I've think I've mentioned before a gentleman that I did some business with a few years ago that likes to send around the ultra conservative Republican emails. I haven't received one from him in a while, and I've suspected it was because most of his "Obama is a muslim extremist" emails got a snopes link in response from me.
Apparently it worked, since I got an email from him this morning and right up top was the line....
Confirmed on snopes.com - http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/blairholt.asp
I've made known my stance on Gay Marriage, the need for Health Care reform, several other issues, so I probably need to weigh in on this one.
The second amendment of the United States states:
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.
I'm not a gun owner, at least not yet. I was however privileged enough to fire a Rock River assault rifle over the weekend, and I'm lusting after one for myself ever since. Ain't she a beauty?
I also understand the importance of the right to keep and bear arms. People seem to get fixated of 1 of the first 2 amendments, but I think they both need each other in order to work.
The first amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
OK, but back to the topic of gun control...
I think that the right to keep and bear arms is critical to the defense of freedom, not necessarily from foreign invader but from those within the country who would seek to take it away.
There is a very real problem with gun violence though, which needs to be addressed.
The problem is:
If you control who can own a gun, those who honor the law, who have obtained a weapon legally, you're exercising control over a group of people who aren't likely to cause problems.
People who would use a firearm to commit a crime, aren't likely to obey the law in the first place, and wouldn't think twice about obtaining a weapon through illegal means.
I tried looking at the bill, but whoever coded the page did a crappy job and after error #247, I gave up trying to click through them all. If the email is right though, and snopes claims it is, the bill would require all guns to be registered and tightly controlled.
I don't think the men who proposed this bill are doing it with the intent to confiscate all firearms, but by passing that bill, it does open the opportunity for someone to launch a program like that in the future.
I would propose the following as an alternative method of gun control...
The US Legal System is based on the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and I think it could be reasonably be applied here.
I would support the creation of a national database of those who have forfeited the right to bear arms through their own actions or circumstances that mean that could cause a real danger to themselves or others. Perpetrators of armed assaults, those with mental illness which could cause a situation when they could be a danger to themselves and others and the like. If you want to buy a gun, have the store owner run your name against the database, and if it comes up clean, you can buy the gun.
I also think that we need to educate people better. After firing a rifle this weekend, I'm 100% sure none of my kids will be going near any kind of firearm for the next couple of years.
I don't support the sale of fire-arms to minors, and would prefer that people take a class on firearm safety prior to purchasing - but I understand the problems in enforcing that.
So bottom line is...
I support the rights of the citizens of this country to own guns and I think this bill is a bad idea.