I’m not responsible for the killing spree at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that claimed 49 lives and injured 53 patrons. I did not organize, plan, aid or abet the murderer. I’m not responsible for “fostering a climate of hatred” against gays that may or may not have contributed to Mr. Mateen’s motives. As for my unqualified support for the Second Amendment somehow making it “easy” for Mr. Mateen to purchase a “weapon of war,” well . . .
The United States Constitution clearly and unequivocally prohibits any government regulation regarding the keeping and bearing of firearms. (Note: it does not prohibit regulation of their use.) Background checks? Universal background checks? Ammunition magazine capacity limits? “Assault weapons” bans? “Just cause” caveats for concealed carry? Tax stamps for suppressors or machine guns?
I’d say all these gun control laws are laughably unconstitutional, but this is no joking matter — what with Congress warming up for another pass at federally mandated background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, and a new law to remove gun rights from people on the FBI’s super secret, unaccountable “Terrorist Watch List.”
Anyway, setting aside the FBI’s failure to detain Mr. Mateen despite obvious connections to Islamic terrorists, ignoring the fact that Mr. Mateen passed an FBI background check when purchasing his firearms, don’t gun rights advocates bear some responsibility for Omar Mateen’s “easy access” to a SIG SAUER MCX and GLOCK handgun?
That’s what diehard (with a vengeance) supporters of the Second Amendment want, right? They want all Americans to have “easy access” to guns — including “assault weapons.” That’s where their “absolutist” view of Second Amendment leads. Wouldn’t gun control unplugged create the same “easy access” to firearms for terrorists, psychos and criminals as it would for law-abiding Americans?
Assuming the bad guys weren’t under lock and key…yes. Yes it would. But here’s the thing: there are more of us than there are of them. More good guys who use firearms for recreation, hunting, self-defense, investment, home decoration, defense against government tyranny and any other legal use we can think of, than bad guys who use guns to intimidate, extort, rape, torture and murder innocent citizens.
Even though armed good guys already outnumber armed bad guys by a wide margin, there’s always of room for improvement. The more that Americans with “easy access to guns,” the more they’ll access guns easily, the less the odds of criminal, terrorist or psycho predation.
Yes it’s true: more guns equals less crime. Law-abiding Americans exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms are the best way to combat armed bad guys. Both in terms of deterrence and effective, on-the-spot counter-attack.
As many as one in 20 Americans have a license to carry a concealed firearm. The percentage of Americans carrying concealed is a fraction of that number. Five percent? Then again, if five percent of the (possibly) 800 people in the Pulse nightclub that fateful night had been carrying a firearm, Mr. Mateen would have faced as many as 40 armed defenders.
Question: would 49 people have been killed and 53 others injured in [assumed] crossfire? Doubtful. But if innocents had been killed or injured by armed friendlies in the nightclub, who, ultimately, would have been responsible? Correct. We are all responsible for our own actions, whether we’re spree killers — which we’re not — or armed Americans — which we are. Or should be.