Green River Star -

Our View: Regulation should be considered

 

March 28, 2018



One of the unfortunate truths about gun violence and school shootings is they won’t be going away, regardless of what measures are taken to prevent them.

For us and many others, that is a hard truth to swallow. No matter what can be done, including the extreme outright ban of future firearms sales in the U.S., nothing will change in that regard. What do we do?

What does the Second Amendment mean? To some, it means civilians should have access to the same military-grade armaments members of the armed forces have.

Some will also argue that arming a civilian populace keeps the government from overstepping its bounds. There’s also an argument that high numbers of gun owners reduce crime because criminals are more hesitant to commit certain crimes for fear of getting involved in a situation with someone armed with a firearm.

Firearms are tools. The are tools used for sport. They are tools used for survival. They are tools used for protection. Above all else, they are tools designed to kill.

There are responsible gun owners out there. We would argue that a majority of gun owners fall into that category. However, there are irresponsible gun owners as well and their behavior should be addressed. If a firearm is stolen because it’s left unsecured and accessible, they should have to pay a fine. If that firearm is used in a crime, they should pay a larger fine. Additionally, certain types of ammunition, accessories and firearms should not be sold. According to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, regulating gun ownership is within the bounds of the Second Amendment. Writing the majority opinion for District of Columbia v. Heller, he said a ban on handguns in private homes was unconstitutional, but wrote the court thinks “that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’” Justice Scalia also acknowledges the argument that if military-style weaponry is banned, the right would be detached from its “prefatory clause” -- the section about a well-regulated militia.

“But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right,” he wrote.

Gun violence isn’t going away in this country, but we can make it more difficult for people to rack up large numbers of casualties when they decide to open fire in a public space. We can only hope regulation could limit the impact of someone’s actions by the time law enforcement arrives to deal with the situation.

 

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