COMMENTARY | We have a huge problem in the United States, one that will become worse if Mitt Romney is elected President and Republicans win a majority in Congress. That problem can be summed up very succinctly: Republicans want to take America back in time to 1787, regressing, instead of progressing, to a world that was much different then, than now.
There are so many other problems that can be derived from that ideology and need to be addressed, but one of America’s most menacing problems is the “right to bear arms.” It’s a misplaced view that we can go back to a time when guns were necessary for free citizens (white men only) to form an army on short notice to defend 13 colonies, and when guns were necessary for survival.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, flip-flopper Mitt Romney, who spoke at the recent National Rifle Association convention, and who as Governor of Massachusetts supported strict gun control measures, is now a newly found supporter of the NRA. Romney has emphasized he owns two shotguns, and has claimed he sometimes hunts “small varmints.” Newt Gingrich, who has committed himself to stay in the race so that he could influence the Republican platform, said he would like to expand gun rights to the entire world. Libertarian/Republican Ron Paul is for no gun control.
Instead of recognizing the need for strict control measures and developing federal regulations that are effective in minimizing guns from getting into the wrong hands, they are intimidated by the NRA because they have considerable control over their purse strings. Someone said that there are not really two political parties but only one: money. And, money is the prominent ideology of Mitt Romney and Republicans, as opposed to Barack Obama and Democrats.
The Republicans fail to recognize that the Constitution’s “practical meaning arises from the continual adaptation of its enduring text and principles to the conditions and challenges facing each generation.” The U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments allowed by Article V in the original document, which recognizes the document may need to be altered as the nation evolves. The first 15 amendments are the venerated Bill of Rights.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution is that part of the Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Americans, under certain conditions, should always have a right to purchase a firearm and keep it as personal property. Just like they always should have the right to buy and drive a car, or buy and use any other legal product.
But some things like automobiles and trucks need to be regulated; drivers need to be tested before licensing. Vehicles need to meet safety requirements, and driving road behaviors need to be controlled. A lethal product such as a gun should not be an exception. And, if sufficient federal regulation and control is not constitutional then the Constitution needs to be amended or the Second Amendment needs to be repealed. It’s not without precedent: the 16th Amendment allows the federal government to collect income tax and the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment that established prohibition in the United States.