From Comment of the Day auteur Chris Marschner comes more perspective on the post Orlando debate, and some of the irresponsible arguments being made. His focus: the distortion caused by fear, and he adds a further rebuttal to the suddenly current “The Second Amendment only applies to muskets” nonsense, for which he has more patience that I. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics (and Legal) Dunces: Hillary Clinton And Everyone Else Who Is Suggesting That The Government Should Be Able To Keep Someone From Buying A Gun By Placing Them On A “No-Fly List”
What I have not seen yet is an actual deconstruction of the events that took place well before the self-proclaimed radical set his sights on the Pulse night club. Furthermore, once again one side immediately attributes the root cause of mass shootings to an inanimate object that has the capability to inflict substantial casualties or, as the New York Times editorial(s) puts it, Republican rhetoric that fuels hate toward the LGBT community and other minorities and that the pro-gun lobby is complicit in facilitating these horrific events. It seems to me that such rhetoric fuels the intransigence by the pro gun side to stick to their guns, so to speak.
Whether it’s the NRA and the millions people that make up its membership, or non-gun owners who would not know an automatic weapon from a semi- automatic weapon used by the military both sides are arguing from a state of fear.
At the heart of the problem is how do we combat that fear without sacrificing the very freedoms we want to protect. We aid, abet and give comfort to our enemies when we fight internally over these issues. By dividing us they distract us from their activities; so they win a tactical advantage. By causing us to sacrifice our fundamental freedoms they win some battles. When they force our retreat into isolation they win the war.
Irrespective of what we call it, radical Islamists or simply extremists we do know the name of the organizations that seek to inflict as much death and destruction to the civilians living in western Europe, Israel and the United States. Each has a name and a state of war can be declared on each one.
I am interested to know if an actual state of war is declared by Congress could we have more flexibility in dealing with individuals – citizens and non-citizens alike – who conspire to do harm without sacrificing our cultural values and our Constitution that makes us who we are? Could we use existing espionage laws to level charges against those operatives we find that aid and abet the declared enemy? Could we hold those that profess allegiance to our declared enemy as enemy combatants, i.e. POW’s? Why should we focus on a broad class of people when our focus should be on the few?
As I see it rather than focusing on the methods of destruction we should focus on how do we mitigate the planning and execution of acts of terror. If we interrupt the planning we prevent the execution and resultant damage caused by foreign agents, irrespective of their citizenship, to inflict great damage.
One final thought. For those that argue that the 2nd amendment only envisioned the populace only owing muskets and not semi automatic AR 15’s. I should point out that operative word is arms not muskets. If they meant only muskets they would have said only muskets, but the framers understood that weapons technology would advance hence the general word arms was used.
Furthermore, given that muskets were the state of the art technology at the time and used by the British and Revolutionary armies such an argument could also mean that the framers meant that the civilian population should be entitled to possess equivalent armaments to combat any oppressive government.