I come to you today to discuss the broad aspects of the Second Amendment and not specific legislation that may or may not affect it serving Americans.
The issue of gun controls pokes its ugly head up every time a senseless killing occurs as commonly as the sun rises in the East. The latest national scar is the six people shot dead and 13 wounded by a man whom we all consider a deranged individual in Tucson Jan. 8.
We live in an imperfect world of 305 million individualists all of whom believe it is their God-given right to own a gun because we all accept the framework and tenets of our constitution as our justification for or against.
Gun control measures, no matter in whatever form they take, are also imperfect. Perfect by my standards would be no one killed by guns unless by accident or suicide.
Without stepping into the paranoia world of protecting ourselves from our government or foreign invaders, the intent of owning guns is for personal protection and recreational hunting.
The National Rifle Association leadership is the single most powerful lobby protecting gun rights and takes a hard line no matter how preposterous to prevent an erosion of what they call the slippery slope of anti-gun legislation.
My personal feeling is that reasonable approaches are gun licensing and registration with reasonable curbs on automatic weapons and extended ammunition clips.
The fact is, or at least my impression, is that 99% of gun owners are reasonable people and generally abide by local, state and federal gun laws.
I am personally bemused by the Arizona shooting case where one clip of ammunition took such an incredible toll. These extended ammo devices are designed to kill people, not animals.
No self-respecting hunter would fire 30 rounds into a deer or moose or caribou, not even in Alaska. The only other reason for these automatic weapons is to get one’s jollies off shooting bottles and cans as a form of target practice.
Those who step beyond those regulatory lines are described as mentally ill or consumed with a blind passion such as a John Wilkes Booth who shot and killed President Lincoln. You can include paid assassins in that group.
I respect the advances achieved in the mental health profession on identifying disturbed people who could be suspected of killing someone whether a political figure or other cause such as an abortion doctor.
Mental health is not an exact science and there is almost never certainty how a certain sicko would act under specific conditions. There is not enough desire nor money to track 24/7 the paranoids despite all the laws and the best of coordination with law enforcement. You can’t throw a person in the funny farm ward, throw away the key if he has not broken any laws although he says he may intend to.
The current issue of legislation being considered by serious thinkers in Congress is limiting the automatic weapon and ammunition arsenal.
The bottom line is theoretical, that a person with a pistol carrying six bullets in its chamber would be less than one with 31 shells. The damage would still be done whether one is killed, or six in Arizona, or 13 at Fort Hood or 33 at Virginia Tech.
My point is with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men and all the mental health experts on board and in perfect sync, some perverse soul will find, borrow or steal a gun to express his demonic state.
I have no empirical evidence to support my contention that licenses to carry concealed weapons or states with open carry permits prevent acts of shooting mayhem.
Yes, I have read about owners shooting home invaders but never one shooting a killer on a rampage such as what might have been possible in Tucson. To me that argument is mythical, more likely to occur in television and movies than in the real world.
I offer no solutions for there are none in the environment of 305 million diverse personalities exercising their Second Amendment rights.
If we are a Christian nation as tagged by so many culturally patriotic pundits, why is it that the admonition in the 10 Commandments that thou shall not kill is violated with regularity?
Even if it is a sin to kill, killing still goes on unabated. The laws of our lands are no more efficient. We are dealing with human minds, not robotic fixtures to neatly fall into our moral and legal concepts.
Jerry Remmers worked 26 years in the newspaper business. His last 23 years was with the Evening Tribune in San Diego where assignments included reporter, assistant city editor, county and politics editor.