Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bang Bang!! Bang Bang!!

I know it's pointless to talk about gun control in Arizona, but well, much of life is ultimately pointless, and so, why not?

I've spent the past few weeks wondering how severely my personal freedom would be harmed by keeping all guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable, and 30 shot clips out of the hands of everyone. And despite the usual dire warnings from the NRA and their bought and paid for minions (political and media) about the threat to my Constitutional rights, I just don't feel too threatened by the prospect. But then, I've read all of the Second Amendment and not just the part that seemingly supports unlimited access to everything the gun manufacturers can conjure, including "cop killer" bullets, rifles that are capable of shooting an airliner out of the sky, and anything else that goes bang bang.

For the record, the Second Amendment to the Constitution reads in full "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." "Well regulated"? Another word for regulation is "law." Laws are usually enacted and enforced by governments. Therefore, "well regulated" certainly seems to imply some sort of government control. So, even the 'let's go back to the original intent strict constructionists' amongst you must admit that 'gun control' is as much a part of the Constitution as 'the right to bear arms.' To further reinforce this notion, Section 8 of Article 1 of the Constitution explains how the Congress can call forth this Militia after first organizing, arming, and disciplining them. And reserves for the states the appointment of officers and the authority of training this Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. (By the way, every Supreme Court decision regarding the Second Amendment since United States v. Miller-1939, has upheld the government's right to control certain kinds of weapons. And that includes the current Scalia/Thomas court.)

Now I realize this is the Wild West and we only have to obey those laws and/or parts of the Constitution that we agree with. Because Russell Pearce, that noted Constitutional authority, and Grand Imperial Wizard of Mesa, says so. Can I get a rousing "Amen!" from the hillbilly chorus? You bet I can.

However it should be pointed out that, since popular culture plays such a big part in many people's understanding of American history, in the Wild West that Hollywood taught us to love, the first thing the new sheriff did (after the old sheriff had been gunned down by some citizen enjoying his Second Amendment rights) was to confiscate all the guns of anyone wishing to enjoy whatever civilized delights the town offered. Remember? Leave your guns with the sheriff while you're boozing or whoring or whatever, and then you can pick them up on your way out of town. In other words, the Wild West stopped at the city limits. Out on the open range you can do what you want, but civilization, by definition, must enforce certain rules. I think that's still a reasonable request.

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