The Second

There are some people who read my blog who may not agree with everything I say in this post.  To those people I implore you to read to the very end.  I’m hoping to make some very valid points that everyone should understand.  In short, this post is about the Second Amendment and our right as American citizens to bear arms.  Immediately I can tell you that my stance is that I am pro-2A.  I also believe that everyone should be pro-2A, and I will explain why in the following paragraphs.  With that said, I also believe that there needs to be a sensible level of gun control in our nation.  Again, I know that I probably scared some folks away, but like I said, read to the end.

The full text of the second amendment is “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 key part here to understand is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.  Any law or regulation which prohibits an American citizen to keep and bear arms would be considered an infringement.  This is why many pro-2A people strongly and strictly oppose any and all anti-gun legislation.  Another reason why we consistently oppose these type of laws is because they only apply to law abiding citizens.  Criminals, by their definition, do not abide by laws.  So this type of legislation does not keep the guns out of the hands of criminals.  Since criminals do, and will continue to have firearms I feel safer as a law abiding citizen owning a gun.  This is the primary reason I am pro-2A.

To put this in perspective, let’s define ‘Criminal’ as someone who does not fulfil the basic requirements of gun ownership as defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968.   – Source.  To legally own a firearm in the USA today, you must not fall within any of the following categories

  • is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  • is a fugitive from justice;
  • is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
  • has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
  • who, being an alien—
    • is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
    • except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)));
  • who [2] has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced their citizenship;
  • is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that—
    • was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and
    • includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
    • by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
    • has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

There are many people who do fall within these categories, yet they own firearms.  They are not legally allowed to purchase firearms.  So I ask you, how did they get them?

There are many rules that anti-gun people don’t understand or follow correctly.  Take for example the ‘Stand your ground’ and ‘Castle’ legislation that exists in many states.  I see a lot of anti-gun people talking about how these laws are dangerous and should be abolished.  Well, did you know that if you are in a state that does not have a stand your ground or castle law, when a criminal enters your home and threatens your family, you are not allowed to defend your home with any amount of lethal force?  This includes knives, and even in some cases, martial arts.  Without a stand your ground or castle law, you have what is called the ‘duty to retreat’.  Which means you are legally required to run away, and are not allowed to defend yourself, your home, or your property.  Stand your ground legislation protects you, your family, and your property.  It gives you the right to use lethal force against an armed assailant to protect your wellbeing.  Notice that I said an ‘armed assailant’. These laws do not typically allow you to use lethal force against an unarmed assailant.

With all that said, there are some people that I see handling guns and think ‘oh my God, someone please take that gun away from them.’  Anyone who owns a gun should know and understand the 5 basic rules of gun safety.  If you cannot recite them and exercise them in practice, then you have no business owning a firearm.  For those of you that don’t know, the rules are very simple.

  1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  2. Always point your gun in a safe direction.
  3. Do not point your gun at anything that you do not wish to destroy.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  5. Know your target and what is beyond.

(to me rules 2 & 3 sound like the same thing, but I digress…) These rules serve a very basic purpose.  To insure that the gun is handled safely.  A simple search on the terms ‘Idiots with guns’ or ‘gun fail’ will yield more results than I am comfortable with.  (in case you didn’t know, one result is too many)  These results are bad for multiple reasons.  Primarily, because they put people in danger.  Along with this, these kind of videos also give gun owners a bad reputation.  It should be in the interest of responsible gun owners to keep guns out of the hands of idiots like this.  So herein lies the dilemma.  We cannot create legislation that would restrict  or prohibit an American citizen to keep and bear arms.  (This would be an infringement of our second amendment.)  At the same time, we all know that there are some people who cannot safely handle and own guns.  So, here is my proposal

  1. All persons wanting to purchase a firearm should be required to pass a test (written and in practice) which shows that they are able to safely and responsibly handle and own said firearm.
  2. The test should be administered and regulated by the FFL dealers who distribute the firearms.
  3. The pass/fail result of the test should be provided at the discretion of the FFL dealer who distributes the firearms.  (IE, test completion is not mandated at a state or federal level.  It is at the discretion of the FFL dealer.)
  4. If a person fails the test, then gun safety training should be provided, free of charge.

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) “is a license issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that enables individuals at a company to engage in business pertaining to the manufacture, importation, and interstate/intrastate sales of firearms and ammunition. Possession of an FFL has been a legal requirement within the United States since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968, as is regulated by the Code of Federal Regulations Title 27 Part 478 (27 CFR 478).”- source

All persons that are employed by an FFL are required to be a responsible person as defined in the ATF regulations.  With legislation such as this it would not allow the federal or state governments to infringe upon the right of any person to keep and bear arms.  What this would do is allow responsible people who sell firearms to evaluate and determine if the person who is purchasing the firearm is capable of safe gun ownership.  Then those people could use their discretion to allow or deny the sale.  This would then give us a mechanism where we could provide the proper training for handling and usage of a firearm to all American citizens and allow them to become responsible gun owners.

So, there are some flaws with my proposal.  What’s to stop the FFL dealer from just checking the ‘pass’ box and sending that to the ATF to say that the user passed the test without ever administering said test?  And here’s where a lot of people who are pro-2A might disagree, but, I believe that if an FFL dealer should be liable, within reason, if the person uses that firearm illegally.  I say within reason because there are some citizens who are trained, know what they are doing, and intentionally do wrong with firearms.  The FFL dealer should not be liable with this because it’s perfectly possible that they did everything within their power to only allow law abiding, well meaning people to purchase that firearm.  There is no way to regulate that.  Again, there are more flaws.

So we are back to the primary dilemma again.  There is not a viable way to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people, without infringing upon the rights of a law abiding American citizen to keep and bear arms.  So maybe there is no such thing as ‘sensible’ gun laws.  Either way I look at it, I think that the only way we could ever define such a thing is if the gun owners themselves made the laws.  In order to pass any sort of gun legislation that legislation must be written by responsible gun owners whose interest lies in keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding people who cannot safely handle them, without infringing upon the rights of other responsible citizens to keep and bear arms.

 

The Second

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