The majority wants common-sense gun laws


Advocates of gun ownership as an absolute right weaken their case when they deliberately subvert the real issues by quibbling about statistical studies. Virtually all statistical reports are close approximations of the results of designed investigations of specific opinions and behavior as reflected in representative samplings. Recent polls show that 74 percent of Americans support a ban on military-type assault weapons, limited rounds in magazines, and background checks on all civilian gun purchases. Allowing for the normal margin of error, whether the 74 percent should be 71 percent or 77 percent does nto alter the fact that the great majority of Americans, including the NRA membership, want some commonsense gun control laws - national uniform laws, not the various state varieties. The Constitution says nothing about automobile ownership - for obvious reasons - but we require drivers to pass tests and register their autos - common sense safety for "we the people" in citing a Supreme Court ruling the absolutists are treading on thin ice, since many a court has made bad decisions - witness the recent "Citizens United" ruling - that get overturned by later more sensible courts. Even now, Justice Scalia, the most conservative member of the present court, has publicly stated that the Second Amendment does not give civilians the right to possess military-style weapons. Statistical quibbles do not change the fact that the untied States leads the world in murders, the number of guns in circulation among civilians, and the manufacture and sale of guns.

The absolute right crowd refuses to consider that the Second Amendment is embedded in the historical context of the late 18th Century, and reflects the concerns of an infant nation. The opening restrictive clause of the Amendment closely yokes gun ownership to the need for militias in reserve under control of the federal government. The leader of this crowd, a fading Wayne LaPierre, has authorized an ad calling Obama a hypocrite for sending his daughters to a protected school, when in fact all presidents' children are mandated for protection (they are targets for kidnappers and terrorists). How sleazy can he get?

Denton May