Now that we’re talking once again openly and relatively urgently — once again! — about gun control legislation, I want to offer an argument that I believe doesn’t get as much attention as it should.
Nearly 30 people are dead after massacres in El Paso and Dayton. Donald Trump has called for “urgent action” to stem gun violence. The nation once again is horrified at the actions of two individuals motivated apparently by vastly different reasons, but whose actions have brought untold misery and heartache to us all.
I believe in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I have read it zillions of times. Although I believe it is worded awkwardly and can be interpreted in any number of ways, it does say that the right to bear arms is guaranteed to all U.S. citizens.
Does that constitutional guarantee act as a barrier against what some might call a “slippery slope” argument opposing efforts to “register” firearms owners? I believe it does.
I’ve heard a bit of social media chatter about how gun registration necessarily leads to “confiscation” of firearms. I want to shoot that argument down — pun very much intended.
The Second Amendment’s language, in my view, prohibits confiscation. Thus, to allow the government to confiscate firearms would require repealing or amending the Second Amendment. Does anyone with half a brain believe that is going to happen, even in the wake of this deadly back-to-back outburst over the weekend? Of course they do not.
Therefore, I maintain my belief that there are legislative remedies available to help stem this epidemic of gun violence. Universal background checks is a start. There might be a registration component to consider as well.
As for the “slippery slope,” the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment acts as an impenetrable barrier to prevent us from sliding too far down that slope. It doesn’t preclude wise men and women in government from doing what they can to legislate a cure for the scourge that is killing too many innocent people.