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The battle for political sanity

When you are living it, it can sometimes be hard to take a step back and take a long hard look at the state of politics. Every country is the same, we all live in societies that can be better. We in the UK are by no means exempt from being part of a broken political system, but there is something unique about the US system that really sets it apart.

Forget your politics for a moment and just think about this question. Does it make any sense to be able to walk into a store and buy an assault rifle without even a waiting period to assess your suitability to own such a weapon? Indeed, does it make any sense to have battlefield weapons circulating in everyday society? I don't care who you ask in any part of the world, nobody in good conscience can answer in the affirmative. The US gun lobby have been masters of using fear to convince people that they need such weapons to stay safe. Were this the case, then you would need to scrap all law enforcement agencies and start again.

The right to bear arms in my personal view is difficult to understand. It can only lead to trouble. However, I respect the fact that the US has a constitution and that the second amendment, Ratified in December 1791 reads;

“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.”

My first question is. Do you have the right to bear arms at all, if you are not part of a state organised militia? Let's assume for the sake of argument you are, then can I respectfully suggest, if we are to interpret the constitution as originalists, as the GOP would have us interpret it, we should collect in all firearms and replace them with long guns and pistols from 1791. This would instantly remove any opportunity for mass shooting events.

Now before some smart ass points me to the fact that assault weapons were available from Europe from around 1490, they tended to be on wheels and were not very conducive to school or retail store mass casualty events. They were prohibitively expensive for private ownership and were designed just as now, as military weapons of war.

Moving back to the second amendment, the key word is not "keep and bear arms" I have no problem with these words. The key words are "well regulated". Now call me old fashioned, but buying an assault rifle from a retail store with no waiting period, or background checks, is totally in contravention of the second amendment. You can tell that the second amendment was written by men, because it has that male sense of ambiguity that us men are very good at. Had a woman written it, it would have been a page long and detailed what "well regulated" meant in the context of the amendment.

There can be absolutely no justification for assault weapons in every day society. What lawful purpose can they serve? Home invasions or personal threats to life are not usually perpetrated by well trained special forces or military trained assailants. They are more likely opportunist, or result from, in the moment loss of control. In these circumstances, a handgun should be more than adequate to eliminate the threat. If you are unfortunate enough to be under attack from highly trained multiple assailants. Might I suggest you would have some knowledge of such a threat and be able to seek assistance from federal law enforcement?

Despite Republican opposition in Washington to introducing gun control measures, largely due to donations from the gun lobby. The wider public does support tighter measures. Having said that, in 2020 the numbers did soften a little, largely due to there having been no mass shooting events during the lockdown. This remains a political issue rather than a public safety issue and as long as it does, there will be no change without removal of the filibuster.


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