This is my last post about gun control. I promise. However, I read an interesting piece on economist.com. Read it here.
The post got me re-thinking the vigor of my earlier posts arguing in favor of what many Americans would consider draconian regulation of gun ownership:
- “A concrete proposal for limiting gun ownership”
- “Is gun ownership detrimental to civil society?
- “Some thoughts on gun control”
Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment and point out three reasons why I could be wrong about wanting more stringent gun control laws.
- The United States Constitution appears to guarantee the right to own a firearm.
- Most Americans do not want great regulation of firearms.
- Gun control works for the world we wished we lived in rather than the real world.
Let me unpack these for a moment.
The Constitutional argument. I’m no expert in Constitutional law, but it in 2008 and 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States issued two landmark decisions regarding gun ownership. In District of Columbia v. Heller 554 US 570 (2008) the court ruled that the guarantee of the right to bear arms is not connected with the establishment of a militia. In McDonald v. Chicago 561 US 5031 (2010) the Court ruled that state and local governments are affected the same way by the Second Amendment is Federal government (i.e., local governments must not infringe on the right to bear arms). Together these decisions mean that the law of the land is that each American does have the right to bear arms and that right is not connected with forming or serving in a militia and cannot be infringed on my non-Federal authorities.
The democratic argument. Most Americans do not wish there to be more regulation of firearms. This has to be given more authority that I previously gave it credit for. They may be wrong, but in a democracy the majority governs and the majority clearly wishes to at least have the option to own firearms.
The real world argument. Is it practical to make owning a firearm illegal when there are already hundreds of thousands of guns already owned by private individuals? In a world with guns, many will think it safer or more prudent to themselves have a firearm to protect them.
One thing that I can say with certainty is that there is no “Christian” position on gun ownership. Some Christians will not wish to own them for theological reasons and others, for equally theological reasons, will wish to own them. In the end, our positions probably have more to say about how we read and understand the Constitution and the darkness of the human soul.
What do you think?