Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If gun nuts are right, no gun restrictions are allowed

It's common sense to say that a five-year-old shouldn't bring a loaded machine gun to school.  But according to those who ignore the first part of the Second Amendment and just say, " (dot, dot, dot) the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", five-year-olds should be allowed tote around loaded machine guns.  That's right.  The Second Amendment says nothing about the age at which a person can own a gun.  It says nothing about machine guns either.  The five-year-old should be able to take a bazooka to school too.  For that matter, the Constitution says nothing about stopping felons or the mentally ill from having guns.  According to a strict reading of the above quote, it would be unconstitutional to prevent mentally ill people or felons from having guns.

Of course, all that relies on you not seeing the "dot, dot, dot" part at the beginning of the quote, which is why I spelled it out.  The intentional use of ellipsis on this part is a trick that the NRA has been using for decades that more and more people have finally caught on to.  That first part says that gun ownership is permitted in the context of a "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state".  So, for those who think that the primary purpose of having a gun is protecting themselves against the government, no, this right, granted by the government, is intended to be regulated by the government.  If you plan to use your gun to overthrow the government then that is not covered by the 2nd Amendment.  Also contrary to conventional gun-nut rhetoric, you will note that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is not to provide for individual protection, but rather, it is explicitly to provide for protection of the state against those who would undermine it.  

As to the issue of 5-year-olds with machine guns, the state can regulate that precisely because no well-regulated militia would want or need infants carrying firearms.  Likewise, none of them want the mentally ill to  be toting around massive fire power.  Congress has the power and the responsibility to regulate fire arms, and lets hope that they finally do their job adequately, and intelligently this time.

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