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PostI've Changed My Mind about Gun Control (Brian Blodgett, USA, 10/11/17 1:13 pm)
Over the last several years I have changed my overall belief on gun control from believing that there should be no limits to one that supports that the USA needs some type of restrictions.
However, I must disagree with many of the suggestions that Istvan Simon made on October 10th. Technology is great, but we know it also fails at times and the owner may not be the one who needs to fire the weapon. An example is a house being broken into and the residents attacked, or a police officer is down and the partner cannot use that weapon for defense. The technology mentioned would limit the use of the firearm to one individual who may have been the first target. Also, restricting all ammunition and the chemicals needed to create bullets would limit the ability of hunters who manufacture their own ammunition. On registering guns, while I support the concept of it, it comes with limitations that would still allow individuals to purchase, own, and use firearms without draconian laws put in place that effectively ban most individuals from owning them.
Istvan mentioned that the citizens have no need for a militia to defend the state since the military does the job, but what about in the realm of Homeland Security? Our nation's military is already heavily criticized for using its intelligence capabilities within the USA even in support of Homeland Security. In fact, the defense of our nation relies on our military to protect us outside our borders while other agencies must protect us inside our borders. However, these agencies are often ill-equipped for such a mission. Relying on the military to protect our citizens would be against the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 that prohibits the use of our military forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement such as arrest, apprehension, interrogation, and detention unless explicitly authorized by Congress. In 2005, Congress, by a joint resolution, stated that "by its express terms, the Posse Comitatus Act is not a complete barrier to the use of the Armed Forces for a range of domestic purposes, including law enforcement functions, when the use of the Armed Forces is authorized by Act of Congress or the President determines that the use of the Armed Forces is required to fulfill the President's obligations under the Constitution to respond promptly in time of war, insurrection, or other serious emergency." So while the military can ultimately now act within the borders under very specific conditions to fight terrorism (I am interpreting this as a serious emergency), the limits upon it are such that it is clearly not the defender of our nation against threats within the country.
As stated in my last post on gun control, I support the banning of certain accessories, such as the bump stock, but not firearms in general. The type of regulations that are often talked about across the nation effectively bans them from most individuals if enacted.
Today we live in a world vastly different from that of our founders, one in which the threats are also different and beyond the comprehension of what we would have thought more than a generation ago, yet the legal right to keep and bear arms needs to remain. Yes, there are exceptions, but most acts are done by those who acquire firearms illegally and not by law-abiding citizens.
JE comments: Every now and then I send out a general request for "I changed my mind on X" WAIS posts. WAISers by and large are set in their beliefs. How many times have I published a comment that states, "I stand by my original position"? Several thousand times, give or take a few thousand.
So it's very refreshing to read comments such as Brian Blodgett's. Regarding gun control, I'm of the view that we need more "common sense" controls, but we also have to remember political realities. The gun lobby is the single most powerful interest group in the United States. Demonizing the NRA will change nothing except make it more intransigent.
Is there a new or different way to go about reducing the problem of gun violence?