Whether you're a gun-rights advocate or not, there's little room for debating Second Amendment rights. In fact, one could argue that any restriction on a citizen's right to keep and bear arms is unconstitutional.
Simply put, firearms are neither good or bad — they're a tool in the hands of an operator. They are not responsible for good intentions or bad intentions. They are not to blame for motives and madness.
Firearms are designed as a tool for protection, security and warfare. We expect our police and military to be armed and we would never ask them to fight crime and wars without weapons.
So, why are politicians calling for the ban of approximately 120 firearms that the American public uses for personal protection?
Some would argue that guns are responsible for murdering people, but with that kind of logic we could say the same thing about cars under the control of a drunk driver.
Politicians use armed security (not law enforcement) for their personal and family protection, so it's only natural that us common folk would want that same protection. Unfortunately, most of us can't afford armed escorts, but we can afford the sidearms they carry.
In all fairness, it is necessary for government to establish reasonable gun restrictions to ensure public safety, such as keeping firearms out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill, etc.
It should also be noted that within the Second Amendment there's an obscure phrase that describes the security of a free country being supported by a "well-regulated militia."
This does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that the government should control a militia like it does the military. What it does mean is that a well-regulated militia should support smart gun laws that protect the innocent.
Having a militia is not an outdated concept, just like owning and possessing a firearm is not an outdated right.
A militia is important to the security of a free society, not to mention the national benefit of having millions of armed citizens in a time of war.
Therefore, gun-rights advocates shouldn't become too defensive just because political opponents call for unreasonable gun regulation after a horrific shooting. This is normal behavior from those who have little understanding of the need for firearms.
We must also remember that courtrooms across America have reaffirmed our Second Amendment rights time and again, and if any unreasonable legislation is passed, it will most likely be struck down later in a court of law.
Before we propose new legislation on firearms, we must recognize a couple of things:
- Banning assault weapons will do little to protect the innocent from mass shootings, not to mention the debate that would ensue over the fate of the millions of assault rifles already in public circulation.
- Making things illegal in this country has never been an effective deterrent in making things more difficult to get (think illegal drugs).
- Reducing magazine capacities to a maximum of 10 rounds is not going to prevent criminals from obtaining high-capacity magazines from the millions (and I mean millions) already in circulation.
In fact, as long as the entertainment industry continues to relentlessly pump out ultra-violent films, video games and TV shows, it will become more of a necessity for law-abiding citizens to effectively arm themselves against people who cannot control their violent tendencies.
Implementing legislation that focuses on tightening up and even enhancing background checks, is an example of smart legislation that supports the establishment of a well-regulated militia.
Requiring gun owners to register their firearms is an example of knee-jerk legislation that will do little to curb violence. On the flip side, what's the harm in registering your firearm if you're a law-abiding citizen?
Introducing legislation that would require gun owners to attend periodic firearms training would not only open doors for added revenue to the firearms industry, but would also reduce firearm accidents and support the establishment of a well-trained, well-regulated militia.
More importantly, legislation must be introduced that will focus attention on what kinds of entertainment the mentally ill are authorized to have in their possession, such as porn, violent video games and movies, etc.
The courts put stipulations on the types of entertainment sex offenders can have in their possession in order to curb their temptation to carry out their fantasies. Why have we not created similar stipulations on the mentally ill?
This year's Congress will provide an opportunity for gun-rights advocates to come to the table with reasonable ideas for new legislation that will enhance the protection of the innocent and further the establishment of a well-regulated militia.
Sam King is a reserve police officer in Coos County and an undergraduate student at American Military University majoring in security management. He received a commendation from the FBI in 2011 for the apprehension of Bradley William Monical, who later escaped from the Jackson County Jail on Nov. 19, 2012.