Re-thinking US Gun Laws

The tragedy in nearby Newtown has me re-thinking what the right to bear arms truly means

I have always been conservative on 2nd amendment matters even though I have never had, nor did I ever desire, to own a firearm. I just relished the idea that, if I chose to, I could arm myself against zombies, tyrant government, and Bambi.  I thought guns in a house with children (one with autism) was insane mind you, but I liked having my options open. 

I also felt that while my German Shepherd was my personal choice for security, my neighbors might prefer a firearm to keep themselves safe. I was always OK with that.

Until now. 

The tragedy in Newtown, however, has caused me to me realize that I was not so much committed to keeping wives and daughters safe as much as I had been clinging to a philosophical point all these years. I could be "right," and have far too many people able to access far too powerful weapons far too often, or I could finally concede that on a pragmatic level, our country is a disgrace for allowing so much carnage simply to preserve philosophy. 

Some have said that if someone had a gun at Sandy Hook that the tragedy could have been prevented or stopped earlier. I disagree. We cannot arm teachers and call that a solution. Teachers are there to teach. We can beef up school security, but we can't arm teachers. The Law of Unintended Consequences, the liabilities, and the possibility that many good potential teachers would choose other work rather than being told they have to fend for themselves are good enough for me to oppose more guns. 

It is time for us to start from scratch and do what works with regard to gun law overall than pay homage to a sentence fragment from the Constitution written in a time when duels were legal, there was no mental health crisis, automatic weapons were not invented, and reloading put you in a race with 5 o'clock shadow.

My change of heart does not mean I want anyone's wife and kids to be less safe. Nor am I calling for a UK-like weapons ban. I just think that, along with mental health reform, better security in places like schools and a more caring overall society, we have to do something on the supply side.


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James Adnaraf December 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I have no problem with reasonable limits on gun ownership, but the right of law abiding citizens to possess guns is a good one. On a practical basis, if you live in a rural area, miles away from police protection, having a firearm for self defense, is reasonable. Additionally, if you are a business owner, facing looting because of civil disorder, or criminals taking advantage of hurricanes, you may need high powered weapons to defend yourself and your business. Such people should be able to obtain such weapons. Reasonable limits, reliable background checks, definitely. Denying the law abiding citizens access to reasonably calibered guns, definitely not. Gun control is useful, but no panacea.


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