Discussion has been ongoing for decades about the right to bear arms and the Constitution of the United States.  This rhetoric has reached a fever pitch over the last year and has gotten to a point that the leader of the most powerful country on earth is threatening to bypass the Legislative Branch of our government, Congress, and enact new parts of gun control.  This opens a series of questions that addresses the very foundation of our country.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution 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”.  This was written at a time that the local militia was made up of civilians who were called on to bring their own arms.  This militia made up the Minute Man and eventually became the National Guard; i.e. the troops that are under the control of the state government and not the National Government.  Today it is not expected that the Guard members provide their own weapons, but the security of individual citizens are of paramount importance and the need to own individual weapons is just as important in 2016 as it was in 1776 when this all began.  It is not the lawful person that legally acquires a firearm that poses a problem to society.  It is the lawless or mentally ill individual that obtains a firearm illegally that poses a problem to society and is the person that must be protected against.

The term gun control is being thrown around as if there is one simple solution and this is far from fact.  Many liberals profess that tight control is the only way to control gun violence.  A more conservative view of this is that gun ownership is open to everyone and the government is stepping on individual rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Chicago has the most stringent gun control laws in the country.  Chicago has the highest crime rate due to gun violence in the nation.  Gun control is not the underlying reason for the street violence.  Instead we need to look at the social conditions that lead to the violence.  If all the guns disappeared from the streets of Chicago there would then be a cry to do away with hunting knives, machetes and baseball bats as they would become the weapon of choice and the violence continues.

When the Second Amendment was written there was no stipulation as to what the allowable weapon would be that the American citizen could own.  There was no one declaring that a double barrel 10 gage shotgun provides so much superior firepower as compared to a 50 caliber single shot musket that the shotgun is not allowed to be kept by a civilian.  Today many  say that assault weapons do not need to be in the hands of civilians except for one thing, the civilian collector or avid shooter would like to have this firearm.  While the ballistics of this weapon is irreputably superior to a target rifle it can not be denied that a Ruger 10/22 fitted with a 100 round rotary clip can do horrendous damage if placed in the hands of a lawless individual.  Let the “assault” weapons disappear and the next weapons will be defender shot guns and then automatic rifles followed by bolt action weapons and leaving the gun owner with little more than a 22 single shot rifle with a minimum of 2 safeties.   Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while a single shot 22 is acceptable to a person that had never fired a weapon, an AR15 is a delight to the avid shooter.

When the founding fathers wrote the constitution there was no requirement to protect the population from fanatics, lawless individuals or mentally disturbed members of society by suppressing the sale of firearms.  Today is different and in the age of the internet and almost instantaneous data checks, there is no reason that a person cannot be checked to determine that they are a lawful citizens.  Gun shops must do it and licensed gun dealers must do it. There is no reason that a person selling a gun at a public gun show cannot perform the same background check. This will then at least provide some assurance that the person buying a weapon at a gun show is not a convicted felon, a person with a mental disability or a person that is on some terror watch list.

When I was a member of Scout Troop 16 in Farmerville, we sponsored membership into the National Rifle Association.  Many of these young scouts became members and learned the love of firearms and proper care and operation of the weapons under the direction of our scout master, Larce Holder.





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