Saturday, December 15, 2012

To Hell With The Second Amendment And At Least Reinstate 1994 Ban on Assault Weapons Sales

Yet again we have had a nutcase engaging in mass murder in the US using semi-automatic weapons with massive magazine capacities.  We banned the sale of these in 1994, but let it lapse in 2004 under pressure from the NRA, who had managed to defeat such supporters of the ban as the late Jack Brooks, a longtime gun rights supporter and Congressional powerhouse who had the nerve to support this ban in 1994.  Nobody had the nerve to go up against them in 2004 (and the then president was certainly not in favor of renewing it).  All these people have the blood of innocents on their hands, even if they continue to protest that if only we had universal "open carry," these things would not happen.  I doubt that for the simple reason that most of these mass murderers have ended up killing themselves.  They are not to be deterred by the threat that they might die.

Over the last century we have had 25 mass murders in the US.  China is second with 10, Israel and the Philippines are tied for third at 8 each, and India is fifth with 7.  We are far ahead of other nations in terms of per capita gun ownership, at 88.8 per 1,000 population. Serbia is second at barely over 60, wth Yemen barely over 50.  Fourth place Switzerland is at 47.5.  Gun rights nuts often cite Switzerland, which has low rates of gun homicides, mass murders, and so on, although it has the highest gun suicide rate in Europe.  But guns are very strictly regulated there.  Most homes have them, but they are issued to those who served in the military through the draft and have been trained.  They are particular weapons to be kept under lock and key in the homes, with other types of guns simply banned, and only security officers allowed to carry guns in public.

Reading or listening to gun rights advocates one would believe that US liberty depends on the Second Amendment.  It does not.  Of the 48 rights advocated in the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights, gun rights are not among them (the other US constitutional rights not among them are the right to not self incriminate and the right to a trial by jury).  The only other nation with gun laws as loose as those in the US is Honduras, which competes with the US for providing guns to the Mexican drug gangs.

The Second Amendment is a historical mistake and should be repealed.  Short of that, the 1994 law should be reinstated.  Heck, if we had gun laws like Switzerland's we would be in far better shape, although there is unfortunately no way to get our guns per capita down anywhere near to where they are in the rest of the world, which means we are probably doomed to more Newtowns.


Jack said...

It's not the Second Amendment that is a mistake. It's the intentional misinterpretation of that very simple directive by an ideologically biased Supreme Court that is the mistake. Any court that can define a corporation as having the rights of an individual citizen is playing fast and loose with reality. Is there any real person that is required to be chartered by the government in order to exist?

"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."
One sentence in which the words individual and citizen doesn't even appear. Bearing of arms is the right of "the people" and that term has always been used as a reference to the actions and/or responsibilities of the nation, not its individual citizens.

Jack said...

And note also that the wording addresses only "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." It says nothing about the right to sell or to own such weapons. Nor, for that matter, does it address what kinds of weapons fall under the rubric of Arms. Only the small minds of Scalia et al could interpret that one sentence into a death sentence for so many innocent victims. said...

I agree, Jack. The SCOTUS completely misses the original context of the 2nd Amendment, which was that it constituted our national security policy. We had no standing army. The militia was it, to be called upon in times of needing a national defense. Or, much to the annoyance of tea partying tax protestors, to put down a violent tax protest such as the Whiskey Rebellion, which was put down by a militia that President George Washington put together.

Jack said...

And lead into Pa. by Alexander Hamilton, on horseback. He was said to be quite the dashing figure and a pretty good military leader. So maybe it should be required to be on a horse if one wants to pack a gun.