Firearms – Rights and Responsibilities
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution 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.”
Legal scholars have debated this sentence for generations as to whether this guarantees individual citizens the right to own guns, or whether the original intention was to guarantee that the individual citizens who comprised eighteenth century militias, would be ensured their arms.
I have undergone a transformation regarding my position on firearms, over the past several years. From a young age, I had believed that it was a good idea for as many people to own guns as possible, in case we, in this country, should experience what people experienced in Europe in the 1930’s and 40’s, when many, including some number of my extended family, perished. My father, who enlisted in the army and fought in an artillery unit until 1945, felt that it was imperative that we have the ability to fight back, if there was ever another government-sanctioned, anti-Semitic purge. Ironically, we never kept guns.
I have come to realize that, in such an event, while hand guns or even semi-automatic rifles might be of some use, ultimately, they would not be much of a match for a modern military assault unit. So I am no longer convinced that we need to maintain an underground arsenal for the protection of the neighborhood.
I have also now concluded that we do, indeed, have fully armed militias, of sorts, in our National Guard units. I would move to have them jointly overseen by a separate civilian council in conjunction with the State Government, so that if it ever became necessary, the civilian council could direct the Guard in defense of any federal military actions against its citizenry.
This leaves those who use their firearms for hunting, target shooting or collecting. I would support more rigorous controls on these three categories of gun ownership beginning with more rigorous initial permitting, the participants having to receive standardized training and then undergo regular permit updates.
I would support legislation outlawing all automatic weapons for civilian use, as well as magazines with a capacity above seven rounds. Bump Stocks and any other after-market products that increase a weapon’s firing rate or capacity would also be outlawed.
I would favor the use of government resources, including the CDC, to study the use and misuses of firearms in criminal and non-criminal activities to develop further resources to prevent accidental shootings as well as intentional criminal activities.