I lay out my opinion on gun control.
In the wake of terrible shooting sprees in several places all over the country, there is a natural desire to do something about it. Hence the gun control legislation in Congress.
There are three primary areas where fear of guns comes into play: citizens against citizens; citizens against government, and government against citizens. What do I mean by these categories? Citizens against citizens concerns are with crime involving guns including shooting sprees. This is the area that causes the most concern to us in the United States. Senate bill S 649 has to do with prohibiting transfers of firearms between private citizens as well as banning many types of firearms and limiting the capacity of magazines. Liberals, including President Obama, are all for this. Gun owners fear any infringement on the Second Amendment.
Citizens against government has to do with assassinations and revolution. Government fears its citizens in some countries, such as Syria, and rightfully so. An oppressive government doesn’t like weapons in the hands of citizens. Think of a “Million Man March” where all the citizens are armed. Anyone wanting to become dictator will think twice in the United States.
Government against citizens is about tactics often used by totalitarian governments to control or eliminate troublesome citizens. The Syria example works here too, as did Mao’s China or Hitler’s Germany. In March of 1938, Hitler issued two new gun control laws. The first appeared somewhat harmless, and these features are quoted from Link to tripod.com :
Nazi Weapons Act of 1938 (Translated to English)Classified guns for "sporting purposes". All citizens who wished to purchase firearms had to register with the Nazi officials and have a background check. Presumed German citizens were hostile and thereby exempted Nazis from the gun control law. Gave Nazis unrestricted power to decide what kinds of firearms could, or could not be owned by private persons. The types of ammunition that were legal were subject to control by bureaucrats. Juveniles under 18 years could not buy firearms and ammunition.
Summarizing, guns could be purchased for sport, but they had to be registered, there was a background check, Nazis decided who could own what, and no guns for juveniles.
However, in November 1938, specific gun control laws were passed for Jews. They couldn’t own guns, truncheons, or stabbing weapons. The example given in tripod.com is for Austria and southern Germany.
Jews were disarmed, making it much easier for the Nazi government to carry out their genocide. Millions of Jews were systematically arrested and slaughtered.
Our Second Amendment was really written to protect citizens from Government.
Citizens against citizens: Individuals need protection against criminals. Home invasion, car jacking, and robbery are crimes that we can protect ourselves against with weapons. The really horrible crimes such as mass murder events might be harder to carry out in the presence of people who can shoot back. I believe that some teachers should be able to carry weapons and be trained in their use, because we’ve had several instances of murders of helpless children.
I don’t see that outlawing large magazines can have much effect. Anyone can carry multiple magazines and switch them in seconds. Fully automatic weapons are already illegal, and should stay that way, but perhaps penalties for owning them or smuggling them into the US should be strengthened.
I do see increased background checks for all semi-automatic gun purchases – hand guns and rifles -- as desirable to protect the public. Criminals, minors, illegal aliens, and anyone who has undergone psychiatric treatment should be denied weapons.
I believe that firearms should not be openly carried into public places (except gun shops and firing ranges.) Concealed carry should be licensed (and is, in fact) and should require satisfactory completion of a training course in firearm safety and legal implications of firearm use. Even concealed weapons should not be allowed in bars or court houses. I don’t want to see everyone walking around with gun belts and holsters, as in the Old West, with open carry laws. I doubt if I could out-draw my grandmother.
I think that committing a felony while using a firearm should be punished much more severely than the same crime without a firearm. In fact, that’s the law.
One very troubling issue is gun registration. If the Federal Government has a record of every gun and its owner, that’s the first step to enabling the government toward confiscating all firearms. That is greatly feared by the NRA. Do I trust the Federal Government? Probably not. In fact, gun sales are sky high right now (my opinion) for the sole reason that many people don’t trust the current administration to protect public safety while respecting the Second Amendment . (Why don’t we trust them? They seem to be trending toward greater control of the citizenry, pulling the country leftward, selectively enforcing laws, and ignoring the Constitution. Obama has said he doesn’t believe citizens should be allowed to own guns.)
To summarize, I think the laws in effect now, in Kansas and Missouri, are sufficient for the most part if enforced. I do see increased background checks as desirable, but they will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals. However, being a criminal is a risky occupation now, because you don’t know if your victim is carrying a weapon.
Perhaps your opinion differs from mine. Guns are very dangerous, but we shouldn’t outlaw them, unless we outlaw automobiles too. We should have reasonable laws to protect the public safety while respecting the Second Amendment.