Some brief thoughts on the issue of gun control in America.
There is a problem in modern society allowing for grandiose spree gun killings. While the complicit are multitudinous, and not all (or even most) may be amended, their consideration is sophistry; something must be done in the breach.
Gun owners fear that constrictions upon ownership are but a slippery slope to confiscation of their weapons. To the concern that no one needs a black rifle they say, "Yes, and no one needs to drink soda, but they do." They say cars are deadly weapons, too, and can cause mass deaths; they do, but the deaths are usually unintentional. Ditto if one decides to gorge himself on either food or possessions -- one is responsible for oneself only, and the price of such indulgence will be paid by him alone.
Murder is the ultimate deprivation of human rights; once dead, there is no amending of the action. No atonement will undo the offense. If we claim each life is sacred, then it is grotesque hypocrisy to say that spree killing is the price of freedom. Crimes of passion, gang killings, revenge and the whole sorry lot of it can be understood; however, random spree killings cannot be rationalized.
The gunnies will tell you the 1927 Bath school killing --which killed 38 elementary school students and six adults -- was done with explosives, and they are correct; there are many ways to kill. But for this moment, there is a problem which may be reduced via proper control of the machine used to kill. The United States should manage the training, licensing and authorization of those who wish to be armed.
Just as freedom of speech is reined in to protect the innocent (with libel and slander laws), so must the right to bear arms be controlled inasmuch as possible in order to protect the innocent. Of course laws only work as protection when society agrees to comply, but perhaps the deterrent value of guaranteed jail time would ensure that many of these weapons would not make it into the hands of the deranged or malignant.
Canada does not often get a nod from the United States, but some of their policies regarding gun ownership are correct. Since guns are sold with locks in the U.S., it should be mandatory that they are locked once in the home, and the gun and ammunition should be secured. If there is a member of the household with a known mental health issue, there should be a special mandatory sentencing of that gun owner should that weapon be used by that household member in a criminal manner.
The Second Amendment has customarily been equated with the right to individual gun ownership. While I do not see the reason for anyone to own a semi-automatic weapon, I also support the Constitution and all rights which issue therefrom. While the right itself should not be infringed, the manner in which weapons are licensed, sold and stored should be amended to ensure the utmost protection for our citizens, and that is not currently being done.
Mandatory firearms safety training courses for anyone buying a gun, better background checks, securing the weapon and ammunition in the home ... these are starting places, but changes must be enacted lest we are willing to live in a real-life violent video game. The gunnies say spree shootings are a price we must be willing to pay in order to live free.
That is not the sort of freedom I recognize.