As a born and reared Southern boy, I have no problems with guns. They are tools which can be beneficial when used correctly and cause harm when used incorrectly. One also has to take into account the aspect of using the right tool for the intended purpose. In this case there are times when one has too much gun or too little gun to handle the task at hand. To use another tool comparison, at times a sledge is the right hammer for the job but at other times a small framing hammer works better. It depends upon what you need to do because one size does not fit all.
Personally I have no problems with background checks. Background checks will not prevent all guns falling into the wrong hands, but if that brief delay in my purchase might somehow prevent one life from being lost that delay is acceptable in my mind. Sure people argue that now all of your information is on file, but I believe that my information is already available in multiple files whether I like it or not.
I also feel that every gun owner should be competent in safe handling and storage procedures. Of course we can debate on what is meant by competent, but I think we would also agree on certain things in that regard. We somehow developed competency requirements to receive a driver’s license, and a car or truck is yet another tool that is great if used correctly but can become tragic if used irresponsibly.
Before anyone asks, I would not oppose some knowledge or ability certification for tools like chainsaws or even jack stands for a vehicle. Again it might cause a delay in the ability to purchase, but if it prevents an accident I find the delay rationale. Some will ask, where the limit is, and propose well why not display competency using a fork, a razor, a toothpick, or heck even a piece of paper because paper cuts are almost comically painful when you consider the miniscule damage inflicted. Yes, the arguments could continue to infinity + infinity in time if someone wants to get nit-picky, and people will intentionally strive for that.
Now as professor of US history, I believe that the year 2015 interpretations of the 2nd Amendment are incorrect. My opinion is based upon the existing laws in the various state constitutions, the writings in the Articles of Confederation, and the differing local laws following ratification of the Bill of Rights.
No I don’t believe that one can only possess a musket in today’s world, but I believe that the time and place of possession is relevant along with a distinct difference between open carry and concealed carry existing. It predates my lifetime, but just look at the changes in carry perceptions from the late 1960s to today.
Perhaps we differ on our interpretations of the 2nd Amendment for whatever reason.
My question now is why is there such a hullaballoo about green tips today? I’m reading everywhere about an Obama bullet ban. The NRA-ILA and other lobbies are running nonstop pieces about Obama, an Executive Order that doesn’t exist, and the BATFE and a potential reclassification of this AR-15 ammunition which has resulted in a run on the bullets and price gouging.
There is nothing new or nefarious here. If someone wants to blame a President if you feel an ammunition ban infringes upon your Constitutional Rights, the modern President to blame is Ronald Reagan. Just look back at the Law Enforcement Protection Act of 1985 for details about what constitutes “armor piercing.”
The current reclassifications being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives date back to 2012. If you want actual details and methods to make your opinions count, it’s in this BATFE document. At the end of this linked document, one can find the contact information to submit comments about the reclassifications.
Senator Chuck Grassley at the request of the NRA-ILA has written a letter to Todd Jones, Director of BATFE, against the proposal.
I admit that Green tips are ammo that I’ve never shot, but whatever your opinion happens to be, this process predates Barack Obama. It seems that certain individuals have profited by being prepared for the run on this specific ammunition just like prices rose and inventories ran low not so long ago when certain groups asserted that President Obama was about to initiate gun bans and confiscations. The timing is just oddly convenient to me as to when these “threats” to the 2nd Amendment occur just in time to raise market prices. Coincidence?
Now for anyone interested in the historical aspects of the differing interpretations of the right to bear arms in the United States, I still recommend Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2013) by Professor Adam Winkler of UCLA. If anyone wishes to read works promoting more gun advocacy, John Richard Lott, Jr., an economist, has written several books on the subject. If one views the comment section for Winkler’s book on Amazon, there is an exchange between Lott and Winkler which highlights some of their differences.
On a personal note:
- I remain curious, however, because if the NRA-ILA and other groups are correct in their interpretations of the 2nd Amendment why did they support the reauthorization of banning so-called undetectable firearms back in 2013?
- If their interpretations about the right to bear arms are correct, why does the NRA-ILA and similar organizations support legislation prohibiting me from owning or using a smart gun if that is my choice? (Yes I know about the law in New Jersey, but isn’t this supposed to be about Constitutional rights and not legislating away rights?)
Consider that a gun dealer in Rockville, MD, which is in the same county where I currently live, received threats last year against his life and burning down his business, simply because he was going to carry these smart guns in his gun store?
Would I purchase a smart gun?
Probably not, but isn’t it telling how the very same people asserting that Obama is trying to take guns and destroy the 2nd Amendment have themselves done more to prevent Americans from manufacturing, owning, or possessing specific guns, than the President has done in reality?
Think about it:
- Gun supporters threaten a gun shop owner and 2nd Amendment advocacy groups push for legislation to prevent Americans from having a specific type of low powered handgun.
- Congress by an overwhelming majority bans the usage of present day technology to manufacture guns. Again these are low power weapons, the little hammer that an MD uses to check reflexes.
Nobody blinks an eye.
Still gun supporters cry wolf if someone dares to question need and availability of high powered weapons after a mentally disturbed lunatic goes on a killing spree.
Yes a good guy with a gun might be able to stop a bad guy with a gun.
How easy is it, however, to identify the good guys and the bad guys?
In real life it isn’t some video game.
- Consider his military record and remember that Chris Kyle was murdered while Kyle possessed a loaded weapon.
- One nice grandmother may have shot a low life trying to break into her home, but somewhere else there was a nice grandkid who found a gun and accidently killed someone.
Folks there ain’t no simple solutions to guns.
We just have to be aware that restrictions and regulations that we want to apply to others will also apply to us.
You might feel safe walking the grocery store or into your child’s school with a rifle or concealed pistol, but how would you feel seeing someone that you do not know, who looks like a “bad” person to you carrying a rifle at your child’s school and your child being easy to line up in the crosshairs?
This final thought might strike some as strange, and some might argue, but the truth is that:
In the past 6 years, Congress and pro 2nd Amendment supporters have actually restricted my right to bear arms more than any so-called gun control advocates, background checks, or Executive Orders.
- The laws are on the books and not merely those “might happen” or “he is going to” types of infringements so popular in discourse today.