Submitted by Guest Blogger, Lawrence Rafferty
In light of the tragic shooting today in Arizona, I have to wonder aloud if automatic weapons should be banned by this country. I realize that the 2nd Amendment right to own a gun is strongly defended by the NRA and other right-wing groups, but I am sick and tired of reading about all of the shootings the past couple of years. Whether it was the shootings earlier this year at various United States Marine sites around the country or the California shootout in July with the guy who was trying to attack the ACLU and the TIDES non-profit organization; the vitriol seems to be on the rise. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40978517/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/ And with politicians fanning the flames, this vitriol is not bound to be diminished anytime soon.
The Second Amendment is a very concise Amendment. “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.” http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am2 We have seen various attempts over the years by the Feds and many States and municipalities to restrict gun ownership. The recent Supreme Court case of McDonald , et al vs. City of Chicago, Illinois, et al affirmed the fundamental right of Americans to own a gun by a 5-4 decision. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf The McDonald decision did not give us any guidance on what kind of restrictions to that fundamental right the Supreme Court would allow. However, how can automatic weapons or high-powered rifles be exempt from an outright banning of their ownership or at least significant restrictions on their use? Can a good faith argument really be made that an automatic weapon is necessary for personal protection?
The Supreme Court Justices do not live in a bubble and they must see what damage these weapons have already brought to families across the nation. Don’t they?