Editor: Let’s talk about gun control. Since three of the top 10 deadliest gun massacres in U.S. history have occurred since October of last year, it might be time.
Spoiler alert: If you think either guns are the tools of Satan or that the Second Amendment gives everyone the right to keep a howitzer in the garage, you’re wasting your time reading this. It was written for the other 90 percent of us, the ones we might call normal.
The late Antonin Scalia, the most conservative justice ever to sit on the Supreme Court in modern times, wrote the 2008 landmark opinion that upheld an individual’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. However, he also said that right is not unlimited. According to Justice Scalia, the right to keep and bear arms does not extend automatically to cover anyone with any weapon at any place and in any manner.
Nobody actually needs an assault weapon. Hunting is a sport just like fishing. Target shooting is a sport just like archery. That one requires a gun and the other doesn’t is the only difference. But, no one in their right mind goes either hunting or target shooting with an AR-15. Some people insist they need an assault rifle for self defense. From what? The zombie apocalypse? Barring a horde of those fictional creatures showing up at the front door, it’s hard to imagine a self defense situation that cannot be handled more than adequately with a pump action shotgun.
Nobody needs a bump stock to turn their assault rifle into a fully automatic weapon for a brief period of time (see above for reasons). In addition to being overkill for anything other than mass slaughter, a bump stock turns your semiautomatic into an expensive piece of junk in short order. The shooter in Las Vegas didn’t have all those assault rifles piled up in his hotel room because he didn’t know how to reload a gun. He needed all those guns because the bump stocks he put on them melted them down one right after another.
Nobody who isn’t old enough to buy a drink needs to be buying a gun. Unsupervised possession and/or use of guns by minors is not now and never will be a smart choice.
Okay, you say, let’s ban assault weapons and bump stocks and require people be 21 years old to buy a gun. That’s not unreasonable.
It’s also never going to happen until you, as a voter, make your legislator believe your opinion matters more than that of the lobbyists for the gunmakers.
Here’s a quick variant on "You might be a redneck if...
...your Georgia state representative and senator might care more about the support of the NRA than the lives of their constituents if they voted to let college students carry firearms around campus.
...your U.S. representative and senators might care more about the support of the NRA than the lives of their constituents if they voted to allow people so impaired they not only collect mental disability payments but require a guardian to handle the money for them to buy guns. (Personally, I don’t want anyone who’s officially designated as mentally disabled buying a gun.)
It’s time to let your legislators know, if they can’t vote for some sensible gun control legislation, you’re just not going to be able to vote for them anymore.