The vast majority of society, even here in the United States, is living in fear. Sad to say we, here in the U.S., actually live in fear of violence that will take the lives of innocent bystanders. What is promoting this paranoid obsession of fear? The News Media rely on the public’s hunger for all the details surrounding the events such as the killing of innocent children and adults in the Newtown incident. The Gun Rights advocates promote fear of the government, if any talk of gun control or accountability is mentioned. The Anti Gun folks emphasize the bizarre incidents of wanton random slaughter. The most outspoken (thus loudest) of both sides fail to acknowledge any value in their opposition’s rhetoric. Yes, I said rhetoric! Very little of anything is new in the last decade or two of debate. Gun rights individuals hide behind the 2nd Amendment and gun control advocates indicate they will not be placated until all guns are out of the hands of ordinary citizens.
The man holding a gun wins the argument, at least temporarily. But, in the end, society does not want to be controlled by violence and mankind will opt for better methods of setting social standards and enforcing those standards.
I am one who thinks there should be sensible limits on the type of weapons and ammunition in the hands of civilians. I own a rifle, shotgun, and revolver. My ammunition supply is limited to a box of shells for each category of weapons. I am responsible for determining who has access to those weapons. Pest control is my main reason for owning weapons. I’m not a game hunter nor am I a collector. I have no fear of the U.S. Government knocking my door down and confiscating my arsenal. If I am found to be psychologically or mentally unsound to a degree that I might use those weapons improperly, some agency should remove them from my reach. Anyone who is mentally or psychologically unable to control themselves should be prevented accessibility to fire arms.
I’m well aware of the need for sportsman who hunt wild life to have a much larger supply of ammunition and a wider selection of hardware, than me. But, do they need semi-automatic weapons capable of firing twenty or thirty rounds in a matter of a few seconds? Do they need military assault type weapons designed for mass killing of human beings, perceived to be the enemy? Do they, individually, need an inventory of ammunition that exceeds the needs of a large hunting party?
Gun collectors are entitled to own any weapon they can acquire. But, should those weapons all be ready to load and fire at a moments notice? Should they, or anyone owning a gun, be held accountable if those weapons are allowed to get on the street, and into the hands of someone with ill intent for their use?
The worn out cliche of the NRA and gun rights advocates “guns don’t kill” is a profound piece of wisdom! Certainly guns don’t install the magazine full of ammo and fire themselves at specific targets. But, they are certainly the most effective and efficient means of a person to inflict pain or death to their chosen victims (animal, human, tin cans, or whatever). And, the type of hardware and ammo has a significant value for guaranteeing accuracy and speed in delivery. Fists, rocks, or knives can be lethal, but guns are without question more efficient and effective. If you take my trusty old 410 gauge single shot out to hunt pheasants, do you think you have an excellant chance to bring home your limit, or would you rather take your 12 or 20 gauge that holds 4 or five live shells. You are the one who pulls the trigger, but the gun and ammo you use is certainly a factor in determining your success. If the perpetrators of the recent massacres in schools and public places had only small caliber weapons with limited load capacities, the death toll and injuries would most likely have been much smaller.
The environment, culture, and technology are quite different today than when the 2nd Amendment was written. There was no intention of maintaining a standing National Army. There was limited local law enforcement agencies. The authors of that amendment were not especially fearful of their own democratically elected government. The system of three branches of the government was their method of protection from the tyranny of power within the government. A ‘well regulated militia’ indicates some sort of organized and trained cadre that could be called on to defend society from whatever immediate dangers might be present, whether that would be invasion by foreign powers, wild animals, or individuals with criminal intent.
Exercising your freedom to voice your opinion (vocal or written), debate issues, and participate in electing government representatives is a much better way of protecting yourself from the hazards of society than arming yourself with an arsenal of military type weapons. Every man with more fire power and every man for himself is not the way to guarantee a more peaceful society and protection of individual liberty. Making mental health treatment assessable (maybe even mandatory) to all and education is needed rather than more 'weapons of mass destruction'. Artillery with 20 or 30 round clips of ammo, regardless of gauge, and semi-automatic firing capability qualify as weapons with mass destruction capability.