Gun ownership is constitutional, but is it necessary?

At the end of their arguments, most gun owners say the real reason to have a gun is that it’s in the Constitution. Photo: Marine practicing with an AK-47

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., February 7, 2013 — Hopefully after all the hype about the current firearms controls slows down, some kind of logical solution or part of one will be reached. You think?

This would mean that logic should be part of the process. This quality is one that analytical/critical thinkers have been waiting to enter into the discussion for sometime. There is a definite fetishism with regard to guns in our society, so maybe logic has taken a back seat.

Gun owners usually have a limited number of reasons for owning guns, including high-powered rifles and high-capacity magazines in our society. At the end of their usual arguments, they nearly all come around at the end and mention, with different degrees of force, that regardless of need, they have the constitutional right to own and bear arms. A constitutional right by itself, however, is not a logical reason to need firearms so it is not included in the list below.

Reason 1: For hunting, target practice or self-defense.

Trekking through the woods with several other trigger-happy hunters may not seem like an enjoyable leisure time activity, but it is legal. It also does not infringe, if done safely, on the security of others.

As for target practice, how many times does a person enjoy shooting at a cardboard cutout before it gets stale and a more dynamic target is lusted for? However, for those that can continue an everlasting romance with a cutout full of holes, be my guest.

Self-defense seems more rational. Many think that if they or their families were threatened, they would be able to take protective measures. It appears more functional to have a security system installed in their home and to stay far away from places where their lives could be threatened (like the woods full of hunters or a bored target shooters). Others with a “Stand Your Ground” mentality may prefer a hand or shotgun. While this would appear to some as excessive, it may make sense to others.

Hunter with a buck

Reason 2: For defense in case an external force invading our country.

Current and veterans of the U.S. Armed forces may consider this reasoning insulting and laughable. No matter how many AK-47 knock-offs you may possess, a WW2 Spitfire or a squadron of the Polish (real horse) cavalry can take you and the rest of your posse out in minutes. Members of the Armed forces and veterans are not likely to use this reason for owning firearms.

Reason 3: To prevent the tyranny of our government.

In a country other than the U.S., this would be enough evidence for treason. In our country it is paranoid and criminal. Think what this says, that the person is willing to kill agents of the government because of internal/private beliefs of tyranny. (Who defines tyranny? The paranoid that has a knock-off assault rifle because he believes in off-the-edge plots?) Isn’t allowing these people to have firearms, including high-powered rifles, insane in our part?

In the early years of our country, many were afraid of the tyranny of military forces. Jefferson among several Founding Fathers opposed the creation of West Point as the training facility for a professional Army. They had seen the oppression of the British implemented by their armed forces. However, after over 200 years of the establishment of the first professional military academies, we haven’t seen any indication of tyrannical tendencies by our government or its main enforcers.

Reason 4: In case of catastrophic failure of the government, I have to defend my family and myself.

While this reason appeals to our more basic instincts, it can have some traction in many places in the world but not in the U.S. While we all have seen some elements of anarchy and mob mentality during times of great national stress, the incidents were promptly controlled and most citizens kept a cool head. We have never had gangs of marauding scavengers pillaging, raping and murdering as some of the proponents of this reasoning contend. Like Vice  President Biden indicated, you probably would want a shotgun, not a high-powered rifle in such unlikely event.

So for those that believe they want to have a firearm for sport or self-defense, having a few firearms appears to be logical. That is if the person has not shown antisocial behavior or emotional or mental illness. High-powered rifles appear to me not to be a good weapon for self-defense in urban and suburban environments. They may be appropriate for hunting large game.

As for high capacity magazines, there is no logical reason to have them, especially combined with a high-powered rifle or even a pistol. There is no need for these for self-defense or hunting.

Logically there is no reason for a person to have multiple firearms for hunting or defense. Meanwhile the gun industry is laughing all the way to the bank. Do you think there is a connection between them and the NRA?

Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a bleeding heart liberal, agnostic, exercise fanatic, Redskin fan, technophile, civil engineer, combat infantry veteran, jewelry maker, amateur computer programmer, Environmental engineer, Colombian-born, free thinker, and, not surprisingly, pacifist. You can find his articles - ranging from politics to cooking a mean brisket - in 21st Century Pacifist <http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/21st-century-pacifist/> at The Washington Times Communities. Follow Mario on Twitter @chibcharus #TWTC and Facebook at Mario Salazar.


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Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering.  Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change.  He will also try to convey his joy of being old.

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