WASHINGTON, DC, February 5, 2013 - The war on the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to bear arms, has gained considerable traction and support following one person’s murderous rampage at Sandyhook Elementary in Connecticut.
The overwhelming reaction to the tragedy has been to blame firearms, rename the 2nd Amendment to the Hunters/Sportsmen’s Amendment and demonize the mentally ill and NRA.
Anti-gun lobbies want to pass new gun laws restricting American’s access to firearms. However, gun laws, regulations, and restrictions do not prevent gun violence.
During the 1990s, Washington, DC had the highest murder rate in the country. During that time, DC had between 400 and 500 murders a year, despite the 1976 gun ban. A rising crime syndicate funded by the crack epidemic coupled with the corrupt Mayor Marion Barry contributed to DC’s failures at that time.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of DC resident’s 2nd Amendment rights (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570), proactive policing, and massive gentrification, murders have decreased, furthering the argument that gun control laws have no effect on gun violence, rather favorable economics and proper law enforcement does.
In Chicago, guns ownership is severely controlled and restricted, but that city had over 500 murders in 2012.
In Newark, NJ, gun violence is high. However, according to Mayor Cory Booker, during his tenure, only one legal gun owner was responsible for a gun murder. Booker stated, “The guns that are causing carnage in our cities, my city and our country, every single year are acquired illegally”.
In New York State, Governor Cuomo reacted to the Sandy Hook tragedy by instituting a new gun law, which restricts certain types of firearms and magazine capacity. The law outlaws semi-automatic rifles with more than one military-style feature.
Cuomo’s proposal is an ineffective knee-jerk reaction rooted in emotion. People can simply out-modify the “military-style” features and the law will not prevent future mass murderers from using non-military-style rifles to murder. There are literally thousands of options an AR-15 owner can choose from to circumvent Cuomo’s edict.
Additionally Cuomo grandfathered current assault rifle owners, allowing them to keep their weapons, but mandates registration of those weapons.
While anti-gun activists are now trying to limit the 2nd Amendment and say American’s do not need assault rifles or large magazines, the framers of the Constitution and our founding fathers would disagree.
The co-author of the 2nd Amendment, George Mason, said, “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them,” (George Mason Co-author of the Second Amendment).
There are also efforts underway to require comprehensive background checks to determine mental health status for those wishing to purchase guns.
The mental health aspect of the anti-2nd Amendment movement is uncharted, unprecedented, and has potential Orwellian connotations.
A mental health screen for perspective gun buyers will significantly undercut medical confidentiality laws and the mental health industry. Currently mental health professionals are obliged to report patients planning to harm others.
What psychiatrist, psychologist, or physician is willing or qualified to determine which Americans should not own firearms. And what constitutionally consistent law will authorize this? How will we enforce this? Should we report suspected people with mental health issues to the police or our local psychiatric ward? Or will the police use intrusive technical surveillance to obtain medical records, emails, blog postings, etc to discern our mental state?
Do we expect those undergoing psychiatric care to volunteer their intentions to go on a shooting rampage knowing they won’t be able to legally obtain a firearm? Can we expect people will continue to seek mental health if they feel there is a chance their Constitutional rights will be stripped away?
Jared Lee Loughner and Cho Seung-Huiand were both labeled mentally unstable by the court of public opinion and opportunistic mental health professionals after the fact. Their intentions were not reported, detected, or deterred by gun control laws or evaluations. However, it is unlikely they volunteered the full scope of their plans to anyone.
Most legal gun owners take gun safety seriously. The NRA advocates gun safety and offers safety and handling training, and certainly does not advocate murdering women and children, or anyone else for that matter.
Lanza, Laughner, and Cho were not NRA members.
Moreover, those who oppose the NRA have likely never been to an NRA gun safety course, range, or museum.
In a warped effort to demonstrate that President Obama is not against all guns, the White House released a photo of President Obama reportedly shooting skeet. In the photo, Obama displays improper gun handling. The President’s stance, grip, sight picture, and trigger squeeze are inadequate for skeet shooting or shotgun shooting period; the butt stock is too high, he is too erect to manage recoil, left thumb is not wrapped around the grip, the barrel is flat (skeet targets are higher), and he is not facing forward enough to track skeet targets as they fly perpendicular to his position.
Perhaps the President should consider taking proper firearms safety/handling training and join a local gun club with experienced marksmen. Then he might understand whom his anti-gun agenda is affecting.
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