A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
First off, I love firing weapons, whether handguns or rifles. They make noise. They go bang! They destroy things (assuming I hit what I aims at). When I was in the Air Guard, I fired an M16 and was asked to be on the Rifle Team. Yes, I was that good and I seriously considered saying yes, until I realized I'd have to buy all my own practice ammo. Uh, no, guys. That be way too rich for my blood, even at the Base Exchange.
Now SCOTUS has already ruled that citizens are allowed to keep and bear arms, and I'm no lawyer and am certainly not going to try to argue my thoughts in front of such an august forum. BUT (you knew that was coming, yes?) to me, the key phrase is, "A well-regulated militia..." (emphasis mine). And this is one of those cases where I'm not in one hundred percent agreement with SCOTUS. That's okay; they can handle it.
Too many people believe the Second Amendment gives them the right to own, and use, a weapon. And SCOTUS agrees with them. But is it necessary? Unless one is trained to respond, in an appropriate manner, one tends not to. Yes, the young man in Sutherland Springs, Texas who shot the church shooter responded appropriately, but he was on the outside, looking in. He was not on the inside, frozen in shock at what was going on.
I can understand wanting hunting rifles—after all people do still hunt meat for their tables. I can understand wanting handguns just because they are fun to shoot. What I can't understand is why anyone, not in a well-regulated militia, needs an assault rifle. Okay, I can understand why they want one. They are great fun to fire. They're fast, they're noisy, and they are really, truly, destructive. Don't use one on Bambi's mom though; there won't be enough usable meat to bring home to your starving children.
So, what do we do? What about secure firing ranges, in- or out-door, where your pride and joy AK47 can be kept under lock and key and brought out to play with under moderately controlled circumstances? Why do you need to buy and use high capacity magazines for the ammo? (Maybe rent one from the firing range?)
Like I said earlier, firing is fun. Lots of fun. But I don't have a gun in the house. It's certainly not that I'm afraid of them; I just don't want one in the house. As much as I agree with William Saroyan, that "...if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret." I don't think I could totally follow his admonition. Oh, I could kill, of that I am certain. But I would for the rest of my days have great sorrow and regret over the need to do so.
I do believe we need stronger laws regarding the sales and purchases of firearms, and universal background checks are a good start. I really would hate to see them unilaterally banned, but I hate more seeing the NRA ride roughshod over our politicians and the majority of the American People who want common sense laws. I think it's time we stand up for what is right for our children and other living things. Responsible gun control can be, with a little work, a case of having our cake and eating it, too. Let us sit at the Table of Dialog and have a national discussion about it. And a slice of your favorite (and calorie-free) cake.*
*All cake eaten at the Table of Dialog is calorie free!
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For those of you who are still waiting for my response from SecDef Jim Mattis, well, so am I! I'm very surprised, and some disappointed, that I haven't had one by now. Oh, not from himself, but one of his minions. I really don't expect The Man to respond. I guess it's too much fun to try to start a nuclear war than responding to a taxpayer, huh?