I think we are at an impasse. Mostly because for most of the world, First world included, the right to bear arms is NOT a right, but a privilege the government can take away. So you and many others see gun restrictions as being reasonable and right.
Personally I don't care that
much (at least for this particular discussion) about what other countries are doing per se
. Except that 1) some countries otherwise fairly comparable in development, civic culture and the like to the US have much lower rates of violent death and 2) it is true that, whatever one thinks of the particular prioritization of rights generally speaking
, practically all rights recognized as such by the law do
get reviewed and managed in certain ways by the US government in various cases. This is nothing particularly new. So comparisons to how other countries have OR have not chosen to regulate weapons are not off the table once you notice those.
Fort me it is different because it IS a right, and it is named up there with the right of the freedom of speech, movement, assembly, religion, due process and others. Right now, rights can be limited in the US, but only under due process, and for most people, on a case by case basis in the courts. You and many pothers would, at the stroke of a pen, limit or outright remove the right of everyone because YOU do not see the 2nd as a right, but a danger. So you would flat out heavily restrict or remove it altogether.
Eh, maybe this works better if you want to quote individual people saying precisely: "We must ban all
guns." And then I'm just assuming that the writers of the 2nd were specifically imagining fire
arms. I don't think it specifically says
so, since you keep pointing to that line over everything else. On the same sort of, 'This trumps everything and this is all they wrote' kind of logic, one could equally well assume
they meant we should have the best weapons available anywhere, petrol bombs and humvees, tanks, and a few MiGs or nukes if one can afford them... And hey those are arms too. How could anyone really argue. They just said 'arms.' 'Well read it, it's in the Constitution, it's that simple.' That's pretty much how you're arguing.
I suppose someone else might
also come along and say fairly enough that as long as one has access to knives, those are arms too, they didn't say
you get guns, but that might be a touch more obviously against historical precedent... Then again, in the days of the writing, 'guns' did not mean multiple accurate rapid shots and many round magazines. Perhaps they didn't intend that
at all. Who the heck knows.
THAT is the danger I see. That is mainly why I see it as an attack on the restricting of a right, of potentially all rights. Because you limit or remove something hundreds of millions of Americans see as an unalienable right,
Stop there for a second. There are lots of things lots of people "see" as this or that, for example quite a few vocal ones still see
God telling them who to marry and who not to... But let's leave that alone a minute unless you mean to make it some mechanical reason to do whatever X number of people say...
I've been over this before in another thread on the subject somewhere. Look at the whole
Second Amendment, not just the part you keep pointing at. They say
you get to be part of a well-organized militia and then
you get to bear arms. Well in the early 20th century, the government defined a well-organized militia as something the Secretary of Defense gets to request and certify. Would you, perhaps, care to argue that the government shouldn't be in a position to be doing this even in the modern era? It might make your argument consistent, but I wonder where that
would leave us too. Or, how do you deal with this part of the text?
If you don't have a recognized militia, how do you get to bear arms? Any two (at least American citizen) Al Qaeda in Minnesota members could gather an arsenal of weapons suitable to rampage/ outright destroy a good-sized school or office building (ahem, they're hardly the only ones), claim they had 'organized themselves' as a militia
and until they bomb someone, hey that's their inalienable right?
Rights are something that every person has, unalienable and (should be) unremoveable. No government grants rights. The fact people believe that is laughable because then it's not a right, but a privilege if it's the government that who has and hasn't rights.
I'd more likely buy this kind of foundation as relevant to gun issues, if there was some obvious, pressing, immediate threat to other rights that concern me as much more basic. I'm more concerned about more people being alive to enjoy rights, than I am about having some more or less general right to gun access getting absolutely equal consideration to that.
IF the whole country was pretty much already overrun and people were already being slaughtered in significant numbers based on ideology or faith or more for sport, etc. (something much more horrible than the numbers kept languishing in Guantanamo, disgusting though those purposefully endless cases sometimes are on principle), then I could say, okay, there's a clear threat to life and liberty
here. And then, we might just begin to think
about which is more dangerous to the fabric of society ---
IF all that were somehow immediately pressing, then which is worse: Having many less than experienced and probably much less organized people
readily able to get assault weapons (please don't quibble there, when we get to 10 rounds a magazine and easily convertible to automatic such as would be used in such situations as I'm talking about already it's an assault, seriously), or allowing the situation to continue and knock off a few hundred people here and there in the name of whatever unsavory purpose until some less bloody order settled in? But in that sort of situation, frankly, I also think things would be so far beyond central control as we know it today, that people would make up their own minds and do what they felt like anyway. Although if they hadn't had some military or at least police experience to begin with, they might have a rather hard time surviving and from there making much of a dent in the social unrest, in the short run.
If the government can restrict/remove them at whim, then it isn't a right. Now as I have said, there can be restrictions, but only on a case by case basis, doing it to entire swaths of the population at the stroke of a pen just because someone, or some group(s) wants to feel safer.
It's been said. Slavery was
the right of a particular class and (largely) ethnic and racial segment (today we often imagine "race" to be skin tone but even then it was not nearly all that simple in law). It was removed, although many still believe it was something that was agreed to and penned down as part of the fabric of the country's compact and therefore no one should have dared to challenge wherever having slaves was taking the whole country.
Here in the US, there are many on the left and in the Democrat party that have in the past and currently, advocated the heavy restriction of the 2nd, or its outright removal as a right. They don't want it to be a right, and they do not trust the people of the US with that right. You and others want it to be harder, if not impossible, for citizens to purchase firearms. I would be willing to take reasonable steps (which we would inevitably differ on what is reasonable), on background checks, You
want "reasonable steps." Quite a few would say you
want it to be harder for citizens to purchase firearms. "But, but the Constitution" they will say. And the difference is??
but many of those who push for gun legislation are pushing for restrictions I do not want or would tolerate because it would make it too hard to be able to purchase a firearm.
Doesn't matter. They'll use precisely the same sort of reasoning you're using here to say don't you dare touch us. And you shouldn't have a leg to stand on against them when they do, because the reasoning defaults to a vague and unstudied line of text in the Bill of Rights without discussing the rest of history very well.
Many people would say there should be no "reasonable steps" such as you specify (wherever you specify them), because their rights to hold just the weapons they have now (as many and as much, shooting as fast and hard as possible!) are absolute and untouchable, look at that single line in the Constitution: everyone
gets to be in that there 'militia.' Except they don't generally want to talk about the militia requirement at all
anymore, because they pretty much aren't a militia these days (except umm for the kind that goes patrolling say, the Mexican border more in defiance of what the Border Patrol says than in support of the present government).