Congress is too cowardly to oppose the NRA


Isn’t it clear by now that a disturbed person, armed and bent on mass shooting, will kill and wound far fewer people with an assault weapon with clips of 6 or 10 rounds instead of 100? Isn’t it more likely that he will be taken down reloading after 6 or 10 rounds? The lone killer in the Aurora, Co., theater, with the advantage of the 100-round clip, was able to account for 12 dead and 59 wounded. It is so sad and shameful that neither this horrific event nor others like it in recent months will move our Congress to establish national standards at even the timid level of limiting assault weapon clips to 6 or 10 rounds.

Any sane and humane culture would restrict the possession of assault weapons to the military and certain special police forces, but here in America, we can’t even establish a rounds limit on weapons available to civilians. The assault rifle is designed for military engagements where the object is to kill lots of enemies in a short time. What right does a private citizen have to such weapons? The NRA and its supporters will point to the Second Amendment, but ignore the limiting language of the first part of the amendment, a restrictive cause the founding fathers were careful to include: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state ....” Here “state” means country, a nation. This clause plus Section 8, Items 15 and 16, of Article I, delineating the powers of Congress, form the constitutional foundation for the National Guard. But the NRA behaves as though the restrictive part of the Second Amendment means nothing. They stubbornly oppose even the most moderate forms of gun control.

Robert Bork, one of the most conservative legal scholars ever nominated for the Supreme Court, maintains that “The Second Amendment guarantees militias to the states, not guns to individuals.” Civilian gun possession is subject to control. Too bad our present Congress is just too cowardly to oppose the NRA and do the right thing.

Denton May