In the wake of the shooting deaths in Aurora, Colorado, the roar to ban assault rifles can be heard all over the country. The President made a soft but responsible comment on the issue while Senator Feinstein was more direct.
Obama at the National Urban League: “I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms, I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation. That hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage but I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. I believe the majority of gun owners would agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons, and we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller.”
Senator Feinstein: “Weapons of war don’t belong on the streets. This is a powerful weapon, it had a 100-round drum; this is a man who planned, who went in, and his purpose was to kill as many people as he could in a sold-out theater. We’ve got to really sit down and come to grips with what is sold to the average citizen in America. I have no problem with people being licensed to buy a firearm, but these are weapons that are only going to be used to kill a lot of people in close combat.”
I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment – commonly referred to as “the right to bear arms”. The Second Amendment text: 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 amendment was provided for the purpose of deterring tyrannical government, repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, facilitating a natural right of self-defense and enabling the people to organize a militia system.
If assault rifles are banned we’ll be left with hunting guns and handguns and we would then be out of compliance with the intent of the Second Amendment.
Guns kill approximately 30,000 people in the United States, per year, and less than 0.5% of those killed die from assault rifles. The political and media assault on assault rifles is way off target.
As defined in The Bill of Rights and in the context of the time in which it was written, I do not believe the Second Amendment guarantees the public the right to own or bear hand guns. Hand guns DO NOT satisfy the intended purpose of the amendment. You cannot deter a tyrannical government or organize a militia with hand guns. I DO believe the public has the right to bear rifles, assault weapons and any equipment used by the military and government. This may be controversial but it is the true intent of the amendment.
Assault weapons make big headline when used for murder but they kill a fraction of the people relative to other weapons. Hand guns are designed for convenient and surprise killing at close proximity which is completely incompatible with the Second Amendment.
If politicians and mainstream media want to focus on a real problem without violating the Constitution, they should kill the handgun.