Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another take on sensible gun regulation…

Think prudence, not ideology.

My view is that the constitutional "right of the people to keep and bear Arms" is dangerous in the 21st century.

The politicians who framed the 2nd Amendment in the 18th century never heard of nor did they even imagine a Glock pistol, or an AR-15 assault rifle, or a 100-round drum magazine sold in a retail store, or a crazy man killing and wounding 70 people in a movie theater…they might have imagined that most civilians who die of gunshot wounds are killed by people they know in a non-burglary, non-break-in situation, but that's another discussion….

Anyway, Michael Gerson offered a persuasively thoughtful column in the Washington Post the other day (full text here), I think it's worth a read by folks like me and by the folks who are comfortable with the "concealed carry" concept and by everyone else in between….

Gerson says it all a lot better than I can do it. Here's a sample:

"The guarantees of the Second Amendment are no more absolute than the guarantees of the First. The right to keep and bear arms does not mean the right to keep and bear tanks, shoulder-launched missiles or fully automatic machine guns. All gun-control policy — unavoidably, by necessity — is conducted on a slippery slope. The legal treatment of assault weapons, or of high-capacity magazines, is a prudential judgment, not a constitutional one."

And more:

"Reasonable gun laws are not a panacea. But neither are they a threat to the Constitution. They merit a debate — driven not by ideology but by prudential judgments on public safety."

I believe it is not in the essential nature of America and Americans to be all guns, all the time. I have friends and family members who don't completely agree with me. Our elected representatives and our thought leaders—and all of us—urgently need to talk about sensible gun regulation.

Right now, we have too many guns, and too many dead people.

Gun control 100 years ago....

Too many guns...

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