Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From box cutters to assault weapons in gun control

Sanjay Sanghoee is a blogger on politics and the author of two novels.  He has written several posts for the Huff Post on gun control and has heatedly talked about the 2nd Amendment and its shortcomings and misinterpretations.  He notes that it is time to challenge this part of the Constitution and makes a good case for doing so.  I did the same in a 3-part series back in September of 2011: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.  And I really like Sanghoee’s take on a “well regulated militia.”

But first, it is Sanghoee’s conclusion that “After three shootings, America needs zero tolerance on guns,” of course referring to Aurora, Colo. the Sikh Temple, and bringing in the most recent incident in Texas.  He says: “If the real purpose of guns, as ratified by the Supreme Court, is defense of one's home, then anything that can be used to fire dozens of rounds a minute, accommodate high-capacity clips of ammunition, or spray bullets, should not be in the hands of civilians. Period.

Box cutter
Then Sanghoee comments on a recent remark from someone who argued box cutters and airplanes were used to kill people and questioned whether they should be banned.  He answers, “…the primary purpose of box cutters is to open boxes and airplanes are used mainly to transport people over long distances; Guns, on the other hand, have only one purpose, which is to hurt or kill another living being.”  Thus, another ridiculous gun rights analogy is deflated.

Many of the gun control advocates, including myself, agree that most firearms owners are law abiding, but continue to disagree that any of them should have the right to own assault rifles or high capacity magazines.  This concept of wanting this kind of weaponry personifies the statement of Sanghoee: “Guns, on the other hand, have only one purpose, which is to hurt or kill another living being.”  Even Supreme Court Justice Scalia deems them “affrighting.”

Wacky Wayne LaPierre speaking on the 2nd Amendment and Arms Trade Treaty 1 month ago:

In his article on challenging the 2nd Amendment, Sanjay Sanghoee actually picks apart the decree on gun rights.  There are three things that he finds unclear in the right to bear arms:

1. What comprises "arms";

2. Whether the "free State" in the Amendment has to be protected from its own government or from a foreign aggressor (such as the British at that time), and;

3. Whether the term "well regulated" means well disciplined or with a clear framework of laws.

He goes on to cite the 2008 ruling District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, that established the individual right to own guns outside a militia.  I might add that it does not specify the right to carry them anywhere you want to and not to be able to stockpile an arsenal like James Holmes did in Aurora, Colorado.  It even specifies the possession of firearms “for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” 

Assault weapon

The Founding Fathers could never have envisioned an organization as bizarre as the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) or its wacky leader, Wayne LaPierre.  Had they known of either, there would no doubt have been an addendum to the 2nd  Amendment, 2-A, relinquishing such power from potential gun nuts.  As an example of the ludicrous behavior, Sanghoee compares Middle Eastern militants with homegrown American militias training for battle in some wooded compound in the heartland.
Sanghoee makes a good point in comparing the fact that the NRA and others hold that it is people that kill, not guns.  But if this is the case, he argues, “…then the reason we have crazy massacres in this country is because Americans are a bunch of homicidal maniacs with no impulse control; and if that part is true, then should we really allow this same crackpot citizenry to carry firearms?”  I ask, shouldn’t we at least keep assault weaponry out of their hands?

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