The law should be decided by the people, and I am pretty sure as we all know what they want. Keep the guns!
As a Brit it's very difficult for me to put things into perspective with regards to the US and its attitude to guns. Here in the UK it's still a rarity to see a policeman with a gun let alone experience anything as wild as a shooting. There is rising gun crime in some large cities however and that is worrying.
I realise that your constitution states the right of self defence/protection through gun ownership? This was written down at a time when the US was in turmoil and in dire need of structure and law. The individual's right to own a gun was enshrined in a binding document and has remained so ever since.
From my angle I think its time for the US to change its mindset when it comes to guns. I still think you should have the right to own one but the acquisition of firearms needs to be made far more strict. For starters I would:
* raise the age limit on ownership to 35 or even 40 years of age.
* limit the number of firearms a person could own to 2.
* make it compulsory for individuals to join a shooting club.
* have this person 'checked' every 6 months.
I would also make it illegal for older people to allow younger people anywhere near a firearm.
This might put some gun shops out of business but the reduction in needless deaths annually would be worth the sacrifice.
I think they have no control honestly over their guns. Anyone can shoot up a movie theater or school. What happened at Columbine should have made them change their gun laws long ago. However, people always come in and say "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and they say it's an americans right to "protect their home" with a handgun . No they have no control and don't even know who has a gun over there.
In the US, with its democratic cultural heritage, the people expect security of the natural right of the individual citizen to the means of self-defense. That is defined here to include small arms designed for the purpose.
The federal government is explicitly forbidden by the 2nd Amendment from interfering with that right. An unanticipated consequence of the 14th Amendment is that, strictly from a legal point of view as it has been interpreted for other purposes, it extends that provision to the States, though applying it so is something government has been reluctant to do.
The upshot is that, aside from some federal restrictions adopted contrary to the law (not an unusual occurrence in the US), the issue has remained with the States, some of which have allowed subordinate jurisdictions e.g. counties or municipalities to regulate small arms on their own.
Though political authority in the US has grown increasingly centralized, it remains a large and complex country. There is no uniform law regarding personal firearms. Given the nature of the issue and the mistrust of government that is a basic part of American sociopolitical culture, it is unlikely any will arise in the foreseeable future.
I'm in New York State which does have pretty strict (comparatively) gun laws. Hand guns, not long guns.
I have a "concealed carry" permit. Sometimes it's more trouble than it's worth - especially in the summer. It's tough to conceal a .38 in shorts and a tank top. That's when I carry the little .25 - it goes in a pocket.
Being rather slightly built (and getting older by the minute) the pistol puts me on a more level ground with the bad guys who, more often than not, are carrying as well. I ALWAYS carry. Too many bad guys out there.
Some states' laws are in need of beefing up but don't tell them that.
"Gun control isn't about guns, it's about control"--Unknown There is so much truth in this statement. If more people were armed, things like the shooting at the Batman movie could have been stopped quicker. Yes, there are some crazy people out there who shouldn't be armed, but most people aren't out to kill all the time. What happened to the right to bear arms? If we had more people armed, I truly believe crime rates would be lower. Because hardly anyone carries a gun, when a bad guy does start shooting, all they can do is hide in fear instead of taking out the bad guy. Just my thoughts on the matter............
I think that someone who wants to own, and even more so, to carry, a gun, should have a thorough background check and be required to have training and insurance, like someone who owns a car.
Guns kill almost as many people as cars. :-)
In my view, any of the States has authority to do that if it chooses, as long as its own constitution doesn't forbid it. A few already do. The federal government does not, and so we can expect variations in the law from State to State to continue.
KrisL I agree with you completely--the states can and should adopt such laws. The federal gov't cannot stop you from owning a gun. I do think they can prohibit the sale of some types of guns, such as AK47. The Constitution does not say all guns.
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