Writing for CNN, Columbia University ProfessorJeffrey Sachs took time from his busy schedule to offer a “modest proposal on guns.” Professor Sachs is too modest. For anyone who cherishes their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, the academic’s proposal is about as inoffensive as burning a flag at a VFW convention . . .
Let’s be clear about Professor Sach’s goal: “Focus the protection of the Second Amendment on keeping nonmilitary arms at home for self-defense, while putting an escalating standard of protection on other kinds of arms and uses.”
Because the Second Amendment only protects non-military firearms from government infringement. Anyway . . .
Here is an example of a regulation that could provide an effective compromise. If individuals want to own semi-automatic assault weapons, either as collectors or for practice shooting, then enforce a provision that such weapons can only be kept at legally registered shooting ranges or other registered depositories, and cannot be removed from the designated premises.
Similarly, if individuals want to use unusual high-powered weapons for hunting, and if such weapons are deemed to be acceptable for hunting purposes, then require that the hunters collect their weapons from a registered hunting depot and redeposit them after hunting, with the guns and ammunition properly accounted for. Or if gun enthusiasts want to visit gun shows, then fine, but purchases of regulated weapons would have to be delivered to designated sites, such as shooting ranges or hunting depots.
Gun ownership at home would be protected, according to the protections recognized in Heller. Gun ownership more broadly would also be protected, for hunting and sports shooting, but subject to protective regulation. We would end the day when a madman could lawfully own and keep powerful assault weapons wherever they like, and then carry them at will to a chosen location to murder those gathered, but still recognize the right of Americans to own, collect and shoot their weapons for lawful purposes.
How does that grab you? Speaking of which, to enforce this “compromise” the government would have to grab millions of guns. And millions of gun owners would go the “cold dead hands” route when directed to remove their firearms from their homes.
To be fair, Professor Sachs knows his so-called compromise sucks. Like so many gun control advocates, he takes rhetorical refuge in the “if it saves just one life” argument.
Would this compromise end gun deaths? Of course not, since so many gun deaths occur at home among family and friends. And criminals would still evade the law, no doubt, so that we would as always depend on police forces for protection of persons and property.
Would such regulations inconvenience gun owners? Yes, modestly, but not unreasonably. Would such an approach offer some relief to a society that is suffering an epidemic of deaths from mass shootings, random gun violence, and rising fear? Yes, it would.
How does he know that? How does Professor Sachs know anything? Does he know anything?
Well, he now knows that CNN will publish just about any pro-gun control rubbish. Something we’ve known for a long time.