When folks hear me speak about gun control, they can’t believe that I vote overwhelmingly (albeit not entirely) Republican. That’s because, for me, consistency is more important than political affiliation.
I am a firm believer in strict gun control laws, just as I strongly favor completion of the wall along our Southern border, and building one along the Northern border too.
Here’s where I can go out and hand a scarlet letter ‘H’ – for Hypocrite – to people by the tens of thousands. I fail to see how someone can be for or against one but not the other.
You see, the basic premise for those supporting gun control and a border wall is that it will do some good. The main opposition finds excuses about why it won’t work. And the hypocrisy is that Donald Trump stands for one and Nancy Pelosi stands for the other. That’s when the USAS – United States of American Sheep – go to their respective corners with their marching orders of what to think and whom to support.
I’ve heard all of the fish stories and, frankly, I don’t buy them.
Starting with gun control, I’ve written on these pages over the years that I fully support the individual right to bear arms. In fact, I disagree with most of my fellow historians and fellow attorneys in that I don’t believe the Second Amendment guarantees that right, but that such right is inherent insofar as it’s what our Founding Fathers and Constitution Framers (they’re mostly but not entirely the same group of people) intended. I think the Second Amendment, in guaranteeing a militia, reaffirms the inalienable right of gun ownership. In other words, even in the unlikely event that the Second Amendment would ever be repealed, that still wouldn’t do away with our right to keep and bear arms. Sorry, but guns are not going away, nor should they. However, it doesn’t mean they are somehow magically immune from regulation.
We have freedoms of speech and expression, but we can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater just for kicks. We also can’t say “go incite an insurrection!” (Apparently, the Democrats have indoctrinated the aforementioned American Sheep to believe that questioning the validity of specific election results is a punishable offense, but that’s another story.) We have freedom of religion, but we can’t say “my faith compels me to rob a Walmart every Friday evening after sunset” and get away with committing that crime. Similarly, our right to keep and bear arms can be limited, just as every other right guaranteed by the Constitution. Sorry to the other side, but your beloved firearm doesn’t get special dispensation.
There should be more ongoing monitoring of the mental and emotional states of gun owners. A perfect example of this is captured in the opening episode of the sixth and final season of the iconic HBO organized crime drama series The Sopranos. The character of Uncle Junior, suffering from dementia, shoots his nephew, Tony, almost fatally, thinking him to be a rival mobster who was killed years earlier. Junior’s dementia prevents him from realizing that, as earlier in the episode he keeps blaming current events on that long-deceased rival. The point is that Junior was in no shape to possess a gun. Of course, the naysayers would point out that, being a mobster, Junior’s gun was most likely illegal to begin with, and that no gun laws would have deterred him from obtaining one. First of all, incredibly strict gun laws – such as quadrupling the punishment for those who buy and sell guns illegally – might prevent a lot of illegal purchases, and second, the example certainly applies in cases where legal owners’ mental acuity has been severely compromised. When “it’s time to take the car keys away from dad,” do the kids think to take his gun away too? Speaking of which, I’m also not in favor of drivers getting their license at age 17 and never having to take another road test again for the rest of their lives – but that’s another topic.
Background checks should also take longer. And if someone’s after you and you need a gun right away, this is not the O.K. Corral. Call the cops, hide, or flee. Needing a gun immediately for an anticipated gunfight is an absurd mindset in a purportedly civilized 21st Century nation.
Next, when the critics point to Chicago – overrun by gun laws but riddled by violent crime anyway – as an example, I challenge them to consider that without those gun laws, Chicago’s crime rate may be even worse. Finally, those who point to instances of savvy lawbreakers getting their hands on guns illegally anyway, I say: you’re right, but at least smarter laws will deter some of them. And that’s exactly what I say about the border wall.
Wall-bashers – most of them motivated by their obsessive hatred of Donald Trump and anything he’s ever done – point to someone using a 20-foot ladder to climb over a 10-foot wall. Fine, but most border-jumpers don’t have 20-foot ladders, and so the deterrent will solve some of the problem. At least if some folks were to admit that they don’t really care about border-jumpers, and maybe even that they welcome them, there would be some consistency in that most of them support strict gun control. But the convenient excuse that “walls don’t work” not only flies in the face of the wall erected around the U.S. Capitol after January 6, but reeks of hypocrisy when those same antiwallers clamor for more gun laws.
Homicide is as big a problem as a nation can have, but illegal entry and stay – along with media malpractice and political overcorrectness – are right up there, and so we need smart, effective laws and dynamic application of them in order to keep guns, and our borders, out of the reach of all those who don’t have a legal right to access them.