The latest round of gun-fueled insanity in Las Vegas has prompted, once again, calls for more rational gun control in these United States. Including by me.
But it occurred to me today that draconian shifts — which is what those of us appalled by the slaughter of little kids and concert goers keep pushing for — are, based on empirical evidence, probably unachievable.
Put another way, if the murder of screaming, terrified kindergartners and primary school students isn’t going to motivate us to take action, it’s likely nothing will. At least for that kind of contemplated action.
But that’s not the total universe of possible actions. In fact, when you remember “politics is the art of the possible”, maybe we can aim lower, and, if not eliminate this insanity, at least put a leash on it.
So here’s an idea. What if we amended the 2nd Amendment from this:
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.
To something like this:
A well regulated Militia being helpful to the security of a free State, the right of individuals of sound mind to keep and bear a modest number of Arms for personal use and protection, subject to reasonable regulation to maintain public safety, shall not be infringed.
This wouldn’t prevent gun ownership, for whatever reason, provided you can demonstrate you’re not a maniac, or nuts, or a risk to the rest of us.
It would clarify that this is a personal right, not associated with being part of a militia…which also opens the door to regulating groups of individuals organizing themselves with firearms.
And it explicitly acknowledges that this right of ownership, which exists, in part, to help maintain public safety (i.e., as a free State), must be balanced against the negative consequences that indiscriminate firearm ownership poses to public safety (i.e., the carnage we keep witnessing, and which we’d all like to reduce or eliminate).
Not being a Constitutional scholar, or lawyer, I won’t claim this as the last word. But I’m interested in hearing people’s reactions to it, and thoughts on how to improve it or redraft it.