It was so refreshing to read the editorial “Put our elected leaders in the crosshairs” in a recent Daily Commercial, about holding local politicians accountable.
In order to actually hold politicians accountable, the media members must have a complete understanding of the issues they are questioning politicians about. Otherwise, they will fall for the misconceptions politicians exploit to their advantage.
The Second Amendment suffers from a lack of understanding by the media members, general public and politicians, leaving it the National Rifle Association to define the amendment. The Second Amendment needs to be explained to the nation in an honest documentary by someone like Ken Burns, to dispel the NRA narrative of it.
In the two cases that the Supreme Court ruled on the Second Amendment, the first in 1939 in the U.S. v. Miller case, the court upheld a law that banned sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, silencers and grenades. It also said Congress had the power to prohibit “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
In 2008 the Supreme Court opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller gave Americans the right to have a handgun in the home for self-protection. Justice Anthony Scalia went out of his way to add in the 5-4, majority opinion that: “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
Clearly, Congress has the power, based on these two rulings, to ban the sale of military-grade weapons to civilians. The only thing stopping them is the fact they owe their positions to the money the NRA provided them to win the election. The case can be made that they are being blackmailed by the NRA, or, at the least, are puppets of the NRA. Their allegiance is to the NRA, not their constituents or school children facing the possibility of a madman with a menacing AR-15 in front of them.
We as Americans have no understanding of how vulnerable we are, wherever we are, because of the easy availability of military-grade weapons to almost everyone. It could be wherever people gather in large numbers. Unless we act, there will be a mass killing with thousands of fatalities.
The first step to sensible gun control has to be the breaking of the total control the NRA has over this issue. It has to start with us, the American public, making an endorsement from the NRA a sure way for a politician to lose an election.
This would require more people to become involved in our democracy. In order for democracy to work, it has to become more than a spectator sport.
The Heller v. DC Supreme Court ruling basically said one can have a handgun in his home for self protection, nothing more. We can live with that and that people can have normal rifles for hunting purposes, with some limits on round capacity.
The second draft of the Second Amendment in 1791 read: A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed: but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.
The 3rd draft changed the last line to: but no one religious scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
It was taken out because of the fear too many men would use it to not serve in the regular militia or slave patrols in the South.
The intent of Congress when they wrote the bill was to have a well-regulated militia — being the best security of a free state — provide protection to the state as stated, not any right for individual protection.