States Have the Right To Embrace Gun Control

Polls show that citizens want tougher gun control measures.

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This week, the states of Connecticut and California are proposing some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. And those on the right are outraged.

At the same time, Democrats recently dropped their hope of getting enough votes to ban semi-automatic weapons from being sold in this country to those other than U.S. military or law enforcement. Now, Democrats on a national level are looking into registration and perhaps even taxation for not the weapons, but the ammunition. 

Those on the right are outraged because they feel "they're comin' for our guns!" No, actually, the majority of Americans polled favor universal background checks. And we aren't the boogeyman; the people who obtain guns and massacre groups of innocent people and children are.

Although the NRA and others on the right constantly brandish the Constitution with a red flag coming out of the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment makes no mention of ammunition; also no mention of taxation, registration, licensing, etc. So this is not a violation of the Second Amendment, as those on the right and the NRA claim.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gun control and gun rights.]

And there are those outraged specifically with regard to some of the things that Connecticut is proposing: A ban on certain weapons, registration of certain weapons and ammunition (as is the case in California), and registration for higher power magazines. There are those that say Connecticut is violating the Supremacy Clause, trying to have their state ignore the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment.

Now, I'm quite confused as to that complaint. I grew up in Massachusetts, a state with one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, and a state with strict gun control laws and lower gun ownership. Where was the NRA and the right screaming about Massachusetts violating the Supremacy Clause years ago?

In the state of Connecticut, polls show that by more than 2-1 (63-30 percent), citizens want tougher gun control measures. And actually, the families of the victims of the Newtown shooting wanted an outright ban on all high-capacity magazines; so what Connecticut is proposing is watered down from some of its citizens'  desires. As Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Calif., an avid hunter says, you only use three rounds at a time; who needs 30?

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Should Obama's Gun Control Proposals Be Enacted?]

If you have nothing to hide, then why not register your gun, your ammunition? If you want a gun and ammunition, why not have to pay a tax, as so may of us do for cigarettes and alcohol? What are these gun owners afraid of?

Lastly, many will say these measures would not have prevented the Newtown massacre from happening. I disagree. If the shooter's mother would have had to register her ammunition, or if the assault rifle used to murder those children had been banned in Connecticut, then perhaps the massacre would not have happened, or perhaps one less person would have died. If this legislation in Connecticut passes, is it worth the life of one child??

[Take the U.S. News Poll: Should the Federal Government Pay for Armed Guards in Public Schools?]

I am always told by my buddies on the right that I'm crazy not to own a gun. That guns don't kill, people do...and now, that guns don't kill, the ammunition does. But if all of that is true, then how did Kaufman Texas County Prosecutor Mark Hasse, who had a conceal and carry permit and a gun, get gunned down? And more recently, Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland, who had guns in his home, and was allegedly going for his gun when he was brutally murdered in cold blood?

And if the NRA's solution to all of this is to deal with mental health....specifically how? And who pays for that? Or armed cops in schools? Who pays for that? Who pays to arm and train the teachers? And let's keep in mind that police officers and teachers are union employees, normally thought of as the anti-Christ to the NRA and those on the right. And lastly, if armed police in schools are the answer, then why were the armed guards in Columbine no deterrent to the carnage that resulted in that massacre?

The bottom line is, in my opinion, if a state wants to try to prevent burying more of its children, as Connecticut and California want to do, people have a choice. If you don't like more gun control, then perhaps Connecticut and California aren't the states for you.

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