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Gun Control in America

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We have a Second Amendment. That’s a fact, an uncomfortable fact to some.

Some people act like we don’t have it in America, but we have it.

Some people act like it’s the most important thing ever. It isn’t.

We can have regulation of firepower, but it should be in line with our Bill of Rights. Today’s far right wing says anybody can have any gun they want with very few exceptions. Today’s left wing says government needs lots of permissivepermissive
➤ (a) not preventive
➤ (a) granting or inclined or able to grant permission; not strict in discipline
➤ (n) (of a ship or plane) sideways drift
➤ (n) a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits
to decide what kinds of weapons we should have. Neither fits with the Second Amendment.

Our right to bear arms isn’t about hunting. It isn’t even about castle defense, which is home and personal protection.

There’s a bit of evidence that the Bill of Rights includes bearing arms because they needed votes from Virginia. They wanted militias to hunt escaped slaves. That isn’t pleasant today, but there’s evidence to prove it. Founding fathers Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were clear about this.

Here are the other main reasons for bearing arms:


Each of those were as compelling to Americans in the 1790s as slave hunting.

From that list, you can see that so-called “assault” weapons are key to the Second Amendment. The early federal government noted that farmers didn’t own many muskets. Farmers wanted a rifle they’d use, and muskets were way too big to be useful to them. Muskets were mainly to kill lots of people… like an invading British military, which would happen again in 1812. Pesky red coats.

The American government bought muskets and gave them to farmers.

We also had “semi-automatic” guns, such as Puckle, Girondoni, and others. George Washington would have faced flintlocks and other “assault” weapons that the British had in the Revolutionary War.

The Founding Fathers would have been in favor of assault weapons because they face some in the war. They knew about fancy and deadly firepower when they wrote the Second Amendment.

Puckle Gun, patented in 1718 by James Puckle (1667–1724)

Puckle Gun, patented in 1718 by James Puckle (1667–1724)

But they wanted to make sure things weren’t bizarre here. They tried to walk a narrow path. How does government protect citizens while letting the population deter tyrannical government? Carefully and with deliberate due process.

It’s great that the American government keeps nuclear bombs and gonzo explosives out of the hands of everyone other than those with training. A tight chain of command helps.

By “due process,” I mean that government has to let me own and use whatever weapon I want unless they can prove that I’m likely to murder someone or scare little children.

I am personally in favor of preventing felons and those on no-fly lists from purchasing pistols, long guns, automatic, semi-automatic weapons, and ammunition. If I’m on one of those lists, there has to be a well-defined and timely way to appeal. There has to be due process. I am an American citizen, so I am entitled to due process.

Other citizens are entitled to a life without fear. I shouldn’t be allowed to frighten children or their mothers. Using a formally specified path, government should be able to keep scary people (felons, insane, and domestic abusers) from buying or owning guns). I don’t think non-citizens have a right to arms in the US.

My opinion isn’t shared by many of my fellow citizens. There will be blistering flame wars, but it’s what I believe.