an amendment
to make electors a mathematical fiction so some
"faithless elector" does not precipitate a constitutional
crisis worse than the Y2K election fiasco, and one to
impose term limits on Supreme Court Justices so
nanomedical life extension does not leave them sitting
for centuries, and one to...)
DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME
TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME