Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9396322:


Air-tight defence 14 8, 1:27am

@SeanR Yeah, concealed carry is difficult to impossible in about half the states: Because the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear, not keep, bear and HIDE. Concealment remains a purely offensive advantage as surely as when Old West residents considered everyone with a hidden gun a would-be assassin. That is another way the issue has gotten very screwed up since that shooting in Killeen back in the '90s: Instead of open carry being the default and concealed unacceptable, now it is increasingly the other way round. There is nothing wrong with every competent person having a gun, but also nothing wrong with insisting everyone else KNOW about it when they carry that gun in public.

The gun show loophole is no theory, but documented fact: A poll just LAST year asked gun owners if they had EVER had a background check; 46% said "no." In other words, 20 years after "mandatory" "universal" background checks became, US law, HALF OF ALL GUN OWNERS HAVE NEVER HAD A BACKGROUND CHECK. So what if a store remembers selling you a gun: Unless you're a federally licensed dealer you have no legal duty to do a check on anyone you sell it to; if they commit a crime with it, that is their problem (and their victims) not yours. Note the "federally" part; state licensed dealers have no duty to do a background check unless their particular state requires them.

As for felons as underclass, if that is a problem it is far bigger than guns, for reasons including (but not limited to) those you cite: Neither jobs nor votes have anything to do with guns, but felons are denied many jobs and all votes. Some states now fully restore rights of felons who complete their sentence (though not always immediately.) I personally feel everyone who remains a threat should remain in prison, but no one who has paid their debt should be forced to CONTINUE paying more indefinitely. Regardless, it should go without saying anyone who cannot be trusted with a vote cannot be trusted with a gun; they should regain gun rights along with all their other rights or not at all.

The Second Amendment in no way conflicts with, but rather complements, the Constitutions express empowerment of Congress to "discipline" (i.e. regulate) militia. If the men who framed both felt regulating militia infringed gun rights, why does the Second Amendment EXPLICITLY state "a WELL REGULATED militia" as its chief motive? That motive does not make militia the sole justification for guns, but does mean regulating the militia does not infringe gun rights, and since the militia is every law-abiding able-bodied adult citizen, that means Congress has the express constitutional power to regulate gun ownership and use by all of them. It cannot proscribe guns, but has both the power and duty to prescribe gun ownerships additional individual duties.

For the aside, no state (nor majority of them) will ever shrink its own House delegation by passing a law (nor otherwise.) The Fourteenth Amendment already denies states congressmen in proportion to the number of citizens denied voting rights because of race, yet many states challenged the Voting Rights Act with impunity so they could bring back poll taxes and literacy tests a half-century after the Twenty-Fourth Amendment banned both.

Think of it this way: The Fifth Amendments Due Process Clause says (in part) "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The flip side is that due process CAN (and often does) revoke ANY citizens liberties up to and including their right to life, else those large prison populations and executions that have been accepted throughout all but a few decades of US history would be unconstitutional. Now, if due process can institutionalize criminals and the mentally incompetent, and deny the latter voting and contract rights even when it does not deny them freedom of movement--if it can legally and CONSTITUTIONALLY revoke the most heinous criminals LIVES--why could it not constitutionally revoke generally enjoyed gun rights from specific groups disqualified?

We agree on both the Second Amendments validity AND that some people should still not have guns, which raises the question you asked: Who decides how to identify those "some people"? SOMEONE must, and the Constitution tells us whom, fully consistent with its Second Amendment; ensuring a well regulated militia by in turn ensuring the peoples right to keep and bear arms does not prohibit disciplining the militia. Regulation is not restriction; throttles REGULATE engine speeds, but only Thermodynamics RESTRICTS them.