Obama wipes away tears as he calls for new gun measures … The president gets emotional as he remembers Sandy Hook victims and fiercely calls for more rights for those vulnerable to gun violence. – Politico
Dominant Social Theme: Once we get guns out of the hands of the people we can worry about knives … and fists.
Free-Market Analysis: The story is all over the news. More gun control. This time, Barack Obama is initiating it via executive orders.
Let's examine reasons this argument in the US over gun control is continually evolving amidst a good deal of vitriol and media noise. Then let's suggests some other reasons why this may be taking place.
One of the most controversial measures is Obama's idea that the act of selling even a single gun effectively makes you a gun dealer and subject to federal registration.
We're not quite sure the executive office can promulgate directives for individuals. Surely there are questions about all of it, beginning with the following statement:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Here is Merriam Webster's definition of "infringe."
To wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person's rights)
In 2008 the Supreme Court declared that the right to carry a gun was a personal right. (One wonders what took them so long given that literature surrounding the development of the Second Amendment is apparently fairly clear.)
But the Court also said the following: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." In other words, the government could impose "reasonable regulation."
A normal person looking at the Second Amendment would probably conclude that it means what is says – that government cannot stop people from buying, selling, owning and using weapons.
But in introducing the caveat "reasonable regulation," the Court probably left the argument as muddy as before.
And Obama, late in his second term, is not one to miss an opportunity. Here's more from the Politico article:
President Barack Obama wept openly Tuesday as he delivered a forceful defense of new executive actions on gun violence, a set of modest proposals to tighten loopholes that likely face quick legal challenges and could be vulnerable to reversal by a Republican White House. The president ran through a list of mass shootings that have happened during his time in office, and teared up as he recalled the schoolchildren gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
… Obama brushed off criticism that he did not respect the Second Amendment, citing his past as a constitutional law professor. "No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it," he said. "But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment."
How is "reasonable regulation" consistent with "rights shall not be infringed." Regulation ALWAYS infringes on rights. Here is the definition of "regulation" from Merriam Webster:
An official rule or law that says how something should be done.
One finally realizes that "laws" and "regulations" are merely talking points until powerful social facilities mandate them. And in realizing this, one must accept that these facilities are "right" because they are powerful. In other words, though it is somehow fashionable to maintain that Western nation-states are "societies of laws," the question that lingers is "who provides them with power?"
Other questions that are being increasingly raised in the 21st century include those that have to do with the legitimacy of the Constitution itself: Why is it, for instance, that untold hundreds of millions are bound to the legalisms of a 250-year-old piece of parchment?
The larger argument in modern times has become so debased that we no longer discuss whether rights should be restricted in advance of criminal actions. In other words, if one does something wrong, one ought to be punished, presumably, by the innocent parties themselves or by the larger community on which the deed has had an impact.
But gun control, like so many other matters, has devolved into an argument over who MIGHT use a gun in malicious ways. As it is impossible to determine who MIGHT do something in advance of the occurrences, the issue is bound to remain contentious like so many others.
One could argue, and increasingly in this Internet era people are, that Western jurisprudence long ago took a wrong turn. The legal and legislative system would be a good deal simpler and more effective if it restricted itself to actions actually taken.
There are many moral and constitutional arguments that militate against gun grabbing. But the argument, as we have seen, involves power (who has it and who can wield it) as much as it involves logic, or even more so.
One can even argue that those behind the constitutional facilities of the US government are happy to see the argument continually raised and even expanded.
At the end of the Politico article there are some very lucid feedbacks that point out Obama's executive orders are both mild and easily reversible given that they are executive, not legislative ones.
Even the Politico article itself acknowledges that, stating, "Likewise, the actions rolled out on Tuesday are not expected to have a huge impact."
The National Rifle Association and others reacted to Obama's announcement by claiming that he was acting to deflect attention from the administration's lack of success in creating a cogent national plan to defeat "terror" domestically as well as abroad.
In fact, the article informs us that the NRA is running ads nationwide that warn of "a government that would disarm us during the age of terror."
And yet another cogent Politico feedback contains the following insight:
There are over 300 million handguns in the hands of the population already, does he think this will make a difference? All it will do is to explode sales once again, as every time he opens his mouth about guns, millions more are sold and so is ammunition. He has become the greates weapons salesman in the USA. [sic]
The language used in the Second Amendment seems fairly clear (but then again, we're not lawyers). Obviously, there are groups that want gun grabbing to continue and to expand regardless of the language of the US founding document.
Additionally, Obama's announcement seems fairly mild when it comes to gun grabbing. And unless this administration or another is prepared to CONFISCATE guns, the reason to put forward more gun control legislation seems dubious at best. There are plenty of guns around.
One can venture to propose, therefore, that the real reason for US gun control is to keep the proverbial "pot boiling." With so many legitimate issues to deal with and discuss, the national conversation has once more degenerated into a vicious, futile argument over who is going to remove what from whom.
Beware, the dysfunction of the US legislative system is getting worse. An even more controversial observation: It often seems as if it is planned that way.
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