A Few Thoughts on Gun Appreciation Day

Winding Road Ahead

Winding Road Ahead (Photo credit: nathangibbs)

I’m writing about guns more than education these days. I wish I could feel I don’t have to.

The Second Amendment grants American citizens the right to bear arms. There might be some discussion about whether it’s a requirement that they be in a “well-regulated militia,” but I’ll concede for now that it isn’t.

The position many gun advocates and the National Rifle Association have taken is that there is no limit on the right of American citizens to bear arms.

But there are limits, and ones the NRA, probably supports.

Taken at its word the 2nd Amendment grants the right to own any kind of arms, even nuclear arms. Despite that, we have agreed as a society, with no dissent that I’m aware of, that private citizens should not own nuclear arms and have made it illegal to do so.

Unless I am mistaken (it has been known to happen frequently, according to my wife), it is also illegal for American citizens to own fully automatic weapons.

We have also decided that mentally ill people and convicted felons should not own arms. Our efforts to prevent those people from getting arms might not be particularly effective for any number of reasons, but that doesn’t change the intent.

Since there is some limit on the 2nd Amendment it is reasonable to ask if there might a need for other limits. The discussion we should be having as a nation is whether there are other limits we want to impose. There may not be, but not because the Second Amendment precludes it.

There may be very good reasons why additional gun restrictions are not a good idea, or there might be reasons for enacting some limits. I don’t know for sure. What I know is that a lot of children are getting killed by bullets fired from guns. I’m not talking about the mass murder in Connecticut or any other mass shooting. I am talking about the large number of children killed by bullets fired from guns every month all across the nation.

Universal mental health and criminal record checks before anyone can buy a gun should be a given. Any legitimate, sane, non-criminal gun purchaser should have nothing to fear from this, they will get their guns, eventually.

Guns should be secured when left at home, and that security should be robust. In a neighboring town two guns were stolen when the safe containing them was taken during a break-in. That safe either was not heavy enough or should have been bolted to the floor or some other strong anchor. Failure to secure weapons left at home should be a crime. That idea has nothing at all to do with the Second Amendment but might keep guns out of the hands of some criminals.

Some gun-owning friends say that laws allowing people to carry guns, concealed or openly, reduce crime. It is something that is very hard to prove, not because it may not be true but because it is very difficult to prove a negative effect.

Carry laws, whether concealed or open, might protect the individual carrying but will not prevent those scores of murdered children. I don’t know what will prevent those murders, but my instinct tells me that making it more difficult for everyone to get a gun might have some effect.

In all honesty, I am skeptical about the general safety of carry laws. Today, on Gun Appreciation Day, five people were shot accidentally at Gun Appreciation events, two of them at a safety checkpoint at a Gun Appreciation event.

That sort of thing does not inspire confidence that gun owners can be trusted to carry their guns safely.

3 Responses to A Few Thoughts on Gun Appreciation Day

  1. Thom Cole says:

    As typical with all Socialists, if you don’t believe in something, you feel you have the right to tell ME I have to agree with you. Based on prior experience through history, another of your Socialist friends, Adolf Hitler (NAZI is the acronym for National Socialist German Workers Party but in German; National Sozialistisches Deutsches Arbeits Partei – NSDAP) also believed in gun control. It’s not so much about guns as it is control. Disarmed, six million Jews were massacred. If Germany didn’t disarm they could’ve resisted Hitler’s takeover. Has Communism/Socialism ever worked? I guess Cuba and North Korea would say so and look how good they have it! Utopia! How simple your life must be. What about us retired police officers that spent a lifetime cleaning up the rapists/murders in you neighborhood. Did you think when they got out and ran into at the service station with my kids they’d come up and shake my hand?

    • Deven Black says:

      Mr. Cole, you seem to be reading a lot into my post that simply isn’t there. I did not recommend gun controls or disarming anyone. I simply said that since we’ve agreed as a society that there should be some limits on Second Amendment rights, it is not unreasonable to discuss more. I also said that it may or may not be a good idea to place further limits on gun ownership, and that the way to determine what, if any, further restraints might be put on is through dialog. I did not tell you that you need to agree with me any more than I would tell myself that I need to agree with you, though I do agree with you on one point.

      If talking through problems and trying to find common ground for agreement is socialism to you, then by all means call me a socialist. And it the best you can do is to compare my statements with those of Hitler and the NAZI party, I suggest you learn a little more history and read more of my blog. In the history you will learn how the Second Amendment arose not because the new American citizens feared a tyrannic government, it was because the southern states would not sign the Constitution unless they could have guns to defend their right to own slaves against norther abolitionists. Most of the northern states reluctantly gave in to the southern slaver’s demands in order to, finally, get agreement on ANY Constitution. Rather than being the hallmark of liberty as the NRA and other gun-rights advocates spin it, the Second Amendment is, in fact, the most long-lasting remnant of slavery.

      In the blog, you will see that I align myself with Gandhi who, somehow, defeated one of the strongest nations in the world at the time, without a single gun. Words and non-violent acts are always, in the long term, stronger than guns.

  2. Mr. Black,

    Thank you for stating things in a plain non-confrontational way. I agree that something is not right about how we handle our guns and gun rights.
    Innocent lives are affected in order to protect the rights of gun owners- that can not be disputed. Just look at the news any given day.
    I also think that at least some form of responsibility for keeping a registered gun safe should be imposed. Too many are “stolen” and end up in the hands of individuals who use them in crime. The original owners should assume some responsibility if this is the case. Rights without responsibility is chaos.

    I didn’t know that the 2nd Amendment was actually a remnant of the inflexibility of the south toward the abolishing of slavery, but it figures.

    Thank you for sharing.

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