Many of us take for granted the right to defend ourselves against random acts of violence. Not all of us have that right. In the state of Maryland it is nearly impossible for a citizen to get a carry permit. In the neighboring Commonwealth of Virginia most malls have posted policies (in ¼” print) prohibiting firearms.
A few hours ago (Sat, 1/25/14) a gunman opened fire at the Columbia Mall in Maryland, killing at least 2, the police are still sorting thing out. The unimaginable terror, the impact on first responders, the lives lost and families who will never be the same. This isn’t the first, and I fear not the last, time this kind of tragedy will happen.
Disarming citizens is not the answer, but neither is allowing anyone to possess a firearm. Education, training, background checks, mental health care…there are many factors. Details will emerge, but a lawfully armed citizen could have made a difference…but they never had a chance.
There are no easy answers, but we must do better than the bans on guns.
The only thing wrong with your post is the presumption that we are "allowed" to have this right. That is fundamentally incorrect. The government must, following due process, prove that an individual's right to arms should be disabled by presenting a preponderance of evidence that the individual is 1) a violent recidivist criminal or 2) dangerously unstable. Then, it is up to a court to make a ruling based upon that evidence.ReplyDelete
Initial background checks at retail purchase are constitutional, because they are part of interstate commerce and can be regulated, and because criminal convictions and involuntary commitments are constitutionally permissible disabling factors. The only way to discover either is by a background check, and given the fact that the NICS checks are as close to "instant" as technologically possible, they are not a material burden on peaceable people's exercise of the right.
But they cannot be imposed on private transactions, because there is no constitutionally delegated power for the government to do so.