In response to my last post on August7, 2019 (The Current War of Domestic Terrorism) a good friend of mine wrote the following.
I propose that if these military style weapons are to be constitutionally made available to the citizenry to protect them from their own government ( which is ridiculous but is at the crux of the NRAs 2nd amendment argument) that a $50000 annual permit must be purchased in order to legally own one . Are people allowed to legally own RPGs and Tanks ? Maybe it should be legal for people to own sidewinder missiles and F16 fighter jets? Where does it end. These last couple of weeks I was thinking about the moon landing . I have to think that one of Kennedy’s greatest achievements as President was inspiring a generation of people to believe they could with hard work and positivity ,do anything even put a man on the moon -and they did it! What our leaders say matters! And when those leaders inspire hate and discord we get what we have seen at the Tree of a Life synagogue and El Paso the list goes on and sadly is getting longer everyday. John Lennon said War is over - if you want it - and the only way these things will change is if people want it and make it into reality. I am hopeful that love will prevail.
He makes a great point. Where does it end? If the Second Amendment to the Constitution is intended to allow citizens unlimited ownership of arms, then what is to stop a deranged person from stockpiling tanks, missiles, or even nuclear weapons? Such thinking sounds absurd, of course, but only because we recognize that there are limits and reasonable minds must decide where those limits are placed.
I heard this morning on NPR that until the Supreme Court heard the case of The District of Columbia vs. Heller in 2008 the Second Amendment was understood to apply to State militias rather than individuals. In Heller, however, the Court ruled 5-4 that individuals also should have the right to bear arms. However, even in saying this, the Court admonished that there were limitations to this right. Specifically, the Court ruled that its opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
And so the debate continues. Where are the boundary lines to be established? It seems to me that current conditions demand stricter regulations. Above all else the role of government is to protect its citizens at all costs. We know that unrestricted speed on the highway causes death, so we regulate how fast drivers are allowed to drive. We know that safety belts in cars saves lives, so we have made their use mandatory. We know that heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine and certain other drugs cause deaths when misused, so we regulate their availability. These are common sense regulations that are accepted and undisputed. Can anyone tell me why on earth this nation is so ignorant to think that something as dangerous and lethal as an assault weapon should be less restricted than a seat belt? Let’s get real. Any reasonable analysis of the facts will reveal that assault weapons have consistently been used to terrorize this nation. Our government must step up and protect the public by banning these horrendous killers.
-George Douglas Gehr
August 9, 2019