Article One Section Eight (The constitution talking about Congress’s power)
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
Article two section two: (Talking about the President as the Head of the Military)
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;…
The second amendment (Talking about the right to bear arms)
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.
I’m not a constitutional scholar, but thank god we have one in the white house. To my mind by looking at these pieces of the constitution together a few things become apparent. We as a country were supposed to maintain (ie always have) a Navy. When needed Congress would be able to raise an Army, and WELL REGULATED militias could be federalized when necessary. Because of the need for WELL REGULATED militias especially without a standing army we have the second amendment.
Of course we do have a standing Army we also have WELL REGULATED militias in the National Guard.
That being said, this is not a letter about taking away the guns from citizens who are not members of the military or National Guard. This is a post about regulating guns. The word regulation is right there in the second amendment. If we want to say that the second amendment give anyone the right to own a weapon, then shouldn’t we also acknowledge the words WELL REGULATED?
So how do we do this? In addition to not being a constitutional scholar, I also don’t have all the answers, but I do have ideas.
Treat guns like cars. When we come of age to drive we first musts get a permit and learn how to use a car responsibly. We are then tested to see if we can be trusted behind the wheel of a car on our own.
Require permits for those who want a gun. That permit entitles the holder to enter into a gun shop, take gun safety classes, and and fire a gun on the premises to learn how to handle a gun. When that person has passed these steps he or she gets a gun license and then can purchase a gun from a licensed gun store.
Require guns be insured. I have to insure my car in case I should hurt someone or someone’s property with it, require the same of gun owners. Insurance premiums can vary based on type of gun (I’d argue that certain guns should be banned, but if not make the premium to insure them high). There can also be ways to get discounts on your gun insurance bill. Keep your gun in a locked gun safe when it’s not on your person? Good for you, you get an insurance discount. If you use your gun for self defense and need to go to court your insurance can cover the cost of a lawyer. If someone else uses your gun to hurt people and you haven’t reported it stolen, you are held responsible. Get too gun happy and have too many infractions? Lose your license to carry a gun.
However, this isn’t just about guns. It’s also about the health of our people. Mental Illness needs to be addressed. Insurance companies need to treat mental illnesses in the same ways that they treat physical illnesses. If you are sick and go to a doctor that doctor will treat you and continue treating you until you are better. In Mental Health if a person is lucky enough to be able to see mental health professional at all the emphasis is on brief therapy. Can some people be helped in a limited number of sessions? Yes. But for severe persistant mental illness long term on going therapy and affordable medication is a necessity. We also as a society need to work to de-stigmatize seeking help for mental illness.
Will any of this be easy? No. Is all of this necessary? Yes.
I’ll be sending some version of this to my governor state senator and representatives, as well as my federal senator and representative, and POTUS. I encourage everyone else to do the same.