Piers Morgan was running in the background tonight while he interviewed a number of guests about their positions on gun control. It seems that the first question to every guest was "Do you believe in the second amendment?" Well that's a little unfair. In the sense of "acknowledging the existance of", everybody believes in the second amendment. Which is not say that everyone agrees with the second amendment- believe is sometimes a synonym of agree: as in, "I believe I should be more tolerant of redneck morons".
And after Piers's guests survived that rhetorical thicket, it's still a challenge advocating for gun control after acknowledging the second amendment. I'm glad I wasn't interviewed. Because I believe it's unconstitutional to ban firearms from schools, airplanes and courtrooms. It's right there:
The right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringedIt's funny how people can ignore the black and white text and conceptualize some fuzzy interpretation instead. Hell, the amendment doesn't even guarantee the right to own firearms.
I'm just plain ole folk, but I can read those words as well as any fancy-pants NRA lawyer: And the Constitution don't say nuthin' about the right to buy and own firearms.
Any law can constitutionally prohibit the purchase of firearms so long as there's some other provision for individuals to acquire weapons. The militia business helps here. Any individual should be able to keep and even carry a weapon that's been provided by some organized militia.
In defense of those whose identity, character, and well, manhood, depends on their weapons, I note that, based on history, America does not treat their minorities very well. And I have a little respect for the scrappy defense of this minority right. So in order for me to support a law that restricts ownership of weapons to organized militias instead of private individuals, these militias need to be independent. The NRA seems like a good candidate: It's hostile to the government and seems prepared for a tyrannical intrusion by the UN. This is starting to look like a really good compromise.
One caveat is that whenever a weapon is used in a crime, the owner of that weapon becomes an accessory. That is, these organized militias may be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties.
To a closet libertarian like myself, the idea of self-policing and making the NRA (or the Michigan Militia, or whatever) perform these background checks seems appealing and workable as long as there's a real risk they'll end up in the docket when one of their members goes beserk.
Even if this approach isn't perfect, it seems likely to save lives.
I can't be the first person with this idea. Am I missing something obvious to everyone else?