Sunday, June 26, 2016

America's Second Amendment to the Constitution - Part VII (Last)

I'm at the end of my "preaching" or "informing" or "grand-standing" about our Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It was passed into law on 15 December 1791.  It states:  "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."
   I support the ownership and use of firearms.  As I stated before, I do not own one, myself.  Many of my relatives and friends own and use their guns - and I'm happy to support their right and legal freedom to do so.  All of my friends who own firearms have a locked and safe storage area for their guns and ammunition.  They practice shooting at ranges and in competitions.  They hunt wildlife for their tables - they don't go out and shoot a deer or elk for trophy antlers - they preserve and eat the bounty of the beast's body.  I have eaten deer, elk, rabbit, alligator, and turtle meat, along with other livestock bred for the table.  A lot of residents of Alaska are subsistence hunters, and the only meat they eat is the wildlife they kill and process themselves.
   In the last 72 hours, three headlines caught my attention - all three dealing with gun violence.  In Fort Worth, Texas, at an unauthorized party at a nonprofit "Safe Place" dance studio, there was a gang related shooting, according to police investigators.  Two people died and at least five more were injured.   Also in Texas, in the city of Katy, a mother shot and killed her two daughters, aged 22 and 17, in the street outside their home.  When police arrived, the woman refused to put her gun down.  An officer had to shoot her.  That made three dead in a family.  And, finally, in East Orange, New Jersey, a 6-year-old boy found his mother's loaded pistol.  He was playing with it and shot his 4-year-old brother in the head.  The 6-year-old is now a killer.
   I believe that gun laws need to be reformed and re-stated.  When the Constitution was written, and the Second Amendment passed, the 6-pound cannon and the flintlock black powder rifle were most efficient weapons of the time.
   I believe that normal citizens of the United States should be allowed to purchase a pistol or revolver, a rifle or a shotgun.  But I also believe that semi-automatic and automatic firing systems for these weapons should not be allowed - except for the use by SWAT teams and our military personnel.
I don't believe that a box magazine that will hold more than ten cartridges should be sold to the average, every-day United States citizen.  I think that a person who purchases a gun in the United States should have to pass a background check and a psychological test.  Every gun owner should have to pass a knowledge and safety test.  I also believe that it should be the law in every state that arms should be kept in locked safe boxes, except when traveling to or from the shooting range, or on the way to a hunt.
   You don't need an AK-47 to hunt for a deer.  You don't need a 30 to 50 cartridge magazine to put dinner on the table.  If you need either for the purpose I stated, then you shouldn't be allowed to shoot or own a weapon.
   I can see that in certain shooting competitions, one might want a large magazine to pursue some "fancy shooting" of targets.  I believe that the law should make sure that only accredited gun competitions would be allowed to have large box magazines - for competition only.  - Of course, I would want to allow our Armed Forces and Law Enforcement officers to use their discretion for their specific needs.
   Are these things too much to ask for in a so-called civilized society?  I think not.

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