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Reply #2: Good summary - I have one minor problem with it [View All]

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-05 11:57 AM
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2. Good summary - I have one minor problem with it
Edited on Wed Jan-05-05 11:58 AM by slackmaster
Any time you cast the right of civilians to own guns as protected by the Second Amendment you set yourself up for a non-productive discussion on the intent of its authors, what the courts have said about it historically, and what it means or should mean in the current context. The real problem with federal gun control is that it rests on a shaky foundation - Federal power granted by the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution, stretched beyond recognition. You can see that starting to crack when you read the fine print of recent proposals to "close the gun-show loophole". The federal government simply has no business regulating activity that is neither interstate nor commerce.

There is no federal minimum age to drink alcohol and it has no power to do so, but all the states have managed to set it at 21. The federal government used its powers of persuasion by controlling the purse strings on federal highway funds to achieve that standard. The same principle can be applied to gun regulations, e.g. the IMO reasonable prohibitions against convicted felons, etc. having guns.

I say if the Supreme Court won't directly address the meaning of the 2A (as it has been conspicuously avoiding for decades), then leave that out of the dialogue. Our nation is founded on the idea that we are independent and free people who decide for ourselves what to say, own, believe, do, and how to live. The basic human rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness are sufficient of a foundation for a right to keep and bear arms. Objects should never be regulated unless they pose a hazard all by themselves, e.g. chemical, biological, and nuclear materials. Guns become a problem only when a human intentionally or negligently mis-uses them. Laws and enforcement should focus on criminal misuse.

We as Democrats should enshrine personal liberty in all aspects of life. When I joined the party in 1976 I thought that was one of our core values. We seem to have forgotten that along the way, and it has cost us dearly.

Thanks for taking the time to express your views.
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