Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gun control for tomorrow

As you read this blog I want everyone to understand that I am a gun owner.  I used to hunt as a kid and enjoyed my best days with my father and friends hunting upland game birds on Cape Cod and in other locals.  I would not trade those experiences for anything.  I raised hunting dogs, English Pointers and had either a pointer or Brittany Spaniel for most of my life.  My favorite Christmas gift was when I got a 410 shotgun when I was in 7th grade.  I still treasure that shotgun.  The last time I bought a gun was a few years ago when I purchased a 410 over and under shotgun.  A few years before that I purchased my first muzzle loading weapon with the intent to do some deer hunting.

With this as the background, I have to question; is this country nuts?  How and Why do we allow people to buy assault weapons, extended magazine clips and enough ammunition to supply the Syrian rebels.  There is absolutely no need for this.  The National Rifle Association is the enabler for much of the violence we see around us.  Don't tell me otherwise.  This organization needs to rethink its guiding principles and help this country address gun violence in the 21st century.

I received an opinion questionnaire from the NRA a year ago and I gave them hell.  They take the position that under no circumstances do they want government to know about their gun activities.  The funny thing here is that when I was a kid in the 1960s, I joined the NRA.  At that time, you could not gain membership unless your local police force approved.  That's right, you had to get permission from the local police force before you could join.  I think the police represent government.  Where and when did the NRA take  such a drastic turn against sanity?  I don't know!  I have not been a member for almost 50 years.

I am not blind to the fact that stronger gun control laws will not end gun violence and may not even end the tragedies that we have endured during the past decade.  I am confident that it time, with sensible gun regulation, some tragedies may be averted and the tragedies that we witness may not be so deadly.  We can only hope.

Gun advocates point to the 2nd amendment of the Constitution to claim their rights and the courts have always taken a broad view; "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"  Gun nuts even jump on the preface to this right by establishing their private militias thinking that they have a Constitutional right to do so.  I am referring to the "...well regulated militia...." here.  What the nuts don't seem to understand is that they have no Constitutional right to create a private militia.  If they read their Constitution, they would be well aware that only Congress can establish a state militia and only the President of the United States can command any such military body.  "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States......"

I personally believe that we should have a national firearm identification card, much like a credit card.  When we purchase a weapon or ammunition it could be swiped and yes, information tracked to ensure a safer society.  I would not have a problem applying for such a card and 99.9% of NRA members would not have a problem getting a card issued either.  Let's not forget this part of the Constitution; "....well regulated militia....."  I would emphasize the word "regulated" here.  It seems to me that the Commander and Chief has every right to move to regulate weapons.  Heads up to the private militia crowd: You have no right to provide a platform for possible insurrection in this country.  Clearly our founders did everything they could to ensure the continuity of government in the United States of America.

I'm a progressive and nobody is going to take my favorite Christmas gift away.