Here’s My Idea: Guns (Part 2)
I am in favor of gun owners rights. First of all, I grew up in a rural community and I believe hunting and sport shooting to be normal, healthy and generally safe hobbies.
I also call on my experience of living in England, where gun owners face far greater restrictions and handguns are basically forbidden. At one point during my stay it was reported that around 80% of all property crime was occurring when the homeowner was present. That simply doesn’t happen in a country in which a large portion of its law abiding citizens are allowed to keep firearms stored is a safe, but accessible fashion in their home. It is also a fact that the UK has a steady year-on-year increase in handgun crime since enacting legislation that restricted handgun ownership.
There were a couple of more basic elements in play when our forefathers drafted the amendment in question. First,it was meant as a matter of national security that we could call on an armed citizen militia should the need ever arise. It was also created asa balance against a concentration of “police power” in the government. While the signers of the Constitution might not have envisioned the kind of inequity in the technologies available to the armed services and the average citizen, it does not diminish the idea that this same citizen has a right to protect the interests of home, property and family – by taking up arms, if necessary.
My preference in this area would be for a simplification of gun laws. In the process I would hope they would be liberalized in many instances. For instance, many gun laws currently regulate only cosmetic features of a firearm. Our concern should be its function, at best, not how a weapon looks. All guns can be scary if they are used irresponsibly. To that point I would like to see firearms education as part of local school curriculums, though I would not favor Federal mandates to teach it. The local community knows what issues it has with guns, from recreation to accidental discharges in the hands of children to street crime. If we teach Sex Ed, I think a few hours on Gun Ed might be one step in building a more responsible populace.