Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown and Gun Control

My brother is mentally ill.  Onset at age 18, and he will be mentally all his life.  Tried to kill himself with a knife when he was 19.  Used to look longingly at my dad's shotgun.  Dad rendered it unshootable, if that is a word, but my brother told me that he could have always fixed it and shot somebody.  He was more interested in shooting himself.

So, you combine a mentally ill kid with any access whatsoever to guns, if he snaps, bad things are going to occur.  The best you can really hope for is that he just kills himself, or he kills only one person and then kills himself.

I view banning guns as a lost cause.

The fairly recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion regarding D.C.'s ban on handguns makes the current constitutional status of gun ownership rather difficult to overcome.  Basically, no political entity may ban handguns since Antonin Scalia and 4 others believe that the framers of the constitution wanted people to be able to "dial the phone with one hand and shoot with the other."   I guess they were pretty forward thinking, those guys.

Scalia refused to even set a "time, place and manner" restrain on weapons ownership.  He also failed to explain if there was any weapon of any sort that could be banned (remember, it is the right to bear "arms" not "guns").  The logical conclusion of his awfully open analysis is that you may have any weapon necessary to repel a government takeover of your home.  So - tank, bazooka, mortar, RPG launcher.   Anything the government has, you may have.

And do not forget that in the South and most of the West that there is no desire to band guns AT ALL.  They view gun deaths as a cost of doing business, much like First Amendment folks view pornography and Nazi propaganda - if you want the good thing, it comes with some bad things. 

So what is left?  Maybe just give up.

I guess the only thing that is really left is to regulate the matter by insurance or taxation.  So, if your gun is used in a crime, your insurer needs to pay.  They have no insurance and cannot pay - you go to jail.  Your gun is stolen?  You have to report that theft before the crime occurs.   Every gun sold in the U.S. comes with a $1,000 tax that the manufacturer must pay to the government, to be put in a fund for gun victims. 

Maybe if it was really expensive for the mother in Newtown to have a gun, she wouldn't have had 5.

Sadly, I see no public appetite or political appetite for gun control.  Ronald Reagan and James Brady were shot in 1981 or 1982.  I have not looked it up.  The Brady Bill did not pass at any time when the Republicans controlled the Presidency.  It was only in 1994 when Clinton was President.  12+ years. 
A major Republican figure and his aide were gunned down on the street - no response.  So maybe if there is a landslide Dem election in 2026, we will get some response.

1 comment:

RKG said...

March of 1981-- I was still in HS. (By "major Reubilican figure"-- I think you mean THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!)