By Brian Villalba
Any ban of assault rifles is wrong.
A ban would take legislative energy away from solving the real problems with firearms. The real problems stem from lack of enforcement and lack of regulation.
The gun culture in this country can coexist with regulation because most gun owners are law-abiding citizens. The actual assault is on the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment is one of the few that has been vigorously defended. We have allowed the First Amendment, due process and habeas corpus to be eroded.
This is not a partisan issue either since both parties have violated the Bill of Rights. The assault rifle ban is as close to a direct violation of the Second Amendment as you can have.
The second amendment clearly says that, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” A well regulated militia in 1789 consisted of trained musket riflemen. Today, a well regulated militia would use a reliable and modern rifle like the AR 15.
The right to bear arms has expanded beyond that of the Second Amendment. Hunters vigorously defend their sport, but there is not much sport in killing an animal with a rifle. Killing any living thing with a firearm is more like murder than sport.
At least a bow and arrow provides some sporting challenge.
The problem with the hunter rhetoric is that bolt action rifles, not assault rifles, are used for hunting. The assault rifle ban has nothing to do with hunting.
In spite of the massive appeals to emotion, the Sandy Hook killings were not the fault of the assault rifle, but the system that allowed any firearm to be in the hands of a person unqualified to own one. The villain is not the assault rifle.
The Columbine massacre didn’t entail a single assault rifle. The villains are the murderers and the people who exploit emotional issues for personal and political gain.
There must be a minimum acceptable standard for owning a firearm. A gun license should be comparable in regulation to a driving license.
This will not punish the law-abiding citizen for their guns. This will allow them to own their guns while demonstrating the merits of ownership.The gun license should include a psychological evaluation, or screening, proficiency testing, general knowledge, and safety knowledge and testing.
If the argument is made that gun violence is driven by illegal guns and not law-abiding citizens, then it should be pointed out that the enforcement of illegal guns does nothing to justify an assault rifle ban.
If enforcement is to be actually taken to a higher standard, then the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is going to need more agents to enforce gun laws across the entire country.
A person can not honestly say that they care for the enforcement of gun laws and regulations without the empowerment and funding of the ATF to new elevated standards.
Targeting illegal gun consumers and not the black markets from which the guns come from feeds the type of fear mongering that has led to absurd rhetoric on both sides of this issue.
If Second Amendment issues are ever to be resolved, then there must be genuine enforcement, sensible regulation that is similar to a driver license and a focus on the actual problems we are faced with. The National Rifle Association (NRA) does not help its cause in the long term by fear mongering that President Obama is going to take their guns.
It is not a solution to arm a teacher with a gun if they don’t know how to use it. That makes the situation more dangerous.
It may sell more guns and ammunition, but it will not make us safe.
The assault rifle ban is an exploitation of public anger and fear which are used for political gain. Those public emotions should be used to move towards real solutions.