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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:37 AM

 

Gun Control? We Need Domestic Disarmament (Huffington Post) [View all]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amitai-etzioni/gun-control-we-need-domes_b_2718536.html

Nowhere is the defeatist liberal approach to American politics more evident than in the post-Newtown campaign for gun control. Liberals are rushing to repeat, like a devout incantation, hand on one's heart, that "we believe in the Second Amendment" -- in an "individual's right to own a gun." Half of the legal and moral battle is lost right there and then. Instead, liberals should emphasize that throughout the total American legal history until 2008, the Supreme Court -- which at times has been very conservative -- has always held that the right to own guns belongs not to the individual but, as the Second Amendment states, to a "well regulated militia." (For details on the cases involved, go here). That the right to own guns is a communitarian right, not an individualized one. True, the Roberts Court recently ruled otherwise, but liberals are still free to urge the court to reconsider this ruling and fashion arguments that will make it easier for the Court to fall back in line with all who preceded it. It would also help to recall that other civilized societies hold that the fewer guns there are out there, the fewer people will be murdered by guns.

...

As someone who fired guns for over two years in combat, I hate to tell you that the conservatives are right when they argue that banning big magazines and assault rifles -- the current "liberal" opening gambits -- will make very little difference. It takes only a second or so to replace an empty magazine with a loaded one, and there are so many assault rifles out there that it would take at least a generation (assuming no new ones were sold nor imported nor smuggled in nor stolen from military bases) before these guns would become significantly less available than they are at present.

...

A true liberal position, the place to start, is to call for domestic disarmament. That is the banning of the sale of all guns to private parties coupled with a buyback of those on the street (Mexico just moved to so control guns). Collectors can keep their guns as long as they remove the firing pin or fill the barrel with cement. Gun sports can be allowed -- in closed shooting ranges. And hunters can be allowed to have long guns (if they pass background checks) with no scopes, which are not sporting. But, these exceptions aside, liberals should call for a gun-free nation and point out the much lower murder rates and fewer deaths due to accidental discharge of fire arms found in those civilized nations where most guns have been removed from private hands -- and often even from those of the police.

(excerpt, full article at link)

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Reply Gun Control? We Need Domestic Disarmament (Huffington Post) [View all]
Peter cotton Feb 2013 OP
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