There will at last be serious gun and ammo control legislation adopted by Congress.

Well, at least I HOPE there will be.

And if there isn’t ? If nothing is done, yet again, or if only tiny tweaks are enacted, we are truly finished a a nation of laws. Maybe even personally dead.

In what kind of cockamamie society can an 18 year old kid go into a store and buy two military-grade weapons, ammo, and body armor, with no background check, and no waiting period — no nothing — and then go and shoot up a shopping mall, a school, a church ? Is this really real ? Why do we allow it ? Have we a death wish ?

I think we do have a death wish. After all, this is the same society in which about twenty percent of adults willingly, even defiantly, rejected masks and vaccination, risking death by Covid. What do you call 200,000 entirely preventable Covid deaths but a death wish ?

Death by gun is now the number one cause of death for American young people. Yet we do nothing. What other conclusion can I draw but that we as a nation prefer to see our young people shot dead than to stop the gun stuff ?

But maybe, just maybe, this time it will be different. Congress appears to want to enact at, least, some gun controls. Even some Republicans, hitherto owned by the gun extortionists, sound fed up. Perhaps the death wish isn’t working for them ?

But enough of what Congress might do. Let’s list the steps they SHOULD do :

( 1 ) require background checks for ALL purchases of guns or ammunition; establish and enforce a two week waiting period after purchase and before delivery

( 2 ) raise the minimum gun or ammo purchase ageb to 21.

( 3 ) require purchasers of guns or ammo to maintain $ 1 million of liability insurance

( 4 ) repeal the immunity from lawsuit presently enjoyed by manufacturers of guns or ammo

( 5 ) ban permanently the sale or private possession of military-style weapons and ammo; take by eminent domain, properly compensated, all such weapons currently in private possession

( 6 ) require all first time purchasers of a gun or ammo to undergo training by a licensed trainer of same, as a pre-condition of being licensed to own same

( 7 ) ban the carrying of any weapon by any person except under either militia regulation or strictly individual rules

( 8 ) enact a so-called “red flag” law;

( 9 ) guns or ammunition legally owned must be kept at all times under lock and key. None should ever, under any circumstances, be loaded in the presence of minors. Confirmed, repeated violation thereof must be grounds for revocation of such license to own as said violator may have

It should be national policy to advocate and advertise gun and ammunition safety rules and the responsibility of owners to self-enforce them. Ownership of even legally possessed guns and ammo should be discouraged and advertised as such.

As for the NRA position, that everybody should be allowed to own any sort of weapon and brandish them anywhere and whenever: Western civilization got past this state of anarchy in the 12th and 13th Centuries, when the kings took control of their realm’s peace. We are not going back to the “war of all against all,” no matter how fervently the gun and ammo manufacturers desire it. Nor are we going to exchange Constitutional law for gun anarchy ruled by King Trump.


The question arises, what about the Second Amendment to our Constitution ? To me, this is no issue at all. The meaning of the Amendment is clear : it seeks to establish the eligibiity of all citizens to serve in a public body of societal defense, subject tyo rigorous regulation, and granting to all such eligibles a collective, but not an individual, right to bear arms in said militia. That is all that the Amendment meant to the framers, who wnated to avoid having a professional body of troops such as the British employed aginst us in the Revolution. Which said, this intention went by the boards when, in 1917, we instituted a national draft, and during and after World War II, when we established and supported a standing army. Today the Amendment governs only service in a State’s national Guard.

It grants NO individual rights at all. The 1688 English Bill of Rights, from which writing was taken the language of our Amendment, specified an individual right. That language was left out of our Amendment. End of story.

Zealots for universal gun ownership by individuals speak of having to defend themselves. Against what ? What or who are they afraid of ? so afraid that they countenance the constant slaughter of children and others by gun crazies ? WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF ? Or better yet, ask, WHO are they afraid of ?

I think we all know the answer. It ain’t pretty. It violates every American principle most of us swear to. It is nasty and it is ripe bigotry.

It cannot go on.

—- Mike Freedbenrg / Here and Sphere