Thursday, February 28, 2013

Revisiting the Second Amendment

Trey Smith

A lot of times people dig in their heels in terms of a particular perspective and nothing will dissuade them. I have been guilty of this from time to time, but I am working to reassess all of the philosophic or political positions I hold dear. In the wake of the shooting in Newtown, CT, I have decided to revisit my position on gun ownership and regulation.

To do this, I went back to read and reread the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution.
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.
As much as I personally may loathe guns, this amendment is very straightforward. It says in no uncertain terms that American citizens have the right to own firearms and, more importantly, that this right may not be infringed upon. Consequently, I realize that any type of barrier in regards to American citizens and the ownership of guns is a nonstarter. There should be no background checks because such checks easily could be viewed as infringements. Citizens should be allowed to buy whatever firearms they can afford and as many as they can afford as often as they can afford them.

Have I gone completely off the rails? Have I switched sides in this debate?

No. I am simply reading the US Constitution and the 2nd Amendment via a strict interpretation.

While guns themselves should be freely available to any and all -- including felons and the mentally ill -- bullets should be made illegal!

Returning to that hallowed 2nd Amendment, it does NOT say "bear arms and ammunition"; it only refers to the firearms themselves. So, while Americans citizens possess the non-infringable right to own guns, there is no such right to possess or own ammunition. I mean, if the possession of ammunition was so important to the Founding Fathers, don't you think they would have stated so explicitly?

Of course, outlawing the possession of ammunition probably is not that realistic. So, we can erect a whole host of regulations and this should be quite okay since there is no mention of ammunition in the 2nd Amendment.

In order to purchase bullets of any kind, there should be extensive background checks with substantial waiting periods. Purchases of ammunition can only be made in person, certainly NOT over the internet. Like with obtaining a driver's license, no one would be licensed to purchase bullets without passing a Bullets Ed Course. All weapons used to fire the bullets would have to pass safety inspections every year and all weapons used to fire the bullets would have to be registered. No registration -- no bullets (or other types of ammunition).

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