As Fate would have it, I had spent quite a bit of time prepping a blog entry about my position on gun control before the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at a grade school in Connecticut. At that point, curious as to what rhetoric would be vomited across the nation, I withheld my words in draft form. Then when I learned that Vice President Joe Biden was assigned the job of forming recommendations about new gun restrictions, I waited again. So far, none of what I’ve seen or heard in that time has changed the opinions I had set down in this blog entry in late 2012.
I had added the following to the My Platform page on Nov. 23, 2012:
“I believe the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is essentially correct, that American citizens should have the right to own and carry weapons. However, real life has proven that many aren’t responsible enough to do so without qualification. Because their actions infringe upon the rights of the rest of us (the intrinsic right to not get shot, which isn’t mentioned in the Constitution), I’m in favor of various restrictions, such as age limits, required and regular safety courses, and even safety tests — much like driving exams. Yes, this makes me a moderate, and prevents me from being a full-blown Libertarian.”
We as Americans can have the right to many things, yet it’s also okay to place sensible guidelines and boundaries around those rights — in order to protect other rights. This becomes especially true with something as intrinsically dangerous as a firearm.
So, as usual, my position will infuriate back-country NRA types as well as city-bound hippie liberals:
* Raise the age limit a bit
* Require regular (every X years) safety/proficiency courses/tests
* Magazine capacity limits (10 rounds is enough for hunting and home defense)
* Stricter rules for densely populated urban areas
* Close loopholes for background checks and waiting periods
* Prioritize enforcement of existing laws
* Make it more difficult to acquire firearms for persons with severe cognitive/behavioral issues
* Allow armed citizens in workplaces, schools, public
* Prohibit lawsuits against manufacturers over illegal shootings
For a much longer, drawn-out version of this same thought process, see my other new entries:
EDIT, 2018.02.22: Reworded one sentence for clarity. I would also like to note that my position continues to evolve on this issue. For example, the last two bullet points above are no longer reflective of my current position.