The founding fathers didn’t foresee these ‘arms’

Adam Baird

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It’s hard to sign on to a social media site these days without seeing a post about guns.

Probably about half of your friends who have an opinion on the matter seem to be for tighter regulations to save our children, while the other half seems to think that the government is attempting to disarm the populace so as to enact a state of martial law.

On one hand, the Constitution places the right to bear arms as priority number two. Worse, the founding fathers were extremely short and vague on what that one, declarative sentence entails in the Second Amendment. Does a nuclear missile fall into the category of “arms?” Is a “well-regulated militia” allowed to own tanks and fighter jets?

On the other hand, an AR-15 assault rifle (the current star of the gun debate) with a high-capacity magazine could turn anybody, including those with a history of mental illness, into a one-man militia. The founding fathers probably didn’t foresee an “arm” with that ability.

However, the Second Amendment was more than likely intended to ensure that the government could not take total, complete control over the people through force, as many nations in the years past had a tendency to do. But if you look at it now, our government definitely has the upper-hand in the weapons department.

Any of our “well-regulated militias,” as they stand now, would have about as much chance against the U.S. military as a butterfly would against an eagle with a missile pod.

So, the issue from the gun-regulation side is as follows: no person should be allowed to own something that can murder a movie theater full of people in less time than it takes to tie a shoe. Sounds reasonable, right?

The issue on the other side of the debate centers around the right to protect your life, liberty and property. As of now, the right to own a gun outright will not go away, especially not in the U.S. We have quite a bit of freedom with what we are able to own and purchase, much more so than practically everywhere else in the world.

The real issue is, how much power should one person be allowed to have? Current regulations vary from state to state, with Connecticut recently proposing limitations on magazine clip sizes, background checks and prohibiting certain assault weapons for sale in the wake of Sandy Hook.

Several states have similar regulations, while others make it much easier to obtain guns, what types of guns are available, and who can buy them.

Again, this is a very big subject, so we’ll leave you with a bit of a science-fiction analogy, having to do with lasers. Imagine that a hand-held laser was developed, that had the ability to instantly vaporize someone with the pull of a trigger and had virtually limitless firepower.

Would you invoke the Second Amendment, saying the government didn’t have the right to prohibit its use? Or would you think that the laser was a bit too much power for any one person to have?

An AR-15 with a 40-round, detachable clip might not be as powerful as that laser gun. But it is quite a lot of lives that one person potentially holds in their hands. A ten round magazine will still protect you in case your house is marauded by ninjas.

And regulation still won’t stop psychopaths from doing what they do. But it will make enacting out their fantasies that much harder, and may bring our nation one step closer to the spirited ideal that we, ultimately, want to live in a nation where guns, or lasers, are no longer needed.

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