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Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment reads:
"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." (Since different versions of the original Bill of Rights capitalize that differently, I left it all down).

I hold that this establishes an individual right of firearm ownership. However, and my life-member of the NRA father might disagree, I recognize several needs to regulate:
1. Felons: people that have shown a willingness to violate the law by committing felonies should forfeit certain rights. It's odd that some people want felons free to own guns, but not free to vote. The right to vote should only be suspended during incarceration, and forfeited for crimes directly against the governing of the US. Firearms ownership should be lost to all violent felons, and to embezzling CEOs, just because.
2. Certain types of weaponry: There is very little demonstrable need for the average person to own a fully-automatic machine gun. Or a rocket launcher.
3. Minors: we should not allow people we don't trust with cars to carry firearms.
4. I also support mandatory firearm safety classes in schools. Beginning in elementary school. (hey, California 1st Graders are learning about sex and homosexuality) At that age, children should be taught that firearms are tools that have one purpose, and that purpose is to kill either animals or people. Children should be taught to leave firearms alone, and to call 911 if they see a gun just laying around. Police should respond, take the weapon, and then, if the owner comes to claim it, require a safety training before they give it back. Kids will encounter guns, we need to teach them responsibility. (and for those of you freaking out about that, realize that most school sex-ed classes are based on the same principle. Do you object to those? It amazes me that people who object to abstinence-only sex-ed assume that ignore-the-gun is the best plan.)
5. I support mandatory safety training for concealed-carry permits. States may set their own standards, and the federal government can set a standard for a national permit.
6. In conjunction with CC permits, fingerprints of the carrier, ballistic testing of the primary weapon should be taken. This will deter criminal application.

I also believe in the responsibility of communities to maintain community-based militia/security arrangements. This should include weaponry denied to everyday citizens, and is more than just the National Guard. Don't forget that the National Guard can be placed under Federal command with a stroke of a pen. We forget that Lexington and Concord were essentially battles fought over weapons ownership. The British tyrants knew that armed colonists were a threat, and that people without guns were easier to abuse. Throughout history, we see that enslaved and oppressed peoples are first and always denied the right to arms. The Framers and Founders recognized that to keep America free, to prevent the government from becoming a tyranny, the people needed to be able to fight for themselves. Otherwise, you have neither a free state or a secure one.


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