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By Nick Schrager
There are a lot of sayings in defense of firearm ownership:
“I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.”
“The government that governs least, governs best”
“If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns”
But in these trying times, we as Americans and our legislators must carefully weigh every option with an acute eye and use utmost reason, NOT parables and catch phrases.
It is a popular belief by many people that assault weapons and high capacity magazines should be outlawed. After all, what good are they? Sure, you can take a Kalashnikov hunting if you’d like, but it isn’t very sporting. You can have a pistol, which holds 15 or more rounds of ammunition, but who really needs them? Ever see the show Sons of Guns? During it, there are some pretty dangerous looking things being built and sold, which I am pretty sure nobody actually needs.
But please do not mistake these statements as saying we should deregulate weapon sales, because this is not the case. I am all for background checks and registration when it comes to store bought firearms. The question that is concerning with this issue is: if government can ban or further limit one constitutional right; can it ban or further limit all constitutional rights?
When laws like this happen, legislators are saying that American citizens are like children and must be looked after as such. I think I am right when I say most gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens. I also believe I am right by saying the majority of individuals who purchase semi-automatic rifles do so for recreational use.
Do we punish everyone because of a few? Look at liquor and vehicles. I think it is a safe bet to say more people are injured and killed in DUI accidents (and I am not sure why we call them ‘accidents’) than people are with the so-called “assault” weapons, yet neither liquor nor cars are against federal law. It is only when the two are combined that it becomes an issue.
I would also imagine there are some serious economic repercussions when we place limits like these on citizens and firearms manufactures. Of course, I am speaking of jobs. There are people in factories not dissimilar from the ones in Lebanon who are making a living in the production of those rifles and the manufacturing of their accessories. Likewise, people make a legitimate living in the sales of them. Do we tell these people who are able to feed their families because of these jobs their kids may not eat while they are looking for other work?
The best possible solution for everyone in this situation would be to leave it what it already is; left up to the states. This country is one of consent, where someone has two options: try to get the issue voted on, or move to a different area that better supports your beliefs. Though it sounds harsh, it ultimately gets what everyone wants in the long run. People who feel semi-automatic rifles should be banned have the option to live where they are banned, and people who feel it is their right to have them have the option to live where they can have them. And if every state decides to ban or allow them… Then the majority has spoken effectively through their elected officials.