…From My Cold Dead Hands

Common sense, according to CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer, is to control guns and to keep guns out of the hands of people like the man who shot up the Aurora theater in Colorado.  Schieffer even admits that there are legitimate reasons to own a gun, such as–in his words–hunting and protection.  Obama issued a statement today that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers on the battle field.  This is most likely referencing all assault rifles and touching on the assault rifle ban that expired in 2004.  The hard question is how to control who gets guns.  A lot of liberals will use the shooting as a rallying cry to make gun ownership illegal, but they fail to consider an axiom–as they always have–that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
There is another axioms in the gun debate.  “If we make it a criminal offense to own a gun, then only criminals will own guns.”
This one is particularly true, because criminals with guns use them in criminal activities.  They do not stop to consider the criminal nature of having a gun.  Most criminals obtain guns through illegal means anyway.  They don’t care.  There going to commit other crimes with the gun anyway, so who cares if they break the law in getting a gun.
The guy in Aurora actually bought his 4 gun through legal means.  Ordered the ammo through legitimate retailers.  He committed no crime in getting his guns.  What he did with those guns was the crime.  The shooter in the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona also bought his gun legally.  Neither shooter had a criminal record that would have prevented the legal acquisition of guns.  Neither were diagnosed as mentally unstable prior to their crimes.  They were regular citizens exercising their right to keep and bear arms.  These acts are the exception though.  In fact, most crimes are committed with guns bought through illegal means.
One argument that has superficial merit is that citizens do not need assault rifles.  If a person wishes to hunt a deer, or even a bear, a simple bolt action rifle is sufficient.  A semi-automatic weapon is not needed to take down a 12-point buck.  This is a good premise on its own, but it does not address the real need of the second amendment.  The amendment was not created to give hunters the means to shoot game. Neither was it enacted to allow individuals to shoot a burgler in the act of breaking and entering or even to defend one’s life.  If a criminal is threatening a person or property, a simple handgun should be sufficient to protect the home and person.  But again, that is not the reason for the amendment.
The second amendment states: 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.  The reason we have the amendment is to provide for the common defense; to use the weapons in the event of an invasion from a foreign enemy or to overthrow a dictatorial government.  The founding fathers, having created a country out of revolution, knew that any government can become corrupt and need to be overthrown and so wrote into the Bill of Rights that citizens can keep and bear arms for just such an emergency.  This is not limited to hand guns or shotguns or bolt action rifles.  If the country were overrun, a few guys with 9mm handguns would hardly prove a threat to an invading army.
Does every citizen need a gun?  Obviously no.  Even in the founding fathers’ day, some people had no business with weaponry.  The Hatfields and McCoys feud shows what bad things can happen when some people who have no business with guns become armed.  The criminal element will use whatever means available to commit their crimes, so making gun ownership illegal will not thwart the criminal.  The question remains: who should be able to get guns?
If assault weapons are manufactured for soldiers alone and none are sold to the public, what is to prevent a criminal from stealing these rifles either from the factory or from the military depot?  Obviously the criminal nature of getting or having guns means nothing to a person about to commit a bank robbery or even a home invasion.
Schieffer advocates a psychological background check before obtaining a gun.  Does this mean that anyone who wishes to buy a gun has to take a Rorschach test?  What standard would be used to determine who can or can’t buy a gun?  There is no clear cut legal definition of crazy even today.  The Aurora shooter probably would have passed any psych profile.  It typically takes a clearly insane act to reveal insanity.  If the shooter had no access to guns, he might have decided to drive a car into the theater to kill people.  Would the liberals cry that cars need to be outlawed?  This is yet another attempt at restricting our civil liberties by those who believe Americans cannot be responsible or held responsible for their lives or actions.
People commit crimes.  They have been doing so since before the first civilization and will continue to do so until the end of days.  It is the base nature of humanity and no amount of legislation is going to change that.  Common sense tells us we cannot legislate crazy or evil.

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