- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
I think that an originalist like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would appreciate the argument that when the Second Amendment was ratified, people had single-shot firearms so anyone who wants can have a single-shot firearm and that would be all that is required to comply with the Constitution.
Among the other entertaining views are those that people need a firearm for self-defense. Unfortunately, more homeowners die from their own guns than are able to defend their homes with one.
The idea that it makes the carrier of a firearm immune from lethal force is not true. I see the appeal of the view, but there is no evidence that it is true. There are plenty of people carrying guns who have been killed by someone else, not necessarily with a gun. The ability to use force to defend oneself from force relies on the willingness of the user to either fire first, creating its own problems of justified use, or fire second, creating the problem of whether the first one to fire removes the ability of the second to return fire.
While a knife will kill just as readily as a gun, whether wielded by a child or an 80-year-old, it is clearly more difficult to kill with a knife and much harder to use a knife on a second person if one is present.
If we want to reduce violence in our society (I am not sure that is a universal desire), then we have to make it harder for violent people to be violent.
As appealing as the logic is of a good man with a gun protecting us from a bad man with a gun, we already have police to do that. The idea that we already have so many guns that we can’t do anything about it is always disappointing to hear because that logic means we don’t do anything simply because it is too hard. If something should be done, then it ought to be done now.
Bill Wetmore, Waldorf