Tico Rick wrote:Some in the other thread are saying that we shouldn’t politicize this tragedy by bringing up gun control. Bull. That’s an easy out for the pro-gun side; what they’re really saying is “let’s leave well enough alone.” Some in the other thread are stating that the shooting is not a gun control issue. Bull. If this event is not about the easy availability of guns in this country, what is?
The reason for not having the discussion now, in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, is because this is a highly emotional time. And people - especially politicians - do not act rationally when their emotions are up.
Basing legislation on emotion rather than pragmatism is what gets you laws like the USA PATRIOT Act, which was proposed, drafted, passed, and signed into law 45 days
after September 11th. Our grandchildren will still be living down the after affects of that nonsense, and it was passed in a huff as a knee-jerk response.
Tico Rick wrote:The NRA and their supporters always cite the Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms.” But they conveniently forget the “well regulated Militia” part of that amendment. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in United States v. Miller (1939) that citizens do not have a right to bear arms if they are not part of a well-regulated militia. It’s time for us to start regulating. Or at least let 5-year-olds start packing heat.
That's not what is said in Miller
. Rather, the existence of prohibitions on certain types of arms is not violative of the 2nd Amendment, provided that those prohibited arms are not in the common use of a 'militia' of the day. Subsequent SCOTUS case law made it very clear that Miller was quite specifically limited to the legitimacy of a ban on sawed-off shotguns.
That said, I do agree that (as drafted) the 2nd Amendment was meant to couch the bearing of arms in the context of militia service. The Framers were fearful of a tyrannical national government or sovereign lording over them, and the mechanism most feared in this regard was the standing army. Look at how the Constitution limits the standing army; the Congress was forbidden from appropriating funds for a standing army for a period of more than two years (imagine that!), the Bill of Rights contains a prohibition on the quartering of national troops in private residences. And the main institutional bulwark against this tyrannical standing army was not an armed citizenry standing in defiance.... it was the state militias. To that end, militia service was compulsory for able-bodied males between certain ages. And when called for militia service, you were expected to bring your own gun with you - and to this end, early legislation mandated
gun ownership by those such able-bodied males. (imagine that!)
Over time, the Court has evolved its position on the 2nd Amendment to its current position that it protects an individual right bear arms for the purpose of self defense.
Looking at the mechanism rather than at the actor completely misses the point. The gun is a tool, and is completely useless and harmless unless and until it is in the hands of a human. Making guns harder to obtain legally to address gun crime is like making cars harder to buy to address drunk driving.