Monday, September 13, 2004

The Right To Keep And Arm Bears

“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 Constitution of the United States of America - Second Amendment

I received an e-mail on the concern of the assault weapon ban coming to an end and congress not doing anything to reinstate the ban. It was also suggested that this is a good topic for the “Handbasket” to tackle. So here I am, feeling like a lounge piano entertainer playing a request.

Just kidding. This is indeed one for the Handbasket. So let me activate my shields, and once again tell you all my opinion on a difficult subject.

Let me start out by showing you all what some of the very people who founded this great country thought of citizens owning weapons.

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." – George Washington, Commanding General of the Continental Army, Father of Our Country and First President of the United States in a speech to Congress, January 7, 1790

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." – Thomas Jefferson, Author of The Declaration of Independence, and Third President of the United States

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- Thomas Jefferson

I could continue, but you get the idea.

The second amendment was clearly written for the citizens of this country to have the ability to protect themselves from the government. To prevent the government from getting too carried away with removing our liberties and freedoms.

It is this freedom that has allowed us to retain our liberty for so long, and why many countries envy us.

Now that you know that I am a complete pro-gun person, and firmly believe that all citizens have this basic right to bear arms. What are my thoughts on banning assault weapons?

When it comes to a citizen having the right to bear arms, are we to take this to the infinite levels and say that I can assemble a ballistic missile in my backyard just in case Idaho gets froggy? I don’t think so.

Too crazy? Okay then, where should we draw the line on what makes sense based on the second amendment?

I think most Americans worth their salt agree that pistols and rifles are allowable weapons to be owned by law-abiding citizens. After all, these make decent self-defense weapons, and also have uses such as hunting, target practice, and just plane old fun.

Assault weapons should not necessarily be banned totally, but I do agree that stricter controls should be placed on them. Much in the same way you should be licensed to own a wild animal, you should also be registered to own assault weapons for whatever reason you may want them.

As far as being able to waltz into the local K-mart and buy an Uzi though, I think that may be pushing things a little too far.

Where I tend to get upset is at the illusion that the Federal Government can’t prevent us from owning guns, but that state governments can. Since when is it acceptable for state governments to overrule the Constitution?

I think this has not been challenged near enough. Point blank, state law forbidding us to carry weapons is illegal. A state does not have this right, yet most states seem to think they do, and we just roll over and let them.

Then they say that we have the right to bear arms if we pay the state a fee. Of course it’s now okay if they are making money from it. Nice racket to be in, charging their citizens for the right already granted them by the Constitution.

To summarize… I believe we have the right to defend ourselves with reasonable weaponry, but when you start wanting weapons that go beyond basic defense and sport, the line must be drawn there.

This topic has many different angles to it, and I welcome someone to join me in the forums to discuss this further.

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