Weapons of all kinds can serve one of four purposes.
In America the right for people to keep and bear arms is not limited to the government and it’s affiliates, and while the second amendment is written as a partially formed paragraph it’s almost impossible to argue with any interpretation that clever lawyers can push.
“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 find it hard to see how some fat bloke living in a mobile home, who didn’t finish school and has more firepower that Pol Pot on the Khmer Rouge’s most pissed off day can be considered well regulated, but it seems that’s how that amendment to the US constitution is now interpreted.
I get freedom, and if I was living fifty miles from the nearest police station, I could see how having a weapon for protection makes sense.
What I don’t understand is why it’s acceptable that weapons are not licensed, insured and well regulated, in a similar way to cars.
In America you need to meet more regulation to cut hair than you do to own a semi-automatic assault rifle.
In the same way that someone with bad eyes or a brain injury will need to meet extra stringent test before they are allowed to drive, I think it’s not unreasonable to make gun ownership a seriously controlled act.
Anyone can own and drive a car as long as they meet the rules, why not the same with weapons?
I think we need to separate the loony idea of rising up against a tyrannical government from the idea of sensible gun ownership, if gun ownership is to continue to be a right.
I know that America has been incrementally militarized through multiple generations serving extended times in military services. And the excess of government spending on military equipment has filtered down to domestic security , and the police now have incredible levels of military hardware.
Culturally large parts of the American culture are now heavily influenced by military ideas. From camouflage clothing and backpacks being street ware to companies selling supplies to allow those with bunkers to survive a planned zombie government agent uprising.
There are a lot of weaponized citizens and most of them seem to love their guns. I know that in just about any armed confrontation, the person who has planned it has a huge advantage. If you plan to attack someone you have control of your adrenaline production, you would only attack when you are ready. If on the other hand you are attacked and are not expecting it, your adrenaline will start flowing and you will be in the worst position to respond effectively. The best course of action in just about any situation where you are attacked unexpectedly is to retreat to a defensive position and make a plan. And the best plan is to wait for reinforcements. That’s why a good guy with a gun is unlikely to defeat a bad guy with a gun.
The best situation is that bad guys don’t have guns. And the best way to stop bad guys having guns is to use a mix of limiting gun ownership (for bad guys) with technical and physical methods of stopping bad guys being able to use guns and acquire ammunition.
I don’t think the semantic political games about what is an assault weapon and sizes of magazines can ever do anything useful. But over time if it’s harder for a thief to steal a gun or for a mental patient to buy a gun on the secondhand market, then the volume of weapons held illegally will drop (as has been seen in many other places in the world)
There is no quick fix, and there is no perfect answer. But a start would be the gun special interest groups taking a position that licensing gun ownership, insuring guns and gun users and providing technology to limit gun use to the registered owner and limiting ammo sales to only those who have registered weapons that need it would be very helpful.