We are indeed a country of laws and procedures not meant to be circumvented for either well intended or nefarious purposes. I do not see a need to amend the second amendment, but a true need for tighter gun control legislation. I think whenever anyone begins to assert the need to further limits civil liberties, it is prudent to tread cautiously. Making moral judgments on gun ownership only invites others to make moral judgments about a woman's right to control her reproductive system or many other topics which really shoud not be dictated by public legislature. Morality should not be the government's business since we are all unique. Unfortunately today, things are not debated with detachment and rationality, but with emotional religious zeal.
This should not be reduced to "Guns are bad" but "Are guns safe? Is there a screening process in place that would keep guns from the hands of individuals who are of questionable sanity? Is there enforcement of this process? Is there a rigorous training, testing, and licensing course for individuals on the proper handling of firearms? Are their high enough taxes on firearms to fund gun violence prevention programs, gun education and awareness campaigns, and a fund to aid the victims of gun violence?"
The second amendment ensures the right to bear arms, and yes, it was a different time and place when that idea was written down, but human nature has not changed. People will always feel they need a way to protect themselves from each other and sadly, from their government. If you do not believe that, drive around and count the number of bumper stickers with the slogan "You'll get my gun when you pry it out of my dead hands." There are many of those in America's heartland.
I am not a gun advocate, but I am an advocate of civil liberties, peace and domestic tranquility; things that are going down the toilet in America today. The right to bear arms was listed as number two in the amendments. Protection of a person's life and property were and are pretty important to many, just as the protection of free speech. Why are so many trying to fight this battle?
In a nutshell, this issue of gun control, along with other polarizing issues such as abortion, and gay rights have been swept to the forefront to blind the American public and keep them distracted by these moral dilemmas. Let me step onto my high horse for a moment and quote Alexander Hamilton from the Federalist Papers, "A firm Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection." A firm Union; a strong central government. Hamilton goes on to point out that Greece and Italy were beset with distractions with which they (the people and leaders) were continually agitated. "From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments, not only against the forms of republican government, but against the very principles of civil liberty. They have decried all free government as inconsistent with the order of society, and have indulged themselves in malicious exultation over its friends and partisans." For those unaware - despotism is a form of government by a single authority, either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power. HELLO - Bush Administration and the so-called Republican party plus associated cronies.
The morality issues are distracting us from the real issue. The central government has gradually gotten weaker, farming out its duties and responsibilities to its citizens to the private sector. The problem with that is that people do not elect those that run the private sector corporations, but stock holders do. And who are stock holders? Usually the very wealthy. Special interests, big business and corruption have hamstrung the workings of our government for their own gain. If you asked me which would I rather solve, the gun issue or the fact that many elected officials are beholden to special interests, I would rather solve the latter, because it will not matter what I think if my elected official does not feel beholden to uphold my rights over those of corporate America. How can we get real gun control legislation passed in America if our elected officials are in the National Rifle Association's pocket?
Hamilton nailed modern day America back in the late 1700's and he was writing this (the quotes above) about the Greeks and Romans. If we do not learn history we are doomed to repeat it.
Do you need a gun? No, probably not, but do I have the right to deny you of your right to own one?
Sorry, I got off on a tangent a little and rambled. Chalk that up to sleepy brain and too much caffeine.